My beautiful home is on the market for some great family to own and enjoy next. I have lived here for five years (Dennis has been here for 9 years). Previous to living here I lived in a normal home in a subdivision in the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri. I loved my suburban home. I had it built. It was quite an adventure for a single woman, who through the years of my adulthood, knew poverty, struggled to pay the bills, and worked hard to be in the profession of my dreams and move up in my career. My suburban home was a simple 1,600 sq. ft. home with an unfinished basement. It had an open floor plan, and I have so many wonderful memories of my grandchildren playing in that home.
Then I met Dennis. We got married a year later, and I sold my home in the suburbs to live in a large home in the country. I also have memories of my grandchildren playing at this home, but they were older, and their play was different. They were writing scripts, making movies, performing all the parts, and entertaining us with showing the projects on our large screen television. It wasn’t all that different when they were early elementary school age, and they would put on their shows in the basement of my other home and having the adults come downstairs to watch them sing and dance for us.
I have learned over the years that my home is my safe place. If your home is not your safe place—the place you can go and feel safe from all the world, then you need to something about that NOW! I had to come to that realization in my life and make my home my safe place and a safe place for all my family and friends. It doesn’t matter what the box (home) looks like, big or small, fancy or plain—it can hold wonderful memories for many. That is what I want my homes to be wherever and whatever they may look like or be located.
My “House in the Woods,” as I named it as my location on my Facebook page, has been a wonderful getaway for me from the city. I am still a city girl, and I like city conveniences, but this five years has taught me a lot about serenity wherever I am. I became adept at online shopping since my favorite stores were at least 90 miles away. I learned to slow down and enjoy the nothingness of being where cars weren’t zipping by, people weren’t rushing to and fro for whatever they were doing. I have loved driving down our highway and seeing cows grazing in the fields, as I roll down the window and yell “hello” to the cows and their “cow puppies.” I think that’s such a sweeter word than calf—cow puppies, horse puppies, and any other kind of animal puppies! One time going down the highway, my granddaughter rolled down the window and yelled to the cattle grazing, “See you at Culvers!” (She understood the food chain)! Driving down Hwy HH to connect with Interstate 70, we also passed corn and soy bean fields. Yes, this is mid America, this is the heartland. This is where the farmers feed America.
I have loved our neighborhood and the 3.3 acres where we live. We have a beautiful swimming pool, that is the highlight of my summers. It is also a draw to get family and friends together. The children of family and friends love to come swim, and I love to see young people enjoy the pool. We bought a paddle boat my first full summer here. The lake at the edge of our property is a small one—is it a lake or a large pond? There are six homes that share this lake, where on occasion we will see someone on their boat fishing, or just paddling around the lake. We also added a fire pit patio below the pool area, between the pool and the lake. On a nice cool evening we will build a fire and sit watching the sun go down and listening to the crickets and bull frogs singing to their loved ones. It is peaceful and serene. Then we have the kids come and pull out the hot dogs, and s’more ingredients, and it’s an instant party at the fire pit.
We have had a home built in Arizona. It more resembles my suburban home in St. Louis. It is 1,600 sq. ft. (no basement), sitting in the middle of a suburban subdivision. We will start out just wintering there between January and May. Eventually, it will be our full time home.
I think Dennis and I are both ready for some downsizing. Over the years, we have accumulated a lot of stuff, and most of the stuff, no one will want in the future. We have discussed “stuff” a lot. Stuff can begin to own you rather than you own the stuff. We don’t want to add a burden to our children when we are gone of what to do with all that stuff. For months we cleaned closets. The kids got first choice of the “stuff.” What they did not want we donated. I mean donated. Dennis had a car load daily for weeks on end that was delivered to the local charity. It felt good. We have only the furniture we need in our home for us, and for our guests. There is a sense of freedom when we let go of so much.
This home is a lot of work for two folks going into their 7th decade. It’s not impossible work at all, but we want to travel more. We want to have days where we don’t have to do housework or yard work. We want a place where we can go hiking and enjoy nature in the middle of winter. We just want to simplify life. It’s time to find that simplified life.
Although my new home will be considerably smaller than this home, it is still open to all family and friends to visit. I am a connector. I need to connect with people from my past, from my present, and my future new friends. I will make our smaller home as inviting as this lovely place of serenity. We won’t have a large yard, or a lake, or a pool. We will have a mountain view, and we will have a lot of love to share.
We may still be at this home for a while. It will be a special family who will want to move here next. I will enjoy every minute of the time I have here. Then the memories of this home will go to some new family to make memories for themselves. I will continue memory-making at our new home. I really hope you come visit sometime. I’ll serve you the beverage of your choice, maybe something home baked from my oven. We can sit in our yard, view the mountain, and share our lives together.
I am looking forward to the new chapters in my life. The book is not finished. There are more chapters to go—how many, I do not know, but I know there are more. I am looking forward to your names added to the pages of these chapters. Hope to see you here or there. Love to you all!
This is one of the most beautiful post I have read ever! I could just feel the love you so graciously offer to so many. No wonder you family and friends enjoy your company. It is definitely not the pool or the lake. Your sweet spirit is the draw. I look forward to reading when you and your beloved Dennis at in your new home.
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Thank you, and if you ever get to Missouri or Arizona, you are most welcome at my home.
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Another great story Andrea. I enjoy all your posts. Looking forward to the next chapter.
Thanks. I appreciate that so much.