This is Farnia…..

This was Farnia

This was Farnia

Every day for 26 years.  We lived here, we laughed here, we cried here and we made memories here.  We had our happiest moments here…..and our saddest.  Three of our children had their wedding receptions here.  Two of them were married in the backyard.  A backyard that opened to the sky and water and the entire world.

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Farnia was actually called Angelheart Cottage.  We named our house as the English do.  It seemed appropriate because it had a life.  And a ghost…..but that’s a story for another day.

We celebrated in Farnia.  Countless birthdays, holidays and our children’s achievements.  We celebrated life together and mourned the loss of our son and brother together.   Hope and faith lived here.  Laughter and love danced here.  Broken hearts healed here.  Life went on here.

It was a Christmas house.  It was its happiest at Christmas.  December filled with an entire month’s worth of surprises and the happy laughter of children on Christmas morning.  It could also be slightly sinister in October….where on Halloween night neighborhood children had to be enticed to knock for tricks or treats.  It was a holiday house.  A house for making memories in.  For taking joy in.

It was a house for dreaming in.  For snuggling grandchildren in.  For recuperating in.  For gazing out the window in.  For imagining in.  For wondering in.

And then life turned on a dime, as it has a way of doing.  And Farnia became a house of dashed expectations.  Of worries of what tomorrow would bring.  It became a house of fear.  A house that whispered “what if.”

Angelheart Cottage is now nameless and belongs to someone else.  I know you may think me crazy to say it, but the house was sad.  It felt the upheaval we all felt.  It got sadder as we emptied it.  Saddest as we swept up memories that hid in all the hidey-holes in that house and packed them away into the corners of our minds and deep in our hearts.  We left it stark and lonely.  I have never seen a house as sad as this one.  Ever.  And I love old, abandoned houses.  Angelheart Cottage was bereft.  I felt it.  Our sympathies echoed, mine and the house, as we commiserated together for one last time before I shut the door and bid it farewell.

In the two years since we left that house and moved to our island, i have learned a very great lesson.  I learned that home is where we make it.  I discovered that taking all our stuff from one house and bringing to a cottage that looks like Angelheart Cottage had a baby was actually fun.  It was like our cottage was made just for us.  We were led here.  We have no doubt about that.  It was just as much a miracle finding our cottage here as it was finding that house on a perfect summer day 27 years ago.  We fell just as much in love with this one as we did that one.  Our stuff fell in love with the cottage, too, as everything we took with us fits so perfectly here.  I learned that change is necessary….that we may not always like it, but it is important that we embrace change and love what it can do for us…..and to us.

I also learned that memories are made as beautifully here as there.  That home is as much a state of mind and of the heart as it is a place to live.

This is Farnia….a way of living, a way of seeing, a way of discovering, a way of dreaming.  It is my adventure.

Welcome.

 

 

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38 thoughts on “This is Farnia…..

  1. We visited your precious Logan’s grave today. 1989 was a time of learning and change for me and Roy as well. His wife is buried in Vancouver, B.C.and Bart is in Tremonton, UT. We aren’t there so we visit dear friends in our neighborhood. Thanks for your tender thoughts.

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  2. Bestie, I am so proud of you for sharing your blog and feel so blessed to have you here on lovely island with us!

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  3. Thank you for sharing a bit of your heart with the world. Leaving a house is one thing, but leaving the place where your memories are so very woven into the walls and rafters is another altogether. I imagine it’s especially tender to leave the place where a child was born and loved and lost if but for a season. I’m also glad you stepped back through the wardrobe. What a truly lovely place to land and what great adventure awaits in the sequel to Angelheart.

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    • such a beautifully written response, sarah. it was tender and still is. i am beyond grateful that stepped through the wardrobe….that is exactly what happened. i just didn’t see the lamp post and mr. tumnus in the snow…rather i saw the clouds gather on the water the first sunday we came here. clouds of exquisite celestial brightness sat on the water and filled the sky the entire world was completely white. i said to mr. farnia….this is heaven. and he said, no….it’s the island. and i replied, “that’s what i said. heaven.”

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  4. Mrs Farnes ( yes, I will always call you that), this is just what I needed to read tonight. I was just lamenting about our move back to Washington from Salt Lake. I loved reading this and I love you
    Heather Thibeau (Magoon)

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    • i love you still and always, heather. would love to hear about your move back and where you will make your own adventure when you get here. you have wandered through my memories and mind on occasion so it is especially good to hear from you tonight. keep in touch, will you?

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  5. I so love your words!! Yay you are sharing with the world your gifts and talent of how you view everything and every moment! Way to use your spiritual gifts to help the rest of us learn better through another beautiful pair of eyes!! Love you tons!

