Today I say goodbye to the home I had in Winnsboro, TX where I happily played “farmer” for almost 17 years and shared many good years with my husband, Carl, until he died in 2013. We both enjoyed small-town living, the rural setting, and the many friends we had there.
I remember when we were first making plans to move back to Texas after almost ten years in Nebraska. As my husband and I considered possibilities of where to live, he told me that I could pick the area and the house. He had picked all our previous homes, and now it was my turn.
During lunch one day at work, I chatted with one of my fellow chaplains at the hospital about this, and she asked me where I most wanted to live. I told her that I always dreamed of living out in the country and having my own horse in my own back yard.
“Then that’s what you should do,” she said.
I told her that was a silly idea. I was almost 60 years old, too old to be taking care of animals and acreage. Plus, Carl had numerous health problems, so living in the country was not practical. We should be in a big city, close to good health care. We should also be close to our kids. After all, they were the reason we were moving back. Well, that and getting away from the snow. Carl really hated the snow in Nebraska.
As I shared my litany of reasons, my friend countered each one. Her final encouragement was that it was never too late to do something we’d always wanted, and I might always regret not taking that leap. I should do it, even if we only lived in the country for a few years. Nobody should face the end of their life with such a big dream unfulfilled.
So, you see, that place in Winnsboro is more than just property. It is more than just a house. It is a place that holds a piece of my heart, and I am so grateful to my friend in Omaha who gave me that push one cold winter day. Without it, I might not have had the courage to jump.
Now I am living in Sherman, TX, a small city, but still a city, and for the first time in years I am in a residential area. Houses on both sides of me. Houses across the street, cement to walk on instead of dirt paths, and a whole new way of life.
In case you are wondering what happened to my animals, I did not abandon them. Banjo is is living with a very nice man who rides him occasionally, and the rest of the time Banjo is a pasture ornament. The sheep went to the same home, and the man promised that she would not go to market. We shook on that, so I trust his word.
Change is hard, especially for someone like me who rarely even moves furniture around, but I will adapt. I always do. However, I will never stop loving that place in Winnsboro.