At Home with the Hyltons

2 comments Posted on November 1, 2019

by Pauline Hylton

Some say you can eat off our kitchen floor. It’s true. You can find a stray grape, or a piece of lettuce, or even a tuft of bread. 

Despite our shortcomings, I’d say most of the time, people feel at home with the Hyltons.

That’s because our home belongs to the Lord. (Although, I wish He provided a housekeeper.)

We live on 66-acres outside of Mount Airy, North Carolina, AKA Mayberry. The back of our house faces a large pasture with rodeo bulls who let me feed them bread. A 60×10-foot porch looks out over the pasture and it is complete with Cracker Barrel rockers. Currently, our farm family consists of 3 dogs, 1 cat, 21 sheep, 4 chickens, and 2 pigs named Thing 1 and Thing 2.

The pigs have given us a lot of trouble. At first, we housed them near us in bendable electric fencing. Unfortunately, they did not seem to notice that it was electrified. Both when I left for work and when I returned, one snarky pig would snort, rub his dirty nose against my nice clothes and follow me through the yard. 

Recently, our pig escapees—Thing 1 and Thing 2—ran energetically behind our backyard fence as our amused dinner guests observed through a picture window. As the meal progressed, a hen made her appearance in our yard, and during dessert, we noticed our mutt eating the aforementioned bird.

Needless to say, a few of those guests have not been back.

It was exciting. And unique. And horrifying.

But over the years in several different homes, many have sat at our table.

And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Just this weekend, a couple we knew from our church in Florida spent a few days with us. Tom and I hadn’t seen them in over six years. One night as I arrived home after my 10-hour workday, the house was clean, the kitchen immaculate, and amazing smells wafted through the house. My friend baked sour cream cornbread, concocted baked potato soup with bacon and cream, and blueberry cheesecake for dessert. 

A taste of heaven. 

We caught up on the lives of our families. Our friends are experiencing some hard times in their family and so are we. In fact, last night as we chatted, I received a very upsetting phone call, and my husband and I disagreed on how to handle it. 

Mostly, I just cried because really there is nothing we can do to change anything. It’s got to be a God thing. While we talked, our friends prayed. And they weren’t like Job’s friends. They encouraged us to listen to the Lord and keep our love for each other at the forefront. 

Those are the kind of friends to have. 

It’s funny. We share our home and receive a blessing. That is how God works. 

I love it.

And I love them. In fact, I hope they come back soon. I might even have some of my own bacon for that tasty soup.

Pauline Hylton is a freelance writer/social worker in the hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her debut novel, Growing in Christ—From the Ground Up released in late July. She loves her Lord, her family, and dark chocolate. Not necessarily in that order.  More information can be found at 

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  • 11/01/2019
    J.D. Wininger said:

    Ah, the joy found within a welcoming home. Like your family, living on dirt roads, surrounded by acres and acres of pasture land, and all the animals (barn cats, Bubba the dog, Magic and Elpis the donkeys, and a whole mess of cows and calves), we have the dirtiest car around. We strive to have the most welcoming home though. Mama taught me many years ago that “There’s no such thing as strangers, only new friends we haven’t made yet.”

    The most difficult thing to learn is that we can’t always change other people. As much as we try, as much as we pray, it’s not in our power to do so. It is in God’s power however. Sometimes in the midst of a trial, faith appears to be a fleeting hope that you can’t seem to hold onto. You’re right. You can’t in your power; you can when you allow the Holy Spirit to come alongside you. God’s blessings and lots of prayers.

  • 11/03/2019
    Rita Butler said:

    Just got my signed copy today of Pauline’s book brought by those mutual Florida friends. Only read a bit so far but I love it and I’m thinking of giving some as Christmas gifts! May God bless Pauline and those who read her book!


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