Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Little Care Goes A Long Way

On our camping trip in the mountains, we drove down the pass to a sleepy little town on the other side of the mountain to get some ice cream. A majority of the homes in this small town were in a state of disrepair. It was depressing, because even if people didn't have the money to make major repairs, there are still small things they can do on their property to show they care, like pulling weeds and mowing the lawn.

One such house really left an impression on me. A small white cottage with a gable-style roof, it had so much potential. It could have been so charming. There was a small cottage-style garden lining the front walk, but that's where the charm stopped. The house needed paint, window panes were broken, and the door looked like it needed to be replaced twenty years ago. The roof was starting to cave in, too. I understand those kind of repairs take money. They would be so easy to overlook if other more minor repairs were not left undone. For example, the curtains (bed sheets) were torn and ripped. It only takes a tiny bit of effort (and no money) to stitch them up--even just fold them up and staple them, or tie them with inexpensive ribbon. Through a bare window, from twenty feet away, I could see a very messy room: boxes stacked up, clutter all around. From what I saw, it was obvious that these homeowners just stopped caring.

There was such a disconnect from where this house was and where it could be. Seeing it made me sad.

On the flip side, back at home, I love to walk through a certain neighborhood because it is always so charming, like walking through the pages of Country Living or Southern Living magazine. The houses inspire me, and I get ideas for little things I can do to make my house more charming too. Little things like window boxes, or flower pots on the front steps, a wreath on the front door. I realize these require money, but could be saved up for, if one's budget does not allow immediate purchasing.

"The wise woman builds her house..." (Proverbs 14: 1)

Growing up, I loved to dream about the kind of home I wanted some day, what I wanted it to look and feel like. My parents divorced when my sisters and I were young, and I yearned to someday have a loving Christian family of my own. I imagined what kind of wife and mom I'd be, and the things I'd do to give a sense of sweetness to my family. The dreams always involved creating a cozy interior, part of which would be achieved through cooking and baking and creating a welcoming atmosphere (especially in the kitchen). Although each day isn't perfect, that is still my vision for my family.

So whether it's something we can do on the exterior of our home to make it look more charming, or something in the interior to make the atmosphere more charming (something as simple as making a special breakfast and serving it on pretty plates), let's aim to show our family--and others--that we care. A little care truly goes a long way.

1 comment:

  1. Firstly let me just say how much I enjoy your blog and delightful insight into day to day life.

    Secondly, I know just the kind of houses you are talking about, I live in a small rural community just littered with amazing 100 yr old (give or take a few yrs) cracker homes, that with a little minor TLC could be just gorgeous...Same goes for the empty unused buildings on Mainstreet...This area could be a lovely little weekend get away for city folk just 30minutes up the road, if the locals here would just care...It is so frustrating to see happen...

    We are a "returning" family (well hubby's family is from here originally) to the area and can see such potential...There are others around us that feel the same, but it is baby steps to enlighten those who never left and do not notice the disrepair surrounding them.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about these small towns...It is nice to know we are not alone.