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On Scattering and Gathering Stones

Ecclesiastes 3:5

"...a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them..."

My family is entering a new era, if you will. There's been a lot of scattering these past few years as my siblings have graduated high school and moved out of our childhood home. Then, we lost my grandfather this past December. Between my parents living in our childhood home (top photo) and my grandmother living independently on the farm (bottom photo), there are currently 3 people living in roughly 8,000 square feet of houses.

So now we begin the gathering process. My parents are preparing to move into the family farm before the snow flies and help my grandmother out with the snow duties and such. What this has meant is numerous moving trips from house to farm with furniture. In short, a lot of sweat equity.

L to R: Husband Ben, Doggie Blair, Brother Lincoln, Dad, Grandma, Mom

One of the bigger conversations has been, what to do with the family Packard piano, as it has been passed down 4 generations now. My great-grandmother had this piano in her retirement home in Florida and it was moved up to my grandparents' farm upon her passing. From there the piano was moved into my parents' home where I spent many, many hours practicing, especially during my senior piano recital in college. Now, my brother will be taking the piano for more educational and possible rebuilding purposes, as he is preparing to become an instrument technician in the next few years.

The beauty and meaning of this piano, despite its broken soundboard and its need for a complete string and action makeover, is that this piano has been a key part of our family's history and it will continue to be so. Despite all the scattering and gathering of the generations, the piano is still there.

And that is something I'm clinging to as our family is surrounded by chaos: there is stability. Although the piano is a poor material example, it does prove the point that despite all the changes in the past few months, our faith and our family won't change. We'll just be cozier come Christmastime.

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