Thank You Pete Rolader

Our new home is an older house.  I call it the “new to us” house.  It is a house with a history.  It even came with a name, “Frog Hollow.”  I remember reading books when I was a child where the houses had names.  I loved mysteries. And Nancy Drew, Trixie Beldon, and Cherry Ames always seemed to find themselves embroiled in adventures at houses, ranches, or mansions that had mysterious names.  In the stories I read, the people were always finding long-lost possessions in attics or secret hiding spots and I remember thinking how great it would be to live in a house that wielded up treasures among the rickety rafters. Frog Hollow has given us some thrift-store-grade kitschy booty as well as some moth-eaten linens and lamp shades and mid-century modern furniture that was unfortunately water-logged beyond repair.  My favorite piece of kitsch is a relish dish for lettuce, tomatoes and pickles in the shape of a hamburger, complete with bun-lid, how fun!  Our most interesting find to date was a toilet seat and lid painted in a camouflage pattern.  I just know that there has to be a great story behind this little find. Everyone tells me that Mr. Rolader, the man who preceded us at Frog Hollow, was quite a character.  He was active in the little lake community where we now live and in the business and legal worlds of the greater Atlanta area.  From what I understand, he was a man of great integrity who had a fabulous sense of humor. He had a family who admired and loved him.  He was opinionated and independent.  From all indications, we have a lot to live up to as we move into “the old Rolader place.” Neighbors around the lake have given us glimpses of the myriad stories regarding Mr. Rolader.  I’m sure the camo-toilet seat story will one day be told.  I’m looking forward to hearing more stories of Frog Hollow from decades past.  There is something special about being a part of a place that has a history.  America, with all her shopping malls and spec-house quick builds, doesn’t tend to cultivate this appreciation on the whole. We’ve become consumed by, well, consumption.  So much so that even something so large as a house could be considered disposable.  Some folks considered our 40-year-old mostly-brick house with great structural bones a “tear down” and couldn’t understand why we would bother with renovating. Stewardship, for me, isn’t simply about giving 10% of our income back to God.  It’s about those everyday decisions of caretaking.  Fixing that which is broken seems, to me, to be at the heart of the Christian tradition. We profess that we worship a Creator God who also re-creates, redeems, and makes new. We worship a God who is in the re-nova-tion  business, as it were.  And while, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I do not feel called to this particular form of renovation again, there is something satisfying about bringing beauty and wholeness to something that was in need of a little TLC. And about continuing the life-stream started by another family who lived happy years with children and grandchildren inside these walls. So, to start our tenure as the caretakers of Frog Hollow, I feel I should say a warm, “Thank You” to Mr. Rolader and his family.  Thank you for starting us on this journey.  Thank you for the shadows of memories settling in like an early morning fog amongst the new spring leaves of the oaks and the silver maples and the blooms of the dogwoods, quince, and camelias. Thank you for helping to build this small town nestled into the hustle and bustle of Atlanta into a true community.  We feel blessed to walk in your footsteps.

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