After my dad's passing, my mom was concerned that she would need to sell their home right away. She wasn't sure if she could afford to stay or be able to maintain the large piece of land on her own. Rob and I had a strong urging that we needed to move and make a fresh start for our family but were concerned with how we would do it. Someone made the suggestion that we move in with my mom while we were in transition. I mentioned it to my mom and she said, "Sure!" We quickly made plans for our upcoming move. We reserved a Penske truck, visited the school where our children would be attending the following year and started packing. Things seemed to be falling into place. Then, two weeks before we were to move into my mom's, she called me and told me she didn't want us to move in. She said she didn't think she could handle having the kids there all the time. (I can understand that reasoning...sometimes I really can't handle it either) I will admit that I was extremely hurt and frustrated that she had waited so long to tell me. I did my share of crying and asking, "What do we do now?" We decided to push on with the move but to go directly to Harrisburg instead of staying with my mom for a year before moving. We chose the Harrisburg area because Highmark has an office there and Rob would not need to change jobs. I immediately left for Harrisburg and started looking for a house to rent. It was exhausting! I pretty much just eliminated places and determined that we would need to increase the amount of rent we were willing to pay. I was feeling so defeated and frustrated after that trip. A day later Rob and I returned to the Harrisburg area...we had to find a place! We looked at many homes to rent and had settled on a house that was in Camp Hill about 5 minutes from Rob's workplace. It was small but we would make it work. We had one last house to look at but it was a 30 minute drive from Highmark and we said that there was no way we would consider it unless it blew us away. Well, it did! It was an old stone farmhouse on three acres with a pool. It was huge...about 3400 sq ft of living space plus another level of attic space. I left a message for the owner and waited two days before we heard back from him. I was almost sick. We left as soon as he called and headed to Carlise with the whole family. We were met there by Amos, a middle-aged Amish man. He took us through the house and was surprised when we asked if we could write out a check for the first months rent and deposit right away and stay there that night. (We had brought sleeping bags and air mattress just in case) He agreed and we spent our first night in our new home. The next morning, I was in the shower when Rob came in the bathroom and said there was a huge bat (the kind that has wings and pointy little teeth) in the living room. He was scared and wouldn't go downstairs again. I told him I'd take care of it when I was done. I dressed and went cautiously down the stairs expecting to see a hissing, ferocious beast flying at me. I rounded the corner to the living room and braced myself for...the tiny sleeping creature hanging from our molding. Did I mention it was tiny? I could barely see it. I didn't want to hurt it and in all honesty felt badly that I had to disturb it's slumber but I got a broom and gently guided it out the door. I had rescued my man from the frightening beast...despite that and perhaps even because of that experience, I loved the house even more. Yes, I like character in a house. Our kids favorite spot is of course the huge attics.
There is so much more to tell but it will have to wait until another day...
Stonehouse built in 1792
Shade tree and swing
Christian eating breakfast on window sill in Dining Room