What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Some Morning Retrospection

ret·ro·spec·tion  (definition via internet)
noun: retrospection; plural noun: retrospections
  1. "The action of looking back on or reviewing past events or situations, especially those in one's own life."

My morning "retrospection" is a reflection on thoughts, actions, and "dreams" from yesterday that have lingered into today.  I will elaborate as we go...

We took a little ride yesterday, and as we passed by this old "Florida Cracker-style house" , I begged my hubby to pull over so I could take a picture. He did so, a bit reluctantly, because there wasn't much room alongside the road to do so safely, but he finally managed to stop, and I stepped out of the car for a brief moment and snapped this photo. Why? Because I love the style, the historical value, and the enchanting charm of this old house with its rusty tin roof and rambling front porch overgrown with sprawling vines and summer grasses.  Something about this old homeplace just spoke to my heart as I contemplated the memories of days gone by and the lives of those who lived, laughed, and loved in this place and called it "home"..."be it ever so humble, there's no place like home."    

Of course, when I got back home I immediately placed this picture on my Facebook page, and mentioned how much I'd love to "explore" it further and perhaps get a picture of the side view of the house, as I could barely glimpse a back extension of a breezeway and an  attached summer kitchen--a typical type of structure for that day and time. I further stated that it didn't appear to be inhabited. Several of my friends commented right away about the charm of this place, and a few even had further insights into the historical significance of the summer kitchen...
From my friend Mirl: "They would build the kitchen away from the house in case of fire. Also to cut down on the heat!" 
And regarding the double front doors on the porch... 
From my friend Lonnie: "Notice two front doors. This was to allow the parents access to the porch after the young'ins went to sleep."

Also about the front porch:
From my friend Judy: "Shelled peas many times on a porch like that." 
Others gave good advice about being careful for "critters" and/or "snakes" in the grass...which is a real possibility here in Florida.

But one friend made a comment that rather caught me off guard and kind of spoiled the happy mood of the moment.  
She said, "Do you own that property? Aren't there No Trespassing laws in every state?"   

My first thought was not kind, so I had to pray before answering, but even that came with some difficulty.  Finally I just responded this way: "No I don't. Yes there are. I merely said I would "like" to explore and take more pictures. My Goodness! Can't a girl dream?"

She later retracted her comment, so perhaps she realized that she came across rather strongly...but I must admit, it made me think.  Was I wrong to want to "explore" this place?  Was I truly "trespassing" by stepping out of my car to take pictures?  I realize that sometimes in my zeal to get the best pictures there are times that I may "step over the line" to get a little bit closer, or to get a better perspective...but I guess I never honestly thought I was trespassing!  So this morning I am doing some internal retrospection into my heart, my motives, and my thoughts.  I certainly don't want to give even the appearance of doing something wrong or inappropriate at any time, even if my intentions were honest and noble...or just wanting to get the "BEST" shot!!  (hmmm, maybe a little pride there?)

Here are a few scriptural passages that came to my attention on this subject:

"Test all things;
hold fast what is good.
Abstain from every form of evil"
I Thessalonians 5:21-22

"Let love be without hypocrisy.
Abhor what is evil. 
Cling to what is good."
Romans 12:9

"Be of the same mind toward one another.
Do not set your mind on high things, 
but associate with the humble. 
Do not be wise in your own opinion."
Romans 12:16

"If it is possible, as much as depends on you,
live peaceably with all men."
Romans 12:18

"Love does no harm to a neighbor;
therefore love is the fulfillment of the law."
Romans 13:10

Okay, Lord, I get it.  Pride is something I need to work on, as is my own opinion of myself and what I think.  Perhaps this friend, even in what I considered to be an unfair judgment, was sent to remind me to be more careful in my "zeal"...watch out that I do not "step across that line"... not just in taking the "best pictures", but in all of my life.  It is so easy to sometimes blur the lines a little bit here and there, and before we know it we have stepped too far out of line.  

Romans 13:12-14 says:

"The night is far spent, 
the day is at hand.
Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness,
and let us put on the armor of LIGHT.
Let us walk properly, as in the day,
not in revelry and drunkenness, 
not in lewdness and lust,
not in strife and envy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make NO provision for the flesh,
to fulfill its lusts."

