goodbye, dear house.

SONY DSC SONY DSCSo this graphic represents the things that make our household go. All the chores and things that we did at our old house. I made it the summer before I started working full-time, just so we knew, all of us, what was really going on. 

SONY DSC SONY DSCDear House, 

Thank you for being our first home. We had a lot of fun laughing times with each other, and with our small and bigger children, inside your walls. Jonas grew  3-plus feet.  Sylvan grew from 22 inches to 58 inches. Sylvan and Jonas had the chicken pox. And Sylvan concurrently had the whooping cough, so we were quarantined inside your walls.
SONY DSC ~this is what happens when a bird hits the window (WordPress is being a jerk and I can’t center this)~

And we cooked and ate a lot of meals as a family. But when we first moved in, there was so much that you needed. I feel happy knowing that we left you in better shape than we found you. Remember the acres of terrible wallpaper? That really cheap awful plastic wallpaper that we peeled off of almost every wall? We replaced the horrible dark, cheap cabinets in the kitchen with sky blue cupboards and beautiful stone handles that Jake made from Lake Champlain stones. Or that ridiculous linen closet…with no shelves?!  A lot of the cosmetic changes we made had us wondering about the sanity and (lack of) aesthetic sense of the previous owners.
SONY DSCWe left you with a beautiful clothesline that dried so many loads of our laundry by means of the clean wind and warm sun, right next to the garden and the bluebirds and the field of hay. When I hung up the laundry, I loved looking at the early apple blossoms from the nearby tree, and later, at the bluest sky that limned every rosy apple like a halo. The clothesline was a haven: I could take a moment away from bickering people, do something productive and helpful and get a break.
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We left you with a lovely chicken house, perfectly sited so that there was ample shade in the summer and a bit of protection from the winter winds. I made it with help because Sylvan loved watching chickens when he was about 1.5. It was my first construction project; he helped by dumping out the nails on the floor and climbing the ladder. Now there’s electricity to both the chicken house and the other shed; Jake did that. We put a new roof on to keep us all dry! There’s a compost now. And wow, did we have a lot of help from our family doing all of these things for you. 

SONY DSCRemember when the kitchen sink and dishwasher drained directly under the house and into the crawlspace? Totally 3rd world! And in the middle of the coldest part of winter, Jake and Ike and a friend crawled under that nasty place and connected those pipes to the other pipes that took wastewater away and added insulation under the kitchen floor where there had been none. Super awful job on both counts.
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Built-in shelves. New paint. All of this brought you to a new level of practicality and beauty. You are the house I  lived in the longest in my life: eleven years! Sylvan was born at home just 18 days after we moved in, under the watchful eye of that bluebird.
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So this past weekend, we said goodbye to you. Your new owners are adorable and young, sweet people. It was hard to hear the echoes in the empty rooms. There were so many last-minute details, random things that belonged nowhere but needed to be put somewhere. We had help again from our friends and family, those people who keep showing up for all the big events.

I had to go to work this week and it felt like I was trying to function at a normal level, but that I just had this big event that had completely consumed and exhausted me on a really deep level. Almost like having a baby. So I’m still recovering, sleeping so deeply every night (which is different than having a newborn). And no, we have not found our next house yet; we’re renting this winter (photos to follow).
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I left the curtains in our bedroom that I made. They’re faded now. But maybe your new owners will use them until they have something better. And a very special spitball is still on the ceiling of the dining room, left by a very special babysitter. It “conveyed” with the property.

We’re taking with us a lot of wonderful memories with you. Thank you. With love.

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2 responses to “goodbye, dear house.

  1. Iris,

    Very well-written description of the joys of living there and the sadness of leaving your first home, and again the joy of the next chapter. No wonder you were so consumed and exhausted. Onward to the next adventures!! Continued joy to you all!!

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