Yes, Frank just announced that he has found our prayer die. It is a cube about 10cm x 10cm x 10cm and on each side is a prayer for saying grace. We each take it in turns to roll the die and read the prayer. It is part of our family. It is part of home.
This is strange, though, having a home – particularly one that we own and will stay in for the foreseeable future. For so many years nowhere felt like home. If you’d have asked, I’d have said somewhere on the moors near to where I grew up was the closest I could consider as ‘home’. So this rambling, frankly enormous, Victorian house, with its nooks and crannies and wheezing, geriatric idiosyncrasies, is nothing short of a miracle, if you’re me.
The house has plenty of problems that we have inherited from the previous owners. These include a roof in an unknown state of disrepair (the roofer’s coming tomorrow but there are slate tiles hanging by a whisker over the precipice), a shower that is leaking through the ceiling below, no hot water (thankfully this is not too expensive to fix – the plumber came this afternoon). What else? The sellers took the batteries out of the wireless thermostat so we thought there was something wrong with the central heating (who takes half-used batteries?). The boiler was not fitted properly (says the plumber, though he says it’s fine), and neither was the gas cooker (who takes risks with things like gas?! Carbon monoxide poisoning anyone?) so we now have no cooker until next Thursday. We inherited a filthy house; our cleaning lady (alias the blessed St. Molly) and her colleague spent six hours and only managed to clean the kitchen and the bathroom because the dirt and grease was so thick. Oh yes, and there was an inch of water in the cellar after Monday’s heavy rain. So, we’ll see what happens in the long run…
These things are just small, though. We are so thankful to be living in such a wonderful house. I have always loved these type of houses. We have six fireplaces (six!), though they’re not all working. We have gorgeous coving on the ceilings, original tiles in the entrance hall and around some of the fireplaces. There are bell buttons which were once used to summon servants (!) and no-longer-in-use brass bases of gas lanterns emerging from the walls in various spots. In short, charm oozes from every red brick. This house is a gift from God to be used for His purposes. It’s summer so washing in cold water is not so bad (at least not temporarily). Although we have no cooker, we have made jam in the breadmaker that I bought for a tenner in the charity shop (result!) from blackberries that the girls picked. I used the slow cooker to make some delicious rice pudding and Frank has been refining his culinary skills in the back garden, using our camping stove. It has all turned into a bit of an adventure! And now Frank has found our prayer die. I like this place. I am bowled over with thankfulness.