In Talpa we had our first experience living in a parsonage. The church was small and had not had a pastor to live on the field in quite a few years. When we made the decision to move there, it created a great deal of excitement. Shannon began to paint the rooms with bright cheery colors. We also painted the outside trim. We wanted the community to see signs of life there since we lived next door to the church. I would need to work part time to provide for us and caught a ride daily to work. This would be our first experience with people dropping by to talk. One day when I came home a lady had visited Shannon and stayed all afternoon. Shannon was worn out. She had a splitting headache. Once again, I would learn that a pastor’s wife can carry a heavy load. Being the loving, cheerful person that she is, she has always been a gracious hostess to those who come to our home.
The house at Talpa was a good size, but it only had one bathroom. I think it originally had not had indoor plumbing because the bathroom seemed like a converted closet. You could have soaked your feet in the tub while standing at the sink among other multitasking options in that tiny room. It became a place of joy and laughter for us. It was while we lived in that house that we first learned that we were expecting our first child, Brooke. She would be born at our second pastorate, but that is another story.