saying goodbye


Tomorrow, we sell the house that we lived in for the past twenty-five years. It’s the house where we raised our children. It’s the place where we celebrated 25 Christmas mornings with wide-eyed wonder after pulling all-nighters putting together kitchen sets and bicycles. It’s where I rocked children with fever through the night, corralled brownie troops with crafts, and tossed a million basketballs into the net to spell HORSE. It’s where music filled the rooms with children’s piano lessons and later, songs from pensive daughters home from college. It’s where we drank wine by candlelight with  chatty neighbors when the electricity went out for a few days after a hurricane, and where we grilled outside and met lifetime best friends with the neighbors that we shared  day-to-day life with. It’s where we lived life and lived life big. And, it was where I experienced the most meaningful part of my life to date.

Selling the house will officially close that chapter in our lives.

I’m not usually sentimental about things like this, but this has me misty-eyed this evening. It’s just a house, but this particular house was the big gift box with a bow that contained all the beautiful memories that became our family treasures.

As I close the door to the old house tomorrow, I’ll say a prayer that the next family will enjoy new joys of their own within those walls. And I will whisper from the depth of my heart an understated thank you for the privilege of having been a family there.

It’s so hard to imagine saying goodbye to this period of our lives, but we are looking forward to the days ahead as we return to the homestead where my grandmother raised her own children,  and we will embrace a simpler life of vegetable gardens and boots with big dogs and hay bales.

But none of us will soon forget the wonder years we experienced at 16007 Stewarts Grove Drive.


19 thoughts on “saying goodbye

  1. Thankfully, the memories go with you. As I have been going through the changes in my family the last few years, many goodbyes have been said to the animate & the inanimate. All hard. Seeing you recently you looked at peace. God moves with us. Leads us. And you know that. Your new chapter in life is a good one. I believe you have chosen wisely & God has led you to where He needs you now. Blessings on this journey, my friend.

  2. I have some good memories of times shared with you in that house. I am thinking of practice runs for Street of Shoppes dinners, sitting with you the morning your mom went to heaven, birthday visits, graduation parties, spending the night in your guest room, and more. I know I would have mixed feelings about moving on as well. But I also know that wherever you live, God’s love will abound in your home, and I will always treasure our times together, past and future! Love you.

  3. Annette, you opened your home to me several years ago and I can just imagine how difficult it must be for you to leave. It is a beautiful house…but there was a special warmth there. Home…
    Your new place has even more potential for deep roots to grow and loving memories to make.
    God will bless, He surely will!
    Thank you for my memory of your homes.
    Deborah “twinkle” Mayo
    Dublin, Georgia

    • Deborah. So good to hear from you. Hope all is well with you. We are reading again the Bible chronologically on Bevs blog. Returned to where we started. Would love for you to stop by from time to time! Hugs.

  4. Annette, You are a gifted writer! I am sad to see you leaving your home behind but excited that you have a new adventure. Best of luck to you and Mike, you are a special person.

    Peggy Hughes

  5. As I read your post, it made me think of my daughter and her family when they moved this summer. They had only lived there for 12 years as opposed to your twenty five. The kids knew no other home. Tara had marked their growth on a door frame in the kitchen, never dreaming that they would one day move. Tried to take it with them but told it was not possible. She copied the info down. The day they moved, she wrote that they all went back into the house to give it one last look and I think they all four stood there and cried. Rebecca who is 12, cried for the longest after they got on the road….kept wanting to go back home. Tara told her IF they did they could not move back into that house, well that satisfied Rebecca and her tears stopped. That broke this mother/grandmother’s heart. When we left our house of twenty three years and the one in which I had raised my children I was not as nostalgic as you are. I wanted to move badly, not that there weren’t precious memories there, I was just ready to move. Now, when I have to leave this house I will probably shed tears. It has been like a haven to David and I. We have enjoyed our empty nest years and they have all been in this house.

    I am thankful that you have so many precious memories in your former home, Know that you will make many many more at the Ranch. I guess being an Army brat and moving as much as I did when I was growing up, I should have been more upset to leave that house, the one that I had lived the longest in, my whole life, but I was not. Have only been in this house for 16 years but in so many ways, it seems so much more like home than the one where my kids grew up. My daughter has said that she wished she could have grown up in this house. Same floor plan as the other house, it is bigger, but not that much bigger, but it is nicer and “feels” better. Hard to explain to you since your heart has been hurting so much. I just know that God has big blessings in store for you as you begin this next season in your lives.

    Love you dear one….

    • I know just what you mean about the “feel” of a home. Some feel more homey than others. Thank you for your sweet words here. They minister to me. I am looking forward to our new home and already looking for those special touches that make it feel more like us, more like home.

  6. Thinking of you as you move on and into another sweet season of life. We are in the process of doing the very same thing. Life changes and moves and brings such bittersweet times for us. May you build make many new memories for another generation to enjoy!!!!

  7. Your words brought tears to my eyes and I am not the one moving! God bless you all as you venture on in your lives. You can leave knowing what you started there has now “sprouted” as your kids have gone on to establishing their very own homes and families and making their own memories!

    • Ginny, your words mean much to me. It is a gratifying thing to see our children moving into this same phase, knowing the fullness of the days ahead. This week, I reread “Gift from the Sea”, and this quote sums up my heart:

      “I am very fond of the oyster shell. It is humble and awkward and ugly. It is slate-colored and unsymmetrical. Its form is not primarily beautiful but functional. I make fun of its knobbiness. Sometimes I resent its burdens and excrescences. But its tireless adaptability and tenacity draw my astonished admiration and sometimes even my tears. And it is comfortable in its familiarity, its homeliness, like old garden gloves when have molded themselves perfectly to the shape of the hand. I do not like to put it down. I will not want to leave it.” ― Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

      Hugs to you!

  8. Annette, best wishes for this new phase! It sounds idyllic. I wish you well and hope to see you again sooner than later. Pam W.

    • Oh me, too, Pam. We could meet for dinner some evening, or maybe you and John could come out to the ranch for the day? Email me if you have a day in the next few weeks.

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