THE PARTY’S OVER: Final Goodbye to My Old House

As I finish organizing our new space and preparing some “all about Christmas” posts to share with you, here’s one last look at the beautiful old house Renaissance Man and I called “home” for over a decade. I wrote this letter a few days ago—on our final day together.

December 1, 2016

 

My dear old friend,

 

It’s time to turn out the lights and say, “Goodbye”.

 

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Although it wouldn’t have been original in 1907, this is the oldest light in the house. (1920s/30s) Each light bulb can turn on independently of the others.

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Today Renaissance Man and I will sign away our caretaker responsibilities and turn you over to your new family. After enjoying your company for so long—and then wondering if you’d ever sell—it’s a bit surreal that today has actually arrived.

 

What a pleasure it was making memories within your walls!

 

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I will miss this beautiful old wavy glass!

 

I whispered “thank you” a few times over the past couple of weeks as I packed up our belongings. You’ve certainly been good to our family.

 

But today, I find myself simply walking around your empty spaces and admiring your details.

 

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Not sure I can pick a favorite. Can you?

 

Some of those details you’ve sported for over a century—ever since 1907 when you were built. Others were added just over a decade ago when you were brought back to life.

 

I love them all!

 

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It’s those details that give you your personality. Without them you’d be a modern-day, cookie cutter house with no character. Details matter.

 

But without a family to shelter, you’re just beautifully detailed architecture.

You’re a pretty house. A very pretty house . . .  but you’re not a home.

 

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Soon your empty rooms will once again hold furniture, and your walls will display artwork. Smells of dinner cooking will waft from the kitchen, and new voices will fill the air. You’ll meet your new caretakers.

 

I think you’ll love them! They certainly do love you.

 

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It was an honor getting you back into circulation. You should be “good to go” for another century, so make the most of it!

 

I wish you all the best, old friend. May the future hold many wonderful opportunities for you to be the very best version of you. May you care for and protect your new family even as I know they’ll care for you.

 

Antique handmade tambour lace curtains from Katohan, NY estate

Antique handmade tambour lace curtains from Katohan, NY estate

 

I’ll still be nearby, so don’t be surprised if I drive past on occasion. You—the Witt-Turner House—will always hold a special place in my heart. Thanks for being more than a house.

 

Thank you for being our home.

 

Fondly,

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Even as Renaissance Man and I said goodbye (by choice) to our home, many of our neighbors here in East Tennessee were losing theirs . . . and not by choice. Wildfires that ravaged the Great Smoky Mountains last week left devastation that will change our neighbors’ stories forever. To date, there are 14 known fatalities, at least 134 people injured, and an estimated 1,684 structures damaged. Dolly Parton, one of East Tennessee’s beloved daughters, has committed to provide $1,000/month for six months to families who lost their homes. If you’d like to join her in helping these families, please consider giving to Dolly’s My People Fund. Let’s do all we can to make it a Merry Christmas and bring peace on Earth in the midst of tragedy for our fellow man.

 

Comments

  1. Susan, you are one in a million! As busy as you must be with the many tasks of moving, you have still found time to remember your neighbors as they go through the holidays after losing their homes. You’ll always have fond memories of your old house but I have a feeling that it won’t be too long before you cherish your new one just as much. Enjoy the season, and may your new home bring many blessings to your family.

  2. I believe your home has had and will continue to have a very good and well-loved life.♥

  3. You were never better in your gift of words saying “good bye” and in describing what those living close to the Smokies have experienced. My heart had been there all week hurting for them. Do you know David and Lindy lost their home? He sent word to pray for those who were less fortunate than they who also lost everything.

    Can’t wait to see your new temporary home.

    Blessings

    • No, Patricia, I hadn’t heard about David and Mindy’s loss. It’s so tragic here, but thankfully Gatlinburg is now open again. Hopefully people won’t stay away but will instead return to show their support. Much was damaged, but MANY businesses are still intact and ready to receive guests.

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