You have been sitting in grand majesty for nearly 200 years now. Tall, solid, strong. Born of the rock that lines the creek beds, that sleeps in the hillsides, rising from the ground as if from a long slumber. You have sheltered so many families. Seen births and deaths. Witnessed the love and joy that emanated from within your walls. How many Christmas trees have stood in your rooms? How many meals has your kitchen served? When the doctor lived there, how many people were healed under your careful watch?
And when Chip and I met, he began the loving process of fixing you up. Rejuvenating you. Breathing new life into your tired walls. The kitchen completely gutted. New cabinets, appliances. The doorways that became a work of art, curved on one side, angular on the other, 2 feet thick. And the heart above the staircase. We did not complete that labor of love, as circumstances presented us with the home that I now reside in. And time took us away to other tasks. You were set aside, for another day. And perhaps in 5 years, or then 10..... Yet that never came. Life gets in the way. Shortly after Chip passed away, your front fell. Tons of rock cascading to the porch. Your way of saying goodbye? How fitting.
You are tired. You have served well. Done your job. You have seen so much.
Ronnie and I. Reverently entering. Great love and respect for all you have given over these many years. It was harder than I expected, to enter your halls once again. To see the once beautiful walls and cabinets and appliances, so lovingly installed, fallen and spent. No longer safe. As we peeked through each room, we reminisced. I told Ronnie stories that I could remember, of the cold winter days that Chip would spend working the drywall, layer after layer of mud, while I added wood to the fireplace to keep us warm. We came across the old invoices that Chip had prepared while working for Nichols, nearly 45 years ago. We found the pictures that were hidden on the top shelf of the closet. Memories that did not belong to us, but meaningful nonetheless. Then the basement, with the rafters broken and sagging, floor about to fall completely through. So sad. We scoured every inch we could, looking for treasures to rescue.
And now, my friend, you shall have your rest. We will lovingly bring your walls down. And in your place, a new shelter. A dream home. A new beginning. And you will live on. Not only in the memories, but also in the rock that you leave behind. Rock to build the fireplaces, and the garden walls, and firepits and whatever else we can dream of. The farm shall become a home again, a show place. Just like Chip had always dreamed of. And so you shall live again. But remember, old friend, you shall always live on in our hearts.