Parsonages are different in various states. In Mississippi they were furnished, even though not the best offerings, usually from parishioners who were getting newer items in their own homes or perhaps from sales at local department stores. But we had no complaints; we had nothing of our own to bring to these parsonages.
Newly married, I moved to our first home in North Biloxi, Mississippi. Bill had already lived there for about three months. The living room had a green Naugahyde sofa, coffee table and a few occasional chairs. An upright piano stood against the wall opposite the sofa. A dining room table, seating six, situated at the far end of the living room near the door to the kitchen, always held a flower arrangement. Two bedrooms, one bathroom, and kitchen finished out the house, except for a small room Bill used for a study with a desk and only one bookcase.
The small back yard had room for a couple of rabbit hutches. We raised them to eat. One we gave to a young girl at church and told her it was a pet bunny, not one of the eating rabbits. Bill’s Aunt Roberta gave me some flowers and ferns, my introduction to gardening.
The parsonage was located not far behind the church, so we walked to the services. We married on a Saturday, spent our wedding night at the parsonage, went to church that Sunday morning and had quarterly conference with the district superintendent that evening. No regrets about not having a “proper honeymoon.” As Bill and I walked over to the church that morning some of the older men greeted us outside. One said to Bill, “At least you got a wife who is shorter than you.”
We found out later that the women of the church had a difference of opinion. The older women wanted to invite us to a home for Sunday dinner; the younger ladies thought we should want time alone at the parsonage. We would have preferred to go to someone’s home, but we returned to our own. I fried chicken and Bill taught me how to make gravy.
Kentucky and Indiana parsonages are not furnished. Before I arrived at our first parsonage in Kentucky (waiting in Alabama for our second son to arrive), Bill purchased a house full of furniture, expanding monthly payments in our budget. Now I look around our present home and there are only a few items of furniture from that purchase. We have an abundant supply, and soon to make the decision to downsize. Now with built-in book shelves in three rooms, where will all our books lodge? What furniture will we give away or store? We want a smaller house, but furnished adequately for our needs. ~ALC