Quietude: A Relationship Baseline

My story is not everyone’s story, of course, but some will identify with it. My relationship with my children has revolved around quiet times more than any other type of activity. I won’t say that we abhorred noise (got some stories to negate that) but our household was quiet, and I think we came to associate that with comfort, safety, calm, peace, refuge and rest.

When they were small, the girls did a lot of quiet playing. We read a lot. During their school years, they studied at home so the house was quiet during school hours. They liked being in their rooms, having friends over to talk or play games. As music got more prominent in their lives, there were occasional loud moments but there didn’t seem to be a time when they were afraid of silence.

Sunset silence, on a walk.

This is a very loud world and I’m kind of glad that we adopted quietude as a way of life, a baseline. I still see Julie and Esther doing their best to plan quietude into their lives. I have many memories of morning coffee time with one or the other of them, in a quiet coffee shop or outside on the patio. We take quiet walks, just us and nature. We sit around campfires with only the sound of the flames and some nightbirds. We sit in the kitchen late at night talking, but not always talking, sometimes just being. We like quiet sports, bike riding, hiking, kayaking and horseback rides. It’s not just okay to be quiet, it’s actually healthy and healing.

Quietude is also about calming and bringing peace, and often when I’m bothered about the twists and turns of life, I call or text my girls. The relationships we’ve built help settle me, make me feel known, heard and somehow calmer. A quiet talk with someone who loves me, listens to my story, maybe even prays with me is the best medicine ever!

Quietude in our relationships tells us it is okay to retreat to a dark room with a headache if we need to. We understand when one of us needs to leave the crowd, or get away from overstimulation. One on one has always been my preferred way of interacting and definitely preferred in my relationship with my daughters. It allows for being quiet, personal, and more deeply relational.

My daughters don’t live near enough to have regular, in person quiet times with me, but my mom and my youngest brother do. Most every morning I take the short walk over to Mom’s front door and open it, knowing the smell of fresh coffee will be there inside. Mom will wave at me from her recliner and we will just sit for a while before we begin to talk. A few minutes later we will hear the door open again and my brother will come in and sit down with us. We talk about what we’re reading, what’s on our mind, how our families are getting along, what our plans are for the day. But often we are quiet, just sitting, thinking. And that’s okay.

Just thinking, in the woods where it’s quiet.

A to Z: Selling Our House (Letter Q)

In the midst of all the house fixing confusion our cat disappeared sometime Monday night. We have been looking for her and fearing that she might have come to a sad end. Tonight, up in the loft of the rental house, the husband and I were talking when I suddenly heard loud cat yowling. We jumped up and went to the attic door and found our Foxy, rather disoriented, but ready to be rescued.

Foxy almost got sold with the house…


She had gone exploring during the night and found the doors to the rental house open and beckoning…  The next morning the painter had put the hardware back on the attic door and shut it. We’ve been calling and looking for three days and she never said a word until now!


Q Qualified Buyer

Q for Qualified Buyer is so very important to us as we set out to sell our house. I am not a financial whiz kid but I gather that being “qualified” means that a buyer has some money and has good credit, according to a bank who will lend him the money for a mortgage.  Does that sound simple, and isn’t that what we want? Yes.

I didn’t learn much about being qualified as a buyer when we bought our first house, because we bought that one for $1. That’s a story for another time, in fact I may have already told it somewhere in this blog.

When we bought our second house, the amount that the lender wanted us to put down was about 20% of the price of the house. I think that’s what they would like to see. If you have a good record of paying off credit cards or other borrowed money, the bank may lend the other 80% at whatever interest rate is in fashion at the time. All this takes some talking and filling out forms at the bank or home loan company. They will also want to know things like how long the buyer wants to take to pay the loan back. A buyer can do all this before they even find a house. The bank will tell them how much of a house they can afford, so they can shop in that price range.

When a buyer (or his realtor) comes to us, in the near future, and says “I want to buy your house!”, the next thing we want to hear him say is “Hey, I’m prequalified. Yea!!”

On other property, we have had buyers make offers which we accepted, and then found out later that they were unable to get a mortgage. This is sad because it wastes a lot of time, and you, the seller, are back where you started.

This is very simplistic, I know, but as I said, I am not full of details about the subject. I have to confess, the details bore me, and I can never remember them from one time to another. I’ve only bought 3 houses in my life and they’ve been very far apart.  But, qualified starts with Q and that’s what counts.

We’re aiming at quality. The discount, not so much.