Charles is exactly the type of sort you’d think of when someone asks you to describe a man named Charles. Well groomed. Well mannered. Well heeled.
Charles loves good things and values quality.
He and his wife were at that stage in life when it’s time for larger quarters. They have two young daughters and one more on the way. He is hoping for a son.
Charles decided he would have a house built for his growing family. He didn’t want just any old house, and he didn’t want a new one either. He wanted a home that would have bits of the past mingling among fragments of the present. Charles is a romantic.
One day he had an idea. It came to him on the morning of the eve of the new year, as he was barreling westward on Interstate 90.
Where Charles comes from, I90 is a highway that starts in the center of the city and stretches out past massive office buildings, and Medieval Times, a destination spot where you watch jousting warriors on horseback while you’re eating a turkey leg, without utensils. But that wasn’t where Charles had his moment of inspiration.
It was after the city. After the office buildings. After Medieval Times.
Charles drove through a rural patch of his home state where cows still grazed, farmers still farmed, and faded wood barns still stood – next to color clad aluminum ones.
“That’s it!” He thought, “I can build my house with barn wood.”
So he took the first exit. Circled back. And drove until he found the farm where all he needed for his dream home, was patiently waiting.
The farmer was an older man, wide of girth, with a weathered face that knew sun-soaked days without cover. He saw the foreign-made sedan drive up his long driveway and park next to his white Ford F350. He was curious. It wasn’t every day a stranger came to see him.
Bounding out of the car was a very excited young man who rang the farmhouse bell.
“I love your barn sir, the old one, sir. I’d like to buy it for the beauty of its wood. I will build a house both old and new and there our family will be happy.”
The young man looked so hopeful, the farmer was pretty sure there could be no other answer except “Yes.”
And that’s how the old year ended and the new year began. The two men, shook hands on the deal. The barn would be made ready to continue its natural course in the grandest manner. The very same barn wood that sat through wind and rain, blistering heat and ice-laden winters, would be beautiful once more in a new place, with a new purpose.
Isn’t that God’s plan for all of us as we age?
It’s up to you to take the lessons learned as you get older and accept that you are more beautiful from your experiences. Find new purpose with your life each and every new year.
By Susan Diamond