Saturday, December 17, 2011

7 Quick Takes: the comfort of home edition

--- 1 ---

We completed the sale of our house this week.  It felt like all the air finally let out of our moving-stress balloon.  Celebrating the sale of a home is always a drawn-out process, but this felt extra weighty since we'd never had to carry a house mortgage plus a monthly rent and two sets of utilities while at the same time becoming a one-income family.

 Yes, it felt a bit scary.  I have old fears of poverty stitched inside me from living as a small child on a pastor's tithes-per-week income.  Those fears started to come out of my subconscious in the past few months.  While we never got to the place like my parents' stories of having no gas in the car, no money for gas, no money for medicine for three sick kids, and no fuel for the furnace to heat a house in the middle of winter.  

We didn't even get close to this kind of crisis, but the fear was beginning to hound me a bit, I confess.  I know it's good to be reminded of our true poverty of helplessness, to be reminded of the true Giver of every good gift.  I'm glad for this little season with empty bank accounts.  It's been a gift to our humility, empathy, compassion and family bonding.  

I'm also glad for some financial relief.  

our final moments at our house on Jefferson Avenue in Endicott, NY

--- 2 ---

Just get a look at this delight-full gift my sister sent us last week.  It was the week when the we're-living-in-a-foreign-land-for-Christmas blues began to hit hard.  Perfect timing, perfect gift.  Thank you, sweet sister!

By the way, if you ever want to find a lovely gift to send a homesick family member, sleepless college student, far-away-friend with a new baby I can vouch for the comfort of this gift.  You can find all the information here at the Spoonful of Comfort site. 

--- 3 ---

Speaking of comfort food, one of the very greatest perks of living in a house with almost-leaving-the-nest people is that they can share the cooking.  And make coffee in the morning! Drew got a job here in Austin making sausage and cutting meat in a local organic market.  I guess being surrounded by delicious food all day has piqued his interest in learning to cook.  What a perfect hobby!

Just look at this gourmet macaroni and cheese (made with gouda!) and panko-crusted chicken cutlets.  Oh my!

--- 4 ---

On the subject of home and meals, take a few minutes to read this lovely interview with Laity Lodge chef Tim Blanks, picked up by the Wall Street Journal.  It makes me happy that such a generous, life-breathing location got this kind of press. 
"4. Never fear simple food. In a frenetic world, simple is good. 'A large loaf of crusty bread broken amongst friends has power like no other food,' Tim says."
So true....

--- 5 ---

There seems to be no way around it; no matter how much we intend to slow down during Advent, there's still a longer list of things to be done in lives already full of lists of things to be done.  I spent most of my day yesterday with this view while shopping the world of the internet for Christmas gifts, catching up on emails, making grocery lists, plowing through a pile of coupons, contemplating a roll-a-dex full of addresses I'd like to mail Christmas greetings.  

Oh, well.  At least I had this happy yellow thrift store mug full of hot tea, homemade pumpkin bread from a friend in our small group, apple slices and savory chunks of Gouda cheese.

--- 6 ---

I know I already posted a video from Tiger In A Jar this week, but I just can't help myself.  When you watch this one, you'll see why it is perfect for this week's home-and-comfort Quick Takes post.

--- 7 ---

Truly Advent evokes our deepest longings for our true home with our forever family. This year I've been given the gift of understanding that longing better than ever before.  I am grateful.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!
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