It has been months since I have written a word here and for that I must apologize. When last we met, I had just braved a flood in the basement, broken my hand and was heading into the holidays dusty, musty and banged up. Our basement renovation turned out just as I had imagined it would be and I will post lots of photos for you in my next post. But for this post, I needed to write a little homage and a new chapter in The Story of a House. Because, you see, we are selling out house….
There are many reasons that go into such a big decision, but the most important one that I will share with you is this. Sometimes the most lovely, most comfortable, most congenial place can be constricting – to your way of life or to your family. And so it became with our home. When we built this house, it was with the expectation that our daughter Darcy would eventually move into a group home. With all that transpired with her and her health over the last few years, it has become clear to us that we will never feel comfortable letting her live apart from us. It is simply too risky. But what has become obvious to us is that we need a live-in caregiver for Darcy, as she can never be left alone at a time when our family’s schedule grows ever more hectic and demanding. And this is where the mismatch, the constriction, if you will, occurs. We don’t have “quarters” for a caregiver in our home. The only way to add them would be to add even more square footage to a house that is already getting to be far too large for our crew who will all be leaving save Darcy. Add to that the small detail that to add quarters would be at a fairly whopping expense. We have mulled over this for a long time, and in the end we concluded that this beautiful house no longer fits our lifestyle and that we were adapting ourselves to it, rather than the other way around.
While we reached the decision thoughtfully, and even prayerfully, I never expected that getting the house ready to put on the market would be such a enormous undertaking and an emotionally draining task. First came the flood in the basement and all of the renovation that took place as a result. Then came the re-arranging of various rooms to show them to their best effect for potential buyers rather than for how we love to live in them. My beloved chairs and antique aquarium that sat in my hallway were dispatched so that the hall would feel more open. The family room was purged of my favorite writing table and chair in the corner – where I usually wrote this blog-as it made the room feel less open. And our bedroom was rearranged for the umpteenth time to make it seem more spacious. Countless things that our hands used to touch daily have been tucked away, doors that always used to hang ajar in welcome are now formally closed, and the feel of our house is just a bit less a home, somehow.
It was difficult, and frankly, depressing. I don’t like to share my thoughts when I am not in a happy place, hence the extended silence here on my blog. That and the fact that I simply didn’t feel I had the perfect words to describe what we were doing and why. That old saying about the perfect being the enemy of the good definitely holds true in this case.
So, where will we go? What will we do? We considered buying another home, smaller, with quarters attached. We talked of renovating and redecorating. We swore we would never build another house. And yet.
And yet, that is exactly what we are going to do! We intend to stay in our current neighborhood and build another house. It won’t surprise you at all, I think, to know that it is sketched out, that notes have been taken, that a folder on my laptop grows daily with inspiration images, that I prowl my own home now taking detail shots of features that I want to re-create in some way, and that architect and builder await our purchase of a lot before we are off to the races.
So what does that mean for this blog? Well, I will certainly write about the new house as it comes into shape, let you see the images that are inspiring me, and take you behind the design process for me. Such fun!! But I will also post about my projects, about designers that inspire me, about gardens that mesmerize me, about products and resources that I find irresistible.
At my sister’s persistent urging, I have started a Pinterest account and in my next post I will hopefully have that icon up so you can see what I have on my boards there.
Well, goodness, I don’t know how many of you are still checking on this blog, but I am back and here to stay. And most profoundly relieved to have gotten my big news off of my chest, off of my desk, and onto yours.