My dear old house,
It’s time for us to part ways. (Sniff) Yes, I asked for this, but still . . .
I’m really going to miss you.
When we first met 11 years ago, I thought we’d be together “’til death do us part”. After a few months, I thought death might come sooner rather than later as day after day my sweet husband and I shed blood, sweat, and tears to bring you back to life. It was really hard work.
You were worth it!
Honestly, thanks to my Renaissance Man, you were a dream come true. I’d long wanted to restore an old house, and heaven knows you needed some help. With your sagging porch, three-foot-wide hole in the entry floor, and layers of peeling and painted-over wallpaper, you were a sight! But I saw the real you . . .
We were meant to be together.
After nine months of hanging out with you every day—birthing your new kitchen and master bath, replacing your old knob and tube wiring, installing new plumbing, removing wallpaper, painting, cleaning windows, and refinishing your gorgeous heart pine floors—it was finally time to move in. We’ve been together ever since.
I’ve never experienced a house-turned-home like you.
When Autumn leaves dance joyfully, you collect them in amazing drifts of color around your yard. When Winter snow falls silently outside your walls, you shelter warm and cozy inside. When Summer heat beats weary, your porch offers respite and relief. And when a sudden Spring storm brings high and howling winds, you stand steady as you’ve done for well over a century.
What a dear and dependable ol’ gal you’ve been!
It’s a bit humbling to think about it. I was there for you when you needed someone to pick you up, dust you off, and put you back into circulation.
You were there to do the same for me. I didn’t know when we met just how much I’d need you.
We’ve walked some interesting paths, the two of us, haven’t we?
Together we’ve thrown open your doors and hosted events for hundreds, lunches for two, and everything in between. When weather was nice, your ample front porch (or back brick patio) provided the perfect spot for memory-making parties. I love your versatility!
I also love that every family ever to live in you has been one to share you with the community. Hospitality is your legacy. May it always be so.
Such sweet memories . . .
I’ll never forget the day I opened your front door to find our precious Little Man sitting in his car seat on your porch (and his Mommy hiding nearby). He was merely weeks old, and it was his first visit to Nonna and Poppa’s house. A whole new world of love for you opened up that day as, together, we started sharing ourselves with the next generation.
You stood guard as I I rocked two precious grandsons (and countless other little ones), sang lullabies and silly songs, and played hide-and-seek. You listened as books were read, colors learned, and Playdough squished.
I laughed all those years ago when 1-year-old Little Man’s ball rolled under the sofa . . . and then slowly rolled back to him. Aah, the benefit of slightly sloped-to-the-middle-of-the-room floors resulting from your age. The look on his face was priceless. Somehow he innately knew that’s wasn’t “supposed” to happen.
You patiently protected as little ones learned, first, to bump their way down your sturdy staircase, and, ultimately, to scurry up and down your steps with no more than a destination in mind.
And just recently, when 4-year-old Little Sir invited me to join him on your first landing to drop balls down and “measure which one’s fastest”, I made another memory. The basketball, of course, made it to the bottom before the little ball did. When I asked him, “Why do you think the basketball got to the bottom first? he looked at me incredulously and said, “Because I sawed it with my own eyes.” Well, there you go! . . . I’m pretty sure I heard you laughing along with me.
Within your safe embrace, I’ve laughed with abandon, cried tears of agony, and learned to love more God-like. I’ve learned to take chances . . . and to trust.
Over the next few very short weeks, Renaissance Man and I will pack up our belongings and clean your beautiful woodwork one last time. I’m sure I’ll whisper many “thank yous” as I walk down Memory Lane. Listen closely. I must work quickly, so expressions of gratitude will be fleeting.
Rest assured, though, that you’ll forever hold a very special place in my heart . . . and some of your finest assets—and perfect proportions—will be duplicated in my Finally Farmhouse: built-in china cabinet, walk-in pantry, high ceilings, simple window trim and, of course, your amazing porch.
By the way, thank you for teaching me so many life lessons.
Thanks for being such a dear friend.
It’s time now to pass the torch. Time to say goodbye.
Just so you’ll know, we prayed for someone who will appreciate and respect you as much as Renaissance Man and I do.
Finally, after two-and-a-half years, we received this letter—with an offer to become your new caretakers.
We have looked for years for a home like yours. We deeply admire the fact that you have worked so hard to preserve the beauty of the original home design that we love so much. I love the smell of the old wood, the sweet music made by the creaking of the staircase, and the warmth and love we felt as we walked throughout your home. We could see our family making many cherished memories there.
You certainly did impress them!
We suspected this was the family we’ve been waiting for all along, and so I responded . . .
Thank you for your kind letter. After reading it, David and I are especially delighted to accept your offer to purchase our house. I, too, love the smell of the old wood and the creaking staircase—and it makes me very happy to know that you felt the warmth and love in our home. Leaving it behind will be like leaving a dear friend, but it’s time for us to downsize and make new memories elsewhere. I am honored that your family has chosen to be the fourth owners of this Jefferson City treasure, and my hope is that your house will sell quickly so you can be here to celebrate its 110th Christmas season. It’s truly magical when the halls are decked and tree lights sparkle in the wavy glass windows…
So old friend, we’ll celebrate one more Thanksgiving together (and I’m thankful for that!), but on December 1, you’ll be on your own to start making new memories with a new family. Be good to them as you have been to us. Introduce yourself slowly and (if you have any more) share a surprise or two with them along the way. Soon I hope they know just how lucky they are to have you.
I will always be grateful for the time we’ve had together.
With love and gratitude,
I’m linking to Thoughts of Home on Thursday at White Spray Paint.