Friday, June 28

Sacred forever, this little house of dreams. [L.M. Montgomery]

It's such a sad thing, an empty house.

There are echoes in even the smallest of rooms. The drapes look lonely and forgotten. The only things filling up all the empty space are the ghosts of your former selves and the memories you've made there.

We are signing some papers this morning. Ones that will make our old house no longer "ours." And in spite of a lot of things -- the lack of air-conditioning, the million steps, the tiny backyard, the somewhat tattered neighborhood, even the fact that we haven't spent a night there in nearly a month -- I feel a little bit heartbroken right now.

I moved so many times growing up. Six times, to be exact. But somehow, it never felt quite this bittersweet. I didn't identify so much with the actual house. Last night, I let myself feel it, in the midst of all this craziness -- we were saying goodbye to our first family home.

The living room we decorated, just the two of us.

The beautiful old leaded glass windows.

The third floor, where we got engaged.

The postage stamp of a yard we brought Bailey and then Teddy home to.

The cherry tree we planted ourselves last summer -- it's already starting to bear fruit.

Along with the mulberries...

The tiny galley kitchen where we threw our Christmas dinner party for ten.

The creepy, ancient basement Kyle slaved over and whitewashed.

The raucous flower beds we pulled up to when we got back from our honeymoon.

The lavender that always made the walk toward the front door fragrant.

The soft blue-gray nursery we painted while I was pregnant.

The bedroom where we laid three-day old baby Jack into his bassinet on his first night home from the hospital.

So many of my most cherished moments have happened within those walls.

While I'm so excited for our new house, for the lush backyard and the big shady trees and the nice neighborhood... it's not home yet. And it will be better in so many ways, but this first one holds an unshakable place in my heart.

And so, I left a little note for the new owner -- a small card on the kitchen counter. I hope he takes good care of "our home" -- that he makes all sorts of wonderful memories there too.


"We have been very happy here, haven't we, Anne-girl?" said Gilbert, his voice full of feeling.

Anne choked, unable to answer. Gilbert waited for her at the fir-tree gate, while she went over the house and said farewell to every room. She was going away; but the old house would still be there, looking seaward through its quaint windows...

"But we will be gone," said Anne through her tears.

She went out, closing and locking the door behind her. Gilbert was waiting for her with a smile. The lighthouse star was gleaming northward. The little garden, where only marigolds still bloomed, was already hooding itself in shadows.

Anne knelt down and kissed the worn old step which she had crossed as a bride.

"Good-bye, dear little house of dreams," she said.


  1. Oh... I love that/your house too. I've always felt envious. I love older renovated homes (still trying to convince my husband to move to one.)

    Well, happy moving! I'm sure you will make many more happy memories in your new home :)

  2. That is lovely! It's nice to hold onto those memories, but to make new ones, too. When we moved here, we left a bottle of champagne and a note for the owners of our old home in New Jersey!

  3. No but really... this made me tear up....

    But I just know that your new house is full of many memories to come (i.e. Jack's first words, his first steps, maybe another sibling for Jack too!!!) ;o) Have a smooth move!