At Home with the Hyltons
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 paulinehylton.com
We’d like to hear from you. Please share your comments below or like us on your Facebook page. Be sure to check back each month for more articles and products available at your local Christian bookstore.