She has been a missionary everywhere she has lived, reaching out, ministering, sharing the gospel wherever she goes. Her heart beats for Africa, but she loves the United States, too.
When she retired from the mission field, Nunie moved in with Grandma at 2715 Wingfield, which Grandpa had bought way back in 1931 and paid for in cash, $400. It came with a pump and an outhouse. Over the years, they've added plumbing, electricity, and a furnace, among other things.
Last June, Nunie turned 90 and we celebrated. Now she is nearly 91, and the time has come for her to give up caring for the charming antique relic that 2715 has become. She mowed, dug and planted right up to the end. On Saturday, she will move to a senior apartment where she will live near friends in a community where she can relax and enjoy the fellowship without having to concern herself with home maintenance.
It will be good, but it has gone shockingly quickly.
Jon took me up to visit her this past weekend. The house is already coming apart as Nunie packs for her move. At one point when we stopped by, she took a break from her work and brought out a CD of piano music recorded by one of my cousins and her husband. Jon got the music playing, and Nunie sat down on the floor, pulling her knees up like a teenager as she lightly bobbed her head to the jaunty piano rhythms.
I took a few raw photos for posterity.
Jon greets Nunie as we arrive. (See her coming out the porch door?)
The front of the house, and a sun spot.
Nunie under the numbers: 2715. I'm going to have to learn a new address.
The house is on a historic registry.
I have so many memories of long conversations out on the porch, swaying in this porch swing.
This is the chair I remember Grandma sitting in, always.
It was red, and it used to be in the living room, against the back wall.
The fold-open desk where they'd set us to color, the little kitchen table, the corner cabinet. (I realized after I got home that I never took a picture of the dining room, I suppose because the table was full of packing. I hope someone has a picture of it.) I have vivid memories of that window between the corner cabinet and the refrigerator, and watching the birdhouse, watching wrens and bluebirds, accompanied by the scent of lilies of the valley and lilacs wafting in.
I was always amazed and maybe a little bit frightened by the trap door to the root cellar
in the center of the kitchen floor.
Such a sweet, tidy little kitchen, even as it's being packed.
"Grandpa's Secretary" -- the one really fine antique.
Everyone has always spoken of it with reverence.
The "old kitchen" was turned into a laundry and furnace room,
but this amazing antique sink remains, pristine.
The back of the house.
The storm cellar.
Catching rainwater right up to the end.
Backyard with garden and clothesline, of course. Beyond, there is a golf course!
Aunt Nunie and me, on the sofa she reupholstered herself.
So many memories. So much to be grateful for.