What an odd thing, to sit and write the story of our summer, on the brink of closing on our home and opening a new home. What a place to sit. It is a little droopy. It is a little tired. But it’s also filled with a spark of joy.
I began this summer thinking it would be a summer of violin lessons, tennis playing, swimsplashing, and lots of blogging. My list of semi-drafted blog posts is ongoing in my mind. I write while I’m nursing the baby down, sometimes when I’m cleaning the dishes, or doing my physical therapy exercises. I think how I would phrase this or that. I write it all in my head.
I did not think the summer would entail purging, packing, waiting, wondering, and then rejoicing. I thought it be normal.
I’ve sat to write this story several times, interrupted by life, feelings, and uncertainty. I can sit to write it now because our old house has new owners waiting to sign on the dotted line, and we have a new house where we will sign on the dotted line, all inside the next two weeks.
My ancestral home! The home I thought I’d be waked out of. The home we wondered which of our children would want to take over from us. The home that, despite its grand size, couldn’t actually accommodate our intergenerational living.
And that was the crux of it. As my my mom’s arthritis in her hip grew worse and worse, the three flights of stairs to go up & down became more difficult. More of an effort. Nearly impossible to do carrying a baby or helping a toddler.
So we brainstormed all the ways we could modify the house to fit our needs: access to a living area for my parents that didn’t require multiple flights of stairs. We looked into this and priced out that; I was sure there was a solution, refusing to face the idea of selling.
This house had become my life blood and I couldn’t–wouldn’t–detach from it.
Many hours of talking, looking, thinking, mourning, and accepting later, my sweet husband and I arrived at the same conclusion as my parents: sell the house, trust that God would provide the right house, and camp at my sister’s down the street while the house went on the market.
Too many friends had shared their horror stories of driving around all day with their many kids in the car while realtors and potential buyers looked and inspected. I was grateful that my sister offered her home to us without blinking (SORRY FOR THE COLORING ON THE FURNITURE AND BOOGERS ON THE WALL!). Eternally grateful.
Quietly, quickly, very quickly, I poured over our accumulated junk and precious paraphernalia in the attic, closets, basement, cupboards. How did we amass so much . . . stuff?? About six weeks later, the house was wiped down, wiped clean, and out we went.
The bitter sweetest part for me was learning to detach, completely surrendering to God’s plan for our family, and trusting, living out that trust, and letting go of the house. Okay, so that’s lots of parts. I packed boxes for storage at our country home, boxes for goodwill, and boxes for living at my sister’s for an indefinite period of time. Each time I sealed one shut, I thought where will I open this box?
I would walk through the house before we moved out, speaking to each wall, each nook and cranny I knew from years of wiping them down, and say be good to your new owners, be good to your next family. That shows you how weirdly attached I was to the house! True conversations with the walls!
In a sweep of grace & lots of God shining down on us, we spotted a house “coming soon” across the street and a few houses down from my sister’s house. Our realtor friend got us in to see it around 3:30 in the afternoon, we made an offer by 5:30, and went to sleep having heard it was accepted. Whirl. Wind.
We couldn’t believe it when we walked through: everything we had hankered after, hoped for, and dreamed about, including room for modifications for my parents if/when they want, a laundry shoot, not too much space, not too little, raised bed gardens in back, and a wrap-around porch in front.
The blog has been neglected, but I have been sewing. My creative outlet provided a grounding sanity for me in all this turmoil and transition. I’ll be releasing limited linen dress & jumpsuit lines in the next month. I’ll be finishing some fun bibs soon, and wrapping up the summer with a sale on bonnets. Keep an eye on the shop for updates! My newsletter is the best way to find out when things are coming out and getting a little deal on them. Sign up for that here.
My old faithful sewing machine has chugged through while I’ve processed. It’s a real blessing to create.
I’ll keep you posted as we transition. The kids have had their moments, their sadness, their joy. We’ve had ours. The family overall has been joyful that we faced the reality of the house no longer serving its purpose for full-scaled living and that a wonderful new family will enjoy it. God works in mysterious ways and how all this has flowed together has assured me He is there, listening to our prayers, answering them in ways we cannot even imagine.
New hashtag for the new house: #wholeparentinghome on insta!