The manse I work in is located on a bright and sunny side street. It is a large home, built many years and ministers ago - four bedrooms, large windows, and an open and inviting floor plan. I love this house.
I've been told that one of the ministers who lived here had nine children. Eleven people in a house with only one bathroom! Maybe they had bladders of steel. The kitchen is large and the dining room huge - I can see them now - all the heads bent over their plates as their father led the blessing.
The house sits at the top of a hill overlooking the town below - it's near enough to the playground and the ball fields that I can hear the kids playing, and far enough away so that there's no danger of having the windows shattered by any errant foul balls. There's a shaded back yard with gone-wild roses slowly climbing a rock wall, and giant trees for playing under.
There's even a small cold cellar, tucked to one side of the basement. It's easy to picture rows upon rows of canning jars and pickling barrels - it's like a step back in time.
A fabulous heavy old bannister leads the way upstairs. The floors have been carpeted, but I'm fairly certain if the padding was pulled back, there would be gorgeous old wood floors, waiting to have a gleam put to them.
The atmosphere is hushed and peaceful - it's hard to imagine feeling anything but serenity in here - it's almost like the feel of a good library.
It has been empty now for almost a year, and will be empty for awhile longer, as the new minister will be driving in from her home in Shelbourne county and not living here.
The manse seems to yearn for company, for some new ideas to be bandied about within its walls, for doors to be slammed, windows to be opened, for people to fix dinners and laugh together over doing the dishes.
Did I mention I love this old house?