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COUNTRY ECHOED

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BRANDON WISCONSIN R.R-2 ZIP-53919

A Psalm of Thanksgiving in the May-June issue may seem a bit incongruous. It is a Psalm of Thanksgiving accompanied by an aching back and a head full of house dust. I can scarcely believe it has come to pass - WE ARE RETIRED AND ARE IN OUR NEW HOME.

Fifty-five years on one farm is tallying up to a grand total. I was born on this farm, left it for a few years when first married, then went back there. One seeks to evaluate all these years on departure and tie them up in one large package, knowing full-well that the fragments will scatter as long as life lasts. But I find myself amazed at how easily I can let go. God gave us this new house and I want to share with you how marvelously He worked it out all the way.

It was the latter part of August of '69. Mr. B and I had been making the rounds for some time, looking at houses. The only ones available were ones we didn't really like in places we didn't want to live. To put Mr. B in town would be courting unhappiness. We are country born and country bred. We have both grown up on Country Trunk M and I am now writing a hopeful book on the year of retirement which claims for its title Country Trunk M. 'Sort of a Route 66 thing, only quite different in content. There was one house on MM toward town which we really considered. M forks off into MM about two miles south. We went back for a second look. But before the third look, it was sold.

Now we have an old set of buildings on the farm which we always refer to as DOWN BELOW. There is a house down there which was reasonably livable forty years ago. We would come back from our house hunting adventures and remark, 'Well, we can always go DOWN BELOW, you know.' But our hearts weren't in it. Mosquitoes would eat us alive in the summer (swamp and woods), half-mile driveway road is no joke in the winter.

Time was running out. Dan, our farmer, was getting married the end of December. In the latter part of August I added this prayer to those which we had presented before. 'Dear Lord we need a roof over our heads the right place to retire. I'm not too proud, Lord, to live DOWN BELOW (somehow it makes me imagine something else) but it just doesn't make sense. Please show us what to do because we don't know. And Thank You, Lord, for the answer we will have.'

If God had a busy schedule that day He took time out to send the answer nevertheless. It came next morning. Mr. B was working on the farm land we rent from some old neighbors. Frank came out to see him as he was about his labor. He made this unexpected remark, 'You know, Alfred, we have been thinking of selling off some frontage just south of our house. We would love to have you and Mae for neighbors if you'd care to buy it.'

Mr. B was excited at the prospect, I know, for he presented me with the proposition that same forenoon. We looked at each other and agreement shone in our eyes. THIS was it.

Within a week the deal was well under way. On Labor Day we had a groundbreaking ceremony. Frank and his daughter Alva joined us and we had prayer together, after which Frank came out with a hearty AMEN. It was so right so marvelously right.

In early October excavating began. Now on March 1st we are living here. God's hand was directing. Our young couple lived with us for seven weeks and all worked beautifully. But I shall always remember the sage words of my father, 'Relatives should not be able to see one another's chimneys smoke.'

The ideal part of this place is that it is only one half mile from the farm yet around the bend in the road. We can't see what they are doing nor can they see our comings and goings. The setting and view is lovely and we have wonderful neighbors. Alva came over with three blossoming African Violet plants and seven freshly potted new ones. I had the empty pots she did the work.

So I can only conclude by saying GOD IS SURELY NOT DEAD nor is love, in our world. In spite of some misguided punks trying to uproot everything we have helped to build, God can save both our souls and our nation. We have just seen God work in this small matter. Pray with us for our land. He can work any miracle.

How we would love to hear from you, by the hundreds, saying you will join us in prayer operation 'IRON MEN ALBUM.' Thank you for the answer. So long now I know we can work up a good head of steam for we have the TOP ENGINEER at the head of the crew.

Now if I can find my typing paper to type this off, an envelope, some stamps, I will send this off.