Saturday, November 4, 2017

this old house

An ode--of sorts--to our old house.

This old house:  

It's not much to look at--particularly on the outside--but it held a lot of memories in the almost-six years we lived there.

We brought four babies home to this old house. Our first, who was born in Kentucky, lived with me in a hotel room and then in a basement in Kentucky, then in a basement in Springfun, finally found his first "home" in this old house. 

We redid nearly everything about this old house. 

Painted walls, ripped out carpet. Put in new hardwoods. Ripped out more carpet, acid-stained floors, painted trim, retiled, regrouted, redid an entire bathroom, repurposed a dresser into a vanity, built fences, created a garden, added barn-doored storage, painted cabinets, tore out a deck, changed light fixtures, redid stair risers, added baseboards, painted floors...we changed it all. 

We put a lot of sweat into this old house, and it gave us a lot of memories in return. 

We loved the trees, the garden, the roll of the land, the back deck, the privacy and security. I loved our big master bedroom, the way we could hear our kids snickering in their rooms at night, the peonies in spring and the big maple tree over the sandbox in autumn. 

We loved the craziness of this living room.

I loved other things associated with this old house, too: The busdriver (Roxanne, who Brody inadvertently and continually called "Rocksand") who loved our kindergartener with such great intention when driving him home in the afternoon. Our neighbors across the street who were so great to--and tolerant of--us in our ignorance of cows and building fences and general "adulting." 

After that first baby, we added three more within 5 years. The one upstairs bedroom just wasn't cutting it anymore. This old house began to feel small, not because it was really tiny but because the layout didn't work for our family anymore. We had to put the boys in the basement, not an ideal situation when one of them tends to be anxious. The second bedroom on the main level was grossly undersized for two kids. Our living room didn't hold many people, and the kitchen was extra-small with a bit of awkwardness thrown in, not great for entertaining.

We were no longer driving to two different schools, where we once worked, in opposite directions. Rather Brad was driving 35 minutes in one direction several times a day in his new role, and we weren't seeing much of him because of the meetings at all hours and his inability to get away long enough for the drive. 

We wanted to invite people to this old house, to offer them hospitality and rest and friendship, but often we felt too bad to make them drive all the way out to our house, particularly since we tended to be cramped once they got there. 

We had cows that were driving the neighbors nuts, I'm sure. (We struggled to keep them inside the fence--Insert eye roll.) 

We lost a cat to what I call a "bar fight" in the trees behind us. 

We felt the tug of a move in the future, just "not any time soon." 

We still loved this old house and we weren't quite ready to move, but after mentioning to my uncle (our realtor expert!) that we would sell to one of his clients if they happened to be looking for a place like ours, he mentioned that it wouldn't take much to list it. 

So, we did a few little touch-up projects (finally replaced some flakey gold faucets that were lingering in our bathroom) and put it on the market at a price that was substantially over the recommendation. "We know it seems crazy to list at this price," we said, "but we aren't really ready to move anyway." 

Less than 24 hours later we had 3 offers, one of which was substantially over our substantially-over-the-recommended asking price. 

People apparently liked this old house as much as we did. 

We accepted the offer and moved out less than 30 days later, at which time we blinked and wondered what had just happened. 

We loved this old house. We were sad to leave it. But it was right. God made it pretty clear that it was right. And I'll be back with what we did next. 

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