 So, I may never get that perfect picture of the backside of that house...unless there is someone to give me permission to do so.  Perhaps the Lord has given me this little "warning" to protect me from harm!  Who knows? There may be some critters hiding there after all!
Thank You, Lord, for your watchcare over my body as well as my soul.  Amen.


  1. I always think about critters of all kinds in places like that! Critters can come in all sizes, shapes and forms--as in human critters too! Be careful, very careful! (I've always dreamed of finding places like that---and exploring them too!) It's a good thing we weren't together! lol

    1. Yes, I know we could easily become "sisters in crime", so it is good to be fore-warned! Ha ha!!

  2. Because of the likelihood of critters, I wouldn't have been as brave as you. But, since it has been abandoned and nobody living there, it seems innocent enough to take a pic and want to take a look around inside. Usually a sign is posted that says no trespassing. More importantly, I like the message from your retrospective thoughts. There are many times when I have had a check in my heart about doing something and others don't understand. I don't want to do anything that gives the appearance of evil.
    I like that old house and thanks for sharing the picture. It looks as though it might have been a fairly nice house for a cracker family back then. I would have pictured a two room shack.

    1. Thank you for your kind thoughts, Nonnie. Yes, I think it had some real charm in its day...with decorative "corbels" on the porch posts, and even the attached breezeway with the summer kitchen was a type of luxury for those days. I didn't notice any "No Trespassing" signs posted, but that still doesn't give me freedom to explore too closely. Sometimes I need to remember the old saying "curiosity killed the cat"...and mind my manners! LOL.

  3. If that was my property I would be honored to have you there. Of course, being Florida, God only knows what's lurking behind that house. Could be tourists! ;-)

    1. Ha ha!! You never know...could be "snow birds"! Thank you! I can't help but be a little curious...but I have to try and control my compulsive tendencies!

  4. On YouTube are many young people who explore old buildings and abandoned homes like the Brothers of Decay. Sometimes at great risk. Many of them get police permission to film first.
    You did nothing wrong stopping for photos and if you want to take photos of the back you can call around to see who owns the place and ask permission. Most people are only too happy to give the go ahead.

    Yes, be careful of snakes! The term 'snake in the grass' is a real good description of a dangerous person isn't it? I paused on that one.
    I feel sorry for old houses that are left to 'die' as it were.
    I like to imagine them refreshed and happy with a good family living and loving inside.
    Imagine the rain on that good old tin roof?
    My parents' home had a summer kitchen and double front doors. One into the enclosed front porch and then another into the house in the hallway by the stairs and then French doors into the living room.
    There was a door in the hallway running along the stairs that went directly to the kitchen so You didn't have to go through the whole house to get to the back.
    So glad you shared this sweet house.

    1. Thank you Annie, for your kind words. Your parents' home sounds really interesting! Was that in the south? Usually homes with summer kitchens were in the south somewhere. Was it an old, historical type home? You have my curiosity up here! Yes, I am going to be more careful about where I step and film...I am still curious about this sweet little house, but I will see about asking before I go any further.

    2. My parent's home was a tall thin Victorian type in New Jersey. New Jersey is sub tropical believe it or not and can get very humid hot in the summer. Our house had the original stoves in it when we moved in and very old wall paper. The bathroom was built on the upstairs landing since before that it was outside I suppose! You could sit on the toilet and wash your face. The original plumbing was still working when I inherited the house in 1994. It had old gas jets on the walls for lamps and in the ceilings and a small butlers pantry in the little kitchen. Good meals came out of that small kitchen.

    3. Wow! Sounds like quite an interesting old home. Did you sell it? I would love to see pictures of it sometime if you have any. It sounds so interesting. Definitely a place I'd love to "explore"!

