Monday, July 13, 2015


My dear friend (and my sister's mother in law) moved out of her beautiful Victorian style home a few years ago.   She lived in that house for 29 years and loved it.  They moved to Amboy which is closer for everyone but Nelle loved her old house and was very sad when someone bought it. She had hoped that the Amboy house would sell instead and she could have her old house back.  The Lord has other plans.  The new owners have worked very hard to renovate and turn Nelle's house into a bed & breakfast.  Nelle refused to even drive by it, sure that her beloved home was being turned into something awful.  The few times she *had* to go by, all she saw was destruction and huge dumpsters filled with her house. 
The day of the open house arrived and she asked me to go along, sure that she was going to cry.  I  lived there a couple of times during crises and practically lived there through the years. I loved it too. 
I heard a message when I was  a teen that has stuck with me - it was from the book of Ruth,  where Boaz tells his workers to leave handfuls of grain on purpose  for Ruth to pick up.  The preacher likened that to the Lord giving us blessings "just because"  he loves us.  I saw so many handfuls on purpose while going through the bed and breakfast and I'm sure Nelle saw more.  Just little things to remind us that we are loved.  (if husbands and boyfriends  learn this principle it will change their relationships)
Some of the handfuls on purpose
*❤They opened the ribbon cutting ceremony with the Star Spangled Banner...
❤a hosta
❤The pine tree that Jim planted when it was about 2 feet tall... It's taller than the house and the proprietor Lisa mentioned that they were going to put lights on it for Christmas... Something Nelle always wanted to do.
❤Walking into the house - the wooden floors, the foyer... just cleaned, the wood polished not refinished, ❤ the rainbow windows rehung not replaced. The staircase - still original...  ❤The pillars not refinished and Nelle found a fleck of tape from Christmas cards she hung there over the years.  In the dining room - ❤the mantel was made from one of the trees they had to take down.  ❤The contractor and tour guides were so kind and considerate to show Nelle details of how they kept the character of her house.  ❤Tris even took us to the pantry (not on the tour) to show how they used her cabinets.  He reassured Nelle that many of the treasures they had taken out were being repurposed in other areas.  ❤The original front door, trim, and other things were going to be used and not junked. 
It was  a blessing to see how many times the Lord showed us little things.  ❤Leah's room, The gazebo, the flowers outside, and even our lilac bush.  Nelle called it the friendship lilac. I had given it to her many years ago - like 1997 and it went through alot just to get planted, it even got mowed over at least 3 times. Nelle was sure that it was gone but it is still there and is taller than me.
The day was bittersweet but there were alot of things that the Lord gave that made it less bitter and more sweet.  Reminds me that no matter what happens, how things change, we always leave a little bit behind.  Nelle's house is a legacy of love faith and hope. What legacy am I leaving?
After the tour, I decided I had to make a wall quilt for the bed and breakfast.  It will have the logo, a block for each of the 4 owners and blocks for Illinois, the Prairie, Lincoln,  and Lincoln Highway. 
If you are in our neck of the woods (or Prairie as the case may be)  stop by  the Lincoln Way Inn and remember it's a house full of love and memories.  You can add some more!

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