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20 Years in a House

20 Years in a House

Hello and good day!

Yesterday our neighbors told us they are selling their house and moving. They had some old gardening equipment they wanted to dispose of, and we went over to take it off their hands. The fellow who was attending to us couldn't help but get sentimental as he talked about the move.

His two daughters grew up in the house they just sold. Now they're all grown up and married and have moved out. One of them is pregnant with her first child and they plan to move closer to her. They are going to be grandparents and they don't want to be too far away.

It is a noble reason to sell a house and move on. But our neighbor just couldn't hold back his emotions. As he walked us through the house to his garage, we got to talking and he started pointing out all of the little things that triggered memories.

The piano where his girls learned to play. The balcony guardrail that his wife designed, and he installed. The lines in the pantry where he measured heights and never erased the pencil lines. And now they are moving out and somebody else is moving in. They are getting a good price for the house and everything about it makes sense.

But I could tell that our neighbor was really going through it emotionally.

If I were to tell you right now that something is going to happen in 20 years, for example that you'll be living in a different city and in a different house, how would that strike you?

You'd probably think I was nuts right? I mean, who even cares what is going to happen in 20 years? It feels so far in the future that it almost isn't worth talking about, right?

However, when you look back over the last 20 years, doesn't it feel like it went by too fast?

Time is a very tricky thing. In the future it looks long. In the past it looks short. Take a look at the photo above. We took this picture more than 10 years ago. We are still buying cacao from this farm family by the way. The young man in the photo is now all grown up.

He isn't a teenager living on his father's farm, following his father's instructions anymore. He has his own land and his own family. He is his own man.

Another thing to consider.

The dad is only about 20 years older than his son. Had we taken the picture 30 years ago instead of 10, the dad would be lean and fresh and athletic like his boy.

But life and responsibility and years have aged him. The dad in the photo is also the mayor of his little village. He has a lot of responsibilities and people look up to him.

What about a baby picture of the young man above? That would have been taken less than 20 years before this picture was taken. From a baby, to a strong, strapping young man in less than 20 years.

I remember meeting this family for the first time. The dad, Ediberto, was barking off orders to his son and his son was complying. The son climbed up into a big old cacao tree with his machete and started hacking down cacao pods from a tall tree.

No questions asked. He did what his dad said. Maybe the son will be the mayor of the town twenty years from now. And the dad will be following his son's instructions, not the other way around.

On the way from my neighbor's house yesterday, I stopped and took a look at the sky. We live right across the way from a small lake that is surrounded by tall pine trees. The sky was completely cloudy and grey, and the sun was setting west of the lake, back behind the pines.

Right above the horizon, beneath the cloud cover, there was a gap in the clouds where the last light of sun was shining through. I've never seen the sky like that around here. The entire sky was grey except for a bright orange band of light on the horizon, shining through the pines, and reflecting across the lake.

As I walked back up the street with my family, I looked back and saw our neighbor standing in his front yard, staring down the side of his house at the sunset. He was standing there with his hands on his hips, just staring.

I knew he must be thinking about the house and his daughters. He was standing so still. I looked back one more time before his house was out of sight, and he was still there, standing in his yard, looking off at the orange band of light behind the lake where his daughters swam when they were little.

Nothing like being a mom or dad swimming in a lake with your little kids. You feel like a real hero.

I'm sure that Ediberto stops to look at those trees his son used to climb in, back when he still followed his father's instructions unquestioningly. I don't have any good suggestions for this one, except maybe love with all your heart when you can.

Thank you for your time today.

I hope that you have a truly blessed day!