  5. As Annie said about old houses left to "die," I have always has the same sentiment when I see a home abandoned and dilapidated. Who lived there? Why did they leave? Who owns the property, and why did they let it fall into such disrepair? It's always saddens me.
    And yes, Pamela, in our "zeal," we often step out in front of God, not waiting to ask Him what to do. That is pride, and something all of us are guilty of at some time or another. I've certainly had my fair share!
    Thank you for your thoughtful words and the photo of the lonely house (with critters just waiting to bite!).

    1. Thank you, Martha! I've certainly had to do some real soul searching today...and who would think it, over taking a picture of an old, abandoned house alongside the road? But, better THAT than for something much bigger and graver. Thankful for the Lord getting my attention and redirecting me to look to Him for answers and direction. But...doesn't this old house stir up the imagination...and make you want to write about it??? Inspiration comes in many forms!!

  6. Pam: Like you, my imagination sometimes 'kicks in' when I see an old house. If you were to pursue the idea of getting more pictures, I suggest you take the time to go to the court house of that county and ask how you can find the owners of that house and then contact them and ask permission to go onto the land and take exterior shots of the house. We had a cousin who had a house up here in Indiana that had two front doors. Some friends of mine have a house not far from us that have two front doors. It seems to have been a style of architecture.

    1. Thank you, Cecelia, for your thoughts on this idea. I don't know if I want to go to all that trouble just to get more pictures, so I'll probably just enjoy looking at it from the road the next time we pass by. I can still envision the old folks on the porch, shelling their peas and rocking in the rocking chairs in the cool of the evening, watching the fireflies and chatting about the events of the day. I imagine they were "poor"hard working folks, who may have been richer than the rich folks in their hearts. Yes, I think the 2 front doors did used to be a style of architecture, but not sure why. I may have to research that! Have a blessed day...and how's the book coming along? Praying for you!!

    2. I received my proof copy#2 today. I checked it against my list and thought it was a 'go.' I emailed the format lady that I was satisfied and was ready to tell the printing site I approved it. There was a message that I needed to read it again (3 readings) to be sure it was correct. Well, I found four more errors that I should have caught. I apologized to the format lady via another email. I think I can check out this upcoming correction online.

    3. Wow! Proofreading is not easy...especially on your own work. Did you have any others read it as well? I know it is going to be so wonderful when it is finally complete! Praying for you during these exciting days!

  7. I love the photo and that you stopped to take it! I always wonder about who lived there. Who loved there. Who prayed there. I hope you find out who owns it and get a chance to explore more!

    1. Thank you Terri! It seems this old house is stirring up lots of folks' imaginations about it...and that's a good thing! I love thinking about the same things as you. I may still have to do more research on this house...just to satisfy all our curiosities!!! Have a blessed day...and don't work too hard!!

  8. Pam, The old, abandoned house you discovered has quite a story, I would think. Yes, care needs to be used when discovering things like this--critters of all types lurking around (some up to little good)--yet sometimes in our excitement we forget where we are and plunge ahead. It's so easy to keep going forward and not to wait on God.

    On the subject of abandoned homes: as I drive by, I ponder the stories that make up the history of the house...wondering what happened. Sadder still are those yet lived in houses that appear to be falling down around the occupants!


    1. Yes, you are right, Kim. "It's so easy to keep going forward and not to wait on God"...I am guilty of that all too often in my life. I tend to be a bit impatient and want results NOW! Thankfully, God is patient with me and helps me learn to wait and trust Him...but He's had His hands full with me! Yes, it is truly sad to see homes that are falling down around the occupants...especially when they don't seem to care. That's another story! Thank you for popping in today!!

  9. WOW...let's just say that I'm glad that the "friend" retracted her statement. It would be so good to know who owned the place now and see if they would give you permission to go inside and around back. There was nothing wrong, Pam, in 'wanting' to do those things...it isn't like you immediately walked out to explore.

    1. Thank you, Dianna, for your thoughts on this. "My friend" and I have communicated privately about this and have found that God intended it for good, even though I originally did not take it that way. It ended up being a blessing for both of us when all the "dust settled". I am exploring the idea of finding out who owns it and if I could get permission to at least take some more pictures of the rest of the house. It is a very historical little old place, and should be remembered for "posterity" and history! Thank you for understanding my heart. I think you would enjoy "exploring" with me!


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