Misha Crews

Stories from the heart. Books that feel like home.

A few weeks ago on social media I posted pictures of this beautiful old house that’s for sale in a town near me. Because I’m a house junkie, I attended an Open House here in 2015 (pre-renovation) and then went to see it again when it was re-listed last month. If there was any way I could claim the house for my own, I would do it in a heartbeat; it has definitely taken my imagination captive. Don’t be surprised if the place shows up in one of my books some day!

Below are a few pictures of this exquisite home. You can see all sixty gorgeous photos, on Sager Real Estate’s website. And here is some fun historical information from the listing:

The Grandstaff House was originally built on May 26, 1886, and added on in 1907 by builder Wallace Murdock for his family. This home is a beautiful example of the early 20th Century Queen Anne style, featuring a beautiful curved staircase and other impressive woodwork. One of Mr. Murdock ‘s architectural trademarks is the small upstairs porch. In 1952, Hugh Grandstaff, a local veteran and, talented craftsman, purchased the property. Included on this property is a large barn (originally used to house neighboring horses), 1 1/2 story meat house, a greenhouse made from the original bubble glass windows, and the only preserved outhouse in town. This 3-bay Queen Anne style dwelling with hipped roof and front and side cross gables, louvered wooden shutters, two interior brick chimneys, 11 bay wraparound front porch with turned posts, beaded spindle work frieze in a figure 8 pattern, sawn brackets and den-tilled cornice, stain glass window. The interior includes beautiful feather painted doors, pocket door, wooden door knobs, oak flooring, transoms above many of the doors, original claw foot tub, an antique parlor stove, and too many more details to mention.

What does your dream house look like? Is it ornate and elegant like this one, or do you prefer something more modern?

Hugs and Happy Reading,

Misha

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amazing (adj.) causing sudden and overwhelming wonder; wonderful; astonishing; astounding

I may not know you personally, but I am sure that you are amazing. And here are three reasons why:

1. You get out of bed every day.

Sure, it may not seem like much. But if you consider the state of the world (especially in 2020), the simple act of “rise and shine” can be a heroic feat. So when you put your feet on the floor every morning, remember: you’ve just taken the first step toward having a great day.

“Give people high-fives for just getting out of bed. Being a person is hard sometimes.” Kid President

2. You smile at people even when you don’t feel good.

I can see you now: you’re standing in line for coffee, or at the grocery store. The weight of the day is riding heavy on you. Maybe you’re tired or feeling low. The person in front of you turns casually and catches your eye. And what do you do? You smile. Even with our masks on, eye-smiles still shine bright, and can light up even the darkest heart. So keep smiling, sunshine! Who knows, maybe it will even change the world.

“Everyone smiles in the same language.” – George Carlin

3. You have dreams.

Universal truth: life is hard. We are all making our way through the maze of human existence. And yet, even when the path is dark and the destination seems hopeless, you have dreams of something sunny and bright. You envision a happier life for yourself and your family, or maybe an artistic goal finally realized, or peace on Earth and goodwill towards all creatures, great and small. Or maybe you simply picture a time when we can all congregate and hug at will. Whatever your dreams, large or small, you have them. And that, dear friends, causes wonder and astonishment. It is amazing, and so are you.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman

❤️❤️❤️

Hugs and Happy Reading,

Misha

Author’s Note #1: I’m sure that I’ve posted this quote before, but the sentiment is so true that it deserves another share.

Author’s Note #2: This post is a little more serious than I had intended it to be, but I decided to leave it as-is rather than coax it into a more jolly frame of mind.

The first time that I truly ran up against one of Life’s Brick Walls was in 2011, when my father passed away. “Life’s Brick Walls” is my term for events that just stop you in your tracks. They come in varying sizes of “un-scalability,” but they always seem to involve a loss: of a job, of a relationship, of a loved one. There you are, skipping happily (or at least semi-happily) down the road of life, and all of a sudden, boom: Brick Wall. That path has come to an end, and you weren’t even consulted about it.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So, what do you do? Well, if you’re like me, you just stop and sit there: looking up at the wall, wondering when the Celestial Corps of Engineers will realize that they’ve constructed the thing in the wrong spot (not to mention building without a permit) and come to remove that offensive pile of bricks. But after a while — a long while or a short while, depending on the circumstances — you realize that the wall isn’t going anywhere. This wasn’t a mistake that can be rectified by someone in charge. It’s a permanent structure.

And then there’s only one thing to do: move forward.

How you do that is an individual matter. Maybe you tunnel through, or climb over, or work your way around to the other side. (Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can tear down the wall altogether; but that’s not an easy matter.) For me, it had a lot to do with fortifying my personal goals, cultivating my spiritual life, and trying to reach out into the world, instead of just looking in. I wasn’t always successful, but hey, at least I was inching on down the road.

The above was true in 2011 when I lost my dad, and true again in 2018 when I lost my mom. (Not to say that I have truly “gotten over” either loss. I buried a bit of my heart with each of them, and I don’t think that one actually does “get over” the death of a loved one. You just get a point where you realize that they are gone, and you are here, and it’s up to you to make the most of the time you have left. Which brings me back to moving forward. Anyway…)

In March of 2012, I was down in Orlando with my husband and my in-laws. At that point, about a year after Dad had passed away, I was doing much better but still trying to work my way through the loss. In a small souvenir shop I found a button which pretty much summed up everything I needed to know: Forward is the best possible direction. I’ve carried that little bit of truth with me ever since.

Right now, in September of 2020, we are all dealing with a series of Brick Walls. And the one concept that everyone seems to agree on is that we have to keep moving forward. Each of us, individually and together, have to tunnel through, or climb over, or work our way around. It would be great if we tear down the walls altogether, but given the height, breadth, and depth of some of these walls, that is a very tall order (pardon the pun).

My hope for all of you, dear friends, is that you are finding your own path forward, in whatever way works best for you. As for me, I’m back to my old standby, my Three Musketeers of Forward-ness: fortify my personal goals, cultivate my spiritual life, and try to reach outward to family, friends and community, rather than looking inward. I may not always be successful, but hey, at least I will be inching on down the road.

❤️❤️❤️

What about you, my friends? Do you have any advice to share on moving forward?