From the pink house

I’m sitting here at my husband’s desk, with a cup of fresh black coffee in hand, watching the sun rise.Through the windowpanes, I see the tree—our tree—that we planted our first month home.The little red maple will match my hair this autumn, but right now it seems to be trying to look taller than it is, as it stands sentinel at the top of our driveway, the lone tree on our twenty acres.Our driveway, which I prefer to think of as “Lover’s Lane,” winds through the alfalfa field, with a little mailbox at the end of it.Our address is marked on the front in my husband’s handwriting.

A neighbor’s rooster signals that it is time to get up, but the cows across the road are already eating their breakfast.Three horses stand silhouetted in the morning sunshine.And my husband raises his head from the pillow to see what his wife is doing out of bed so early this morning.

I love my life.God has been so good to us.We are so happy here in our little pink house.(And we’re joking about actually painting it pink when we put siding on it, just to keep our identity.)

It has been nearly two weeks since Merritt’s accident.I’m seeing him improve daily now.He has a lot more energy, and has begun to “feel like himself again,” he says.The problem is keeping him down.His leg isn’t throbbing as much, but his foot starts to swell when it’s been down too long (whether it’s getting up to make us a milkshake before bedtime or maneuvering all around the tractor and baler to show a visiting friend how to work it when he bales tonight).Merritt is very much looking forward to getting his stitches out on Monday—I counted twenty-five stitches that seem that many times bigger than those of even a beginning quilter.But every time we change the dressing, his leg looks much “better” (where scabs and bruises are defined as better).And his arm, though missing its farmer’s tan, is looking much more pink, like just a really bad sunburn.

We are thankful for more time together at home these days.But strangely, I’m not getting the dishes done or the floor mopped any more often than I did when we worked in the store all day.Merritt’s looking forward to the day when he can stand long enough to do dishes—but it will be a while before I let him.Those first few days home, it was hard to adjust to being responsible for everything, without leaning on Merritt for the hard tasks.And then I would catch myself going to straighten his shoes, or pick up his work clothes for the laundry, and they weren’t there.Little reminders of how thankful I am that my husband is still here, that I will still have those tasks to do once he gets back up and around.

From the time I met Merritt, I knew that “no man is an island”—I needed Merritt to be complete.But the past few weeks have taught me that no couple is an island, either.Of course, I didn’t expect our island to be quite so populated during our second month of marriage.But the people that stop in every day or so to visit are much-needed reminders that we aren’t in this alone—we have friends who care.And my tearful phone call to my mom from the hospital room, “please come,” was proof that I will always need my mommy, even as a married woman.

Each day when we get the mail, we are overwhelmed by the kind cards, the reassurances of prayer…and the bills.We are grateful that even though we don’t have insurance, we are part of Samaritan Ministries, a group of Christians who share medical expenses.While we don’t know yet if they will be able to cover the entire sum, we have already been overwhelmed by generous gifts from others.I can’t tell you how grateful we are.(But we might mention that next time you choose between a trip to Hawaii and a visit to the hospital, the trip to Hawaii will be much cheaper.)

But most of all, we are so thankful for your continued prayers.They mean so very much.

Now my coffee’s getting cold, and the rooster’s persistent crowing means I need to fix my husband some breakfast so we can start on our day’s Expotition, as Winnie the Pooh would say.But I think Merritt will need more than a pot of honey for the long drive and errands we have planned.Our list, however, includes borrowing a wheelchair, so he can go grocery shopping with me.I’m so glad—his sister came with me on Monday, or else I wouldn’t have known what to do, I’m so used to having him along to push the cart and choose his favorite kind of yogurt.

But after we’ve discovered the North Pole and maybe even shot a heffalump or two, I’ll tuck him into bed with a half dozen pillows beneath his leg, and we’ll start on our latest piece of literature by A.A. Milne, The Red House Mystery.Before I discovered it at my favorite used bookstore, I didn’t know Milne wrote anything but Winnie the Pooh.But of course, if the book had been about Winnie the Pooh and Piglet, maybe the house would have been pink, instead.

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  1. Hi Gretchen!

    Great to hear from you and I’m soo glad to hear that Merrit is doing well! IT’s a blessing that you can have this time to spend together! God is so good! His ways are always perfect, even if they don’t always look quite the way we think they should! “My ways are not your ways”. (My paraphrase but you know what I mean)

    God bless you both richly!

    “For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand, I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He with-hold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in Thee.” Ps. 84:10-12

    “Teach me Thy way, O Lord; I will walk in Thy truth: unite my heart to fear Thy name.”Ps. 86:11

  2. It was wonderful to hear from you, Gretchen! And I’m so thankful that Merritt’s recovering well. Will continue to pray. God bless you!


  3. The Red House Mystery is an excellent book (although you wouldn’t know it was by Milne from the style!).
    I remember not knowing whodunnit until the very end and I know that if I reread it I’ll have forgotten again (so seldom one can read a mystery twice).
    Hope you enjoy it too!

  4. How wonderful it is that the Lord is answering prayers already!! Doesn’t he always do above and beyond what we ask or think?! I will continue to pray for Merritt’s recovery.

  5. Beautiful post Gretchen. Its wonderful and encouraging to hear that you are learning to find contentment in God’s perfect plan, even when its not what you’d planned or ever wanted.
    I’m also happy to hear Merritt is doing better. What a great opportunity for God to teach both of you patience, trust in Him, and to bring you both closer together as husband and wife.
    God bless!


  6. You write so beautifully and descriptively, Gretchen! 馃檪 I am so glad that your husband is improving. We are keeping both of you in our prayers!

    Many blessings,

  7. A beautiful reminder that life can be sweet and contented even in the midst of hard times…*He* gives us a peace beyond understanding!

  8. Gretchen,

    So good to hear from you. I鈥檝e been away visiting friends and relatives for 10 days. It was quite a shock to hear what’s going on in your lives when I got a chance to check my email and a couple of my favorite blogs (of which YLCF is one!).

    So glad Merritt’s life was spared. Glad he’s recovering. Thankful to God for His mercy, for His grace every day, and the way He comes alongside of us in times of need through the presence of those He’s placed in our lives. Sometimes we need a loving touch from someone, a hug, a meal brought in, whatever. I’ve heard it said that Christians are “God with skin on” and I believe that’s true.

    Will be praying for you and Merritt.


  9. Hey Gretchen, thank you for your lovely post…it is so good to hear from you. I am continuing to keep both you and Merritt in prayer.