So…this is it? Rose stood in the stubble of hay, staring in disbelief at the shell of an old house. This is my inheritance? Her thoughts were already running rampant at her stupidity to have let her apartment go and then to move here sight unseen. Distress was growing… What have I done??? Well…at least the roof looks okay…
Her cousin, Gary, lived on the adjoining farm. At the reading of the will, Gary assured her that he would keep the lawn mowed until she could get there. But, he neglected to mention that the “grass” was actually “hay”. At the same time, he did tell her that the house needed “some repairs”… Apparently, THAT was the understatement of the year. She was quickly learning that her cousin was a master at understatements.
Rose had grown weary of city life long, long ago. When she learned that she had inherited a farm, she began to dream again. She saw herself tending a garden and canning the produce. Her home would welcome visitors with the delightful smell of yummy baked goods. She wanted her kitchen to be all hues of yellow and gold – happy and bright colors, in her opinion.
While preparing for her move to the country, Rose imagined each room one by one. Her living room would have overstuffed furniture and lots of pillows. Earth tones suited her, but she would allow her pillows to add a punch of color here and there. She would find just the right area rug for the middle of the room. In her mind’s eye, she could see it as a replica of an old rug – faded in color and hues of earth and dusty roses. She would have a small footstool with a needlepoint cover of her own design and crafted by her own hands. In her imagination, she was very comfortable, as would be any guests that drop by for a visit.
Except for her yellow kitchen, the earth tones and dusty rose would follow throughout her house, continually repeated in quilts, curtains and pillows. Her personality would be lovingly stitched into every handicraft that would make the house her home. It would be the home she always dreamed of…
Testing the strength of the old wooden porch floor first, Rose stepped gingerly up from the last step. Surprisingly, the porch felt solid and without any sway that she had anticipated. More hopeful than she had been minutes earlier, she continued, stepping carefully over the threshold and into the living room. Stunned, she was greatly encouraged to see the wonderfully comfortable living room of her dreams. Turning to look at Gary, Rose explained that she anticipated water damaged walls, mold and rodent droppings. How could the interior of the house remain in such good condition when the exterior was so bad???
Gary chuckled as he explained… When Rose told him that she would be moving to their grandparent’s farm, Gary planned to surprise her with new siding on the house. Having already stripped off the old siding, original boards remained. Just that morning, he tore off some rotted boards to replace so that the nails for the new siding would anchor in the wood as they should. The work crew would return after lunch. Rose’s sigh of relief was audible… Gary went on to explain that his farm hands would be along in a few days to put the yard right. He allowed it to grow up in hay while Rose prepared for her move. Gary apologized for that.
As Rose wandered through her new home, she was quick to note that not only did she inherit a home, but she inherited a history. Old photographs hung on the walls and smaller ones graced the mantle. A very old family Bible sat side by side with a thick photo album – pages yellowed with age. Rose glanced at Gary with questions in her eyes. Gary smiled as he told Rose about the family history. They settled onto the overstuffed sofa as Gary opened first the Family Bible where every birth, marriage and death had been recorded over the past two centuries, then the photo album which contained only one photo from Europe, one photo of the ship that brought them to America and hundreds of photos that documented marriages, births and an ever growing American family. Gary explained that their Great-Great-Great Grandfather had homesteaded many acres of land – indeed miles. Gary’s farm was part of the legacy, as was every farm adjacent to her new home. The surrounding farms were rich in new relatives that Rose had never met because Rose’s Mother had run off to the big city to never return to the farm. Her Mom had died shortly after giving birth. Her Father was in Vietnam at the time of Rose’s birth, but he never returned. Rose had been raised by her Father’s family. The farm had been willed to Rose’s Mother. The detective hired during probate brought the sad news home to her remaining family that Rose’s Mother was deceased, but the good news that there was an heir.
Rose basked in the revelation that she came from such a wonderfully strong line of pioneers and a heretofore unknown family who loved her sight unseen. Her Father had also been an only child and now with her paternal Grandparents both gone, she had been alone in the world until the detective’s knock on her door. Now, she is welcomed by a huge family! Marveling at her good fortune, Rose caught the scent of fresh coffee in the air. Following her nose, she quickly located the kitchen. Stopping dead in her tracks and completely slack jawed; Rose took in the sight of her new kitchen. The sunshine streamed through the window into a wonderful yellow kitchen. Could anything be more perfect than this?
Rose smiled hugely as she said in a whisper ~ “Welcome home, Rose”.