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  6. Hi Sis, loved your rendition of “Ode to Moving On” I think those changes make us wiser and is how we gain that experience neccesary to keep “Moving On,” because, after all, that is the idea!
    I really enjoyed working on that house and felt part of it also. I use your house in examples all the time in our intitute, and the students can’t believe that a real fairytale house like that, with so many rooms and hidden places exists. I look forward to seeing your island paradise sometime down the line. You need to take a break and come visit us here in Argentina and we can take you to the famous Iguazu Falls. Well, love you bunches. I’m not much on blogs and the like but will try to keep up. Hugs and kisses to all. Roger

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    • all of your work is still evident there….at least it was when we left. we would love to have you come to the island any time. you know farnes and i ache to come see you and would so love to see those amazing iguazu falls. that is our dream. just hit the follow button and i can come right to your inbox. that is as close as i can get right now. keep following. i might have something interesting for your students. i can only hope.

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  7. Life is just better after reading something you wrote, Jennifer! I am thankful you are willing to share your thoughts! I miss you!

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    • you make my heart happy, debbie. i can hardly wait to get you over here. it has to be some time this summer when you can sit on the porch swing with me and we can sip lemonade. i’m so trying to find a wedge of time that will hopefully work for you and that very busy husband of yours.

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  8. oh. I love the pictures….my past. I dreamed there too. Made some killer chocolate chip cookies in that sweet kitchen and painted nails on the deck. Tiff and I may have slept in every room too. I have some of my heart there~It still lives on the same way in my mind. Love you for creating this

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    • you know, i believe that every single person that ever came into that house…even before we moved there, left a piece of their heart there. but i believe more so when we lived there because there was so much love with the sharing. it was host to so many bridal and baby showers….i can’t even count them…as well as receptions for our friends’ children….there was just so much love that came into that house and more that went with them. i loved that you were there to share a summer with us. a summer for dreaming, right? i will never forget the two of us chatting as i dug in my garden. we shared some very special moments on that summer afternoon. wish you could have come back….but you can always come to the island. we would love to have you any time. any time.

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  9. and…these are words I’ve been waiting to see hit a page. We have talked long about this beautiful gift you have…it’s so time. I love you!

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  10. Jen. What a treat to read this. Excited to see the pics of your cottage. I will be in Richfield on Friday for Suzanne’s funeral. So sad.

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    • thank you for coming along for the ride. i was shocked to hear of our mutual friend’s death…but am grateful her pain has ended and that she is in a beautiful place. she will be missed by so many. i will always remember her giggle and the way laughter played on every part of her adorable face….give my love to those you see.

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    • so are you! it takes a gem to know one, i always say. welcome back home! that was so quick! did it go so fast for you? now that you and ron are back, and when i get mr. farnia back home, we want you two to come over with chris and becki and tell us all about your adventure. i’m so grateful you got to see all your children before landing home again. i hope you have such fun puttering around your house now that you are in it again.

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      • I’m really loving being home and working on a few projects around the house. Can’t wait to visit with you two again! ((hugs))

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  11. What lovely writing and how fun to take a trip down memory lane! I have many memories of that house – from babysitting in it to being babysat! And how incredibly selfless it was for you to let so many of us in after Logan’s passing to grieve with you. What a treat to find you here tonight. You were someone I always looked up to as I was growing up… someone I wanted to be like. I still remember sitting in a grove of trees listening to you speak at girls camp… many memories. I hope you and your family are doing well! We stopped to visit Logan’s grave the last time we were at the cemetery to visit my mom. Miss them both! Miss you!

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    • dear erin…i am so sorry to be so long responding to your kind words with all those memories attached. life just sort of picked me up and whirled me around good. i do want you to know that your comment meant the world to me….that you have so many sweet memories and i am touched by your willingness to share them. i loved those days in the grove when we were teaching each other. those years at camp will be among some of my dearest. it was a way to be in the world but away from it and in a special place where everything that wasn’t shining and good and true and beautiful melted away. thank you for visiting my logan’s grave. i do not get over there very often any longer. our island life has provided so much healing and i don’t think of him there…he’s always here with me. i was just thinking about his grave this morning and remembering that the words are fading from that headstone….and i think, wow…25 years has gone by in the blink of an eye. i would love it if you would send me a picture of your family. kathy has my email address. i don’t even know where you are living right now. thank you for your babysitting years in my home and for leaving a part of you there with it. i miss you, too. miss all the yesterdays and all those do-you-remember times. thank goodness for memories. i thought of your mama on her birthday. i hope life is so good for you. my family is doing well in all the places that they are, some of them just too far away that i only get 1 or 2 times a year visits. definitely not enough. thank you for stopping by and i hope you will be back here again. love you still and always, you know.

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