I've been humming that old Dionne Warwick song, "A House Is Not a Home."
After years of discussing it, hubby and I finally decided it was time to downsize. The house where we've lived for 24 years was perfect to raise four children. But now, it's too big and too much to maintain, and for my husband with bad knees, has way too many steps. But of course, deciding to move from the house where you've lived longer than any other place on this earth, is so emotionally complicated that, at least for me who is the poster child for never changing anything, the decision was tough to swallow, even as I knew it was right.
Still, I put on my big girl panties, limited myself to occasional bouts of tears, and started getting the house ready for market. The marching orders from our realtor were simple. "Get rid of everything that has any relationship to you and your family." Okay, I exaggerate a little, but the principle was that we were to move our house to
No bold colors on the wall; no clever cartoons on the refrigerator door; and
for heaven's sake, no photographs of the family anywhere. Take out most of the
coats and clothes from the closets so that now each appears large enough to
rent as efficiency apartments. Dishes, pot, pans, flatwear were to be reduced to the
bare minimum, but that's okay because as long as the house was on the market, I
wasn't cooking anyway. Neutral Zone, USA
What broke my heart? When the paint crew transformed the sponge-painted yellow bedroom of my daughter, with her initial that had been carefully painted over the bed, and the door of stickers and signs that said "Keep Out," into what essentially looked like a beige motel room. Sigh.
We gave away or stored multiple pieces of furniture and decorative accessories. Despite being a sentimental wuss, I became ruthless, constantly keeping the goal in mind that we wanted buyers to see the beautiful bones of this old house. With everything cleared out, the house painted from top to bottom in Navajo White, the closets, drawers, and basement a testament to my husband's organizing ability, and after countless trips to thrift stores to donate and landfills to dump – the house was ready to sell.
And it did. It opened on a Friday morning and by Monday night we had an accepted offer. Nice couple who are going to raise their lovely family in this house that has been our home, our embracing shelter.
And this past week, we started a new chapter. Our bid for a new, smaller home, a mile from our current location, was accepted. Doesn't have the sprawling comfort of our old house. But also doesn't have three full flights of stairs! And I am reminded that while our old house is architecturally just what I like, it is the people I love who have made it a home. And Thank God, that hasn't changed. Family and friends can still gather around for important and not-so-important occasions – and in the end, that's what makes a collection of bricks a home.
Marian, the Northern half of Evelyn David-----------------------
Murder Off the Books Kindle - Nook - Smashwords - Trade Paperback
Murder Takes the Cake Kindle - Nook - Smashwords - Trade Paperback
Murder Doubles Back Kindle - Nook - Smashwords - Trade Paperback
Riley Come Home (short story)- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Moonlighting at the Mall (short story) - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Brianna Sullivan Mysteries - e-book series
I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Dog Days of Summer in Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Holiday Spirit(s) of Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Undying Love in Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
A Haunting in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Lottawatah Twister - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Missing in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Good Grief in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Summer Lightning in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Ghosts of Lottawatah - trade paperback collection of the Brianna e-books
Book 1 - I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries (includes the first four Brianna e-books)
Book 2 - A Haunting in Lottawatah (includes the 5th, 6th, and 7th Brianna e-books)
Love Lessons - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords