Driving ever so carefully, I glanced back into the rear view mirror several times each minute. The man at the antique store had done a good job in securing the 4 pieces of the armoire into the truck bed, making sure that the blankets were covering every part and that the ropes would not rub, but this was such a big purchase for me, I still felt uneasy. I was coming down a long stretch of good road. It was quiet, except for an occasional whoosh of the wind as another car passed. It gave me some time to relax. I felt so content. I loved living out in the country, even if we only had 3 acres. It was an amazing place to raise our daughters Emily and Joy. Emily already in her first year of college and Joy would follow the next year. “And finally” I thought, “we were not so strapped financially that we seemingly had to say no to everything!”
I gazed around as I drove. The hills gave character to this area unlike any place around it. Not big jutting hills, but gently rolling swipes of land that carried your eyes to the farthest point. Somehow it all of a sudden felt very familiar to me. As I came to a crossroad, I noticed the sign. “This was it!” I thought. “This was the intersection JoAnn told me about.”
My precious neighbor and wonderful friend loved to wander. At any given time, if Joann was driving somewhere, she was subject to just venture off the beaten path …and well, just go and explore. She had, only one week ago, told me about a magnificent piece of land she spotted and if I remembered correctly, it was just 3 or 4 miles down this road…the exact opposite direction of home.
I wheeled the truck from the right lane into the left turn lane. I had to find it. She said it was at the top of the hill and there was a gate..yes, a gate right after a bridge I think.. The light turned green and I headed North with my precious cargo in tow. Carefully watching the odometer, I slowed down after traveling 3 miles. I could see the road still rising in front of me, so I kept driving.
“There it is!” I gasped. Pressed into the landscape was a large metal stock gate coming off of a short gravel drive. I pulled up and turned off the engine. I gazed around. This had to be it. I walked over to the gate and noticed the chain about it fastened with a combination lock. No one seemed to be anywhere around. Again I looked right and left. Grabbing the gate with both hands, I hoisted myself over it as though I was mounting a horse from one side and dismounting on the other. I shoved my keys into my back pocket and started to walk to my right. The driveway was not quite at the top of the hill, so I ventured in that direction.
There was a thrill of anticipation. My heart was beating fast and I felt excited for no apparent reason. Trekking about 100 yards North I crested the top of the hill. My mouth fell open. I could not take in the magnificent view in just one sweep. My eyes danced back and forth several times trying to absorb as much as I could. The hills rolled into each other for miles like waves coming to shore. The grass of the back pasture swayed back and again with the constant breeze that was rising from the hundred foot slope. This was my home. At that very second this land claimed me and I knew God had just bestowed a very special undeserving gift into my hands. Bordering what I knew was going to be the back pasture for our horses was a line of forest. Not just a pine forest, which was the norm for South Texas, but massive ancient oaks and pecan trees. I kept walking. There were grape vines hanging from tree limbs spilling the unclaimed fruit to the ground. Stepping through the underbrush and into the forest landed me under a canopy of trees, each so sheltering that the ground beneath was surprisingly clear. It was then that I happened upon a very special place. In front of me were 3 trees that had, over the years, grown together as one. It was a God made sculpture and from that moment on named, The Three Graces. It was there that I knelt down and thanked God for this gift. No physical evidence or proof was available showing that the land was mine…only faith. I knew what I heard. I knew what I felt. This was my new home.