Growing up in scouts my husband got to know an amazing couple - the Howards.  Mr. Ray and Ms. Anne were magnetic.  You never met anyone who didn't love the Howards.  Their house was a safe place, a welcoming place, a haven of creativity and love.  They were a saving grace to my husband.

I only got to know the Howards when I met Michael in 1996.  I loved going to their house.  It was a mismash of things collected over the years.  And while those things came from different places -- they all seemed to work together.

They had the most relaxing screened porch off the side of their house.  The porch featured an amazing fountain that continued gurgling thru gentle conversations.  It was made from a claw foot path tub with a down spout and goldfish inside.  It was perfectly imperfect.

Source: recyclart.org via La on Pinterest

I remember one hot afternoon relaxing on that porch when I noticed a cast iron bed in the middle of the flowers outside.  Mr. Ray, calmly acknowledged the bed with a , "why wouldn't a bed be in a flower bed."  Suddenly, that made sense.

While the Howards had a creative knack for making sense out of insensible things, there was something else that continually brought people back to their cottage in the pines.  It was a simple attraction that most of us forget to display in our everyday lifes.  It was respect.

Mr. Howard once told us that if you don't have respect for people they won't know that they important, that they are loved.  People can disagree but as long as respect stands tall their is still an opportunity to build important relationships.

(picture of Mr. Ray and Ms. Anne in Boy Scouts years ago)

Mr. Ray and Ms. Anne are not here with us anymore but in just a few short years, I learned so much from the Howards.  I thank God everyday for the Howards and wished the world had more people like them.

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