We arrived in our Missouri home a week ago. It took three hours to unload the travel trailer and find places to put all the groceries, clothes, and miscellaneous items we brought along for our “maybe” three months at this home.This house is our primary home until it has a completed closed sale. We do have a contingent contract from a buyer who needs to sell their house first. I haven’t heard how their sale is going, and I am just hoping and praying that they are doing all they can to sell their home. In the meantime we are anchored in Missouri for the summer. We have most of our belongings at our 2nd home in Arizona. If the buyer sells their house quickly, or another buyer shows up for a quick sale, we can move out of this home within a week. We have a plan. If it happens before the summer is over, we will move our travel trailer near the St. Louis area, and stay there until summer’s end.
This house in Missouri has made a lot of good memories for me. I met Dennis at the end of 2012. He had been widowed, and I was single for many years. We met on match.com. I lived in St. Charles, MO at the time, and I had a 30 mile radius on my match account to meet people. I met a lot of losers. I mean a lot of losers. I also met a lot of really nice men, but for one reason or another, they were not a suitable match, but some still remain my friend today. As I would get bored with not meeting a great match, I would expand the radius of my searches. That is when I saw Dennis. I sent him a message telling him he had a great smile. He wrote me back and informed me that he had a 93 year old mother, a 17 year old dog, and he lived 85 miles from me. I thought those were really good reasons not wanting to meet me, and as I always did on this site, I moved on. Two weeks later I received an email from Dennis and he asked what happened to me since I didn’t write back. I told him that in his last reply, he gave me “47 reasons not to meet.” He wrote back and said, “I can eliminate them all but three.” I thought that was funny, since he had only give three in the first place, so we started corresponding. Long story short, we were married the following August!
The first time I came to his house (now our Missouri home), I was struck by the uniqueness of the home. I did not like the way it was painted or decorated, but the bones of the house were pretty amazing. I am not a fan of pine, and this house is loaded with pine. That being said, a house loaded with pine is perfect for the country setting where it sits. It gives you a woodsy feeling when you are in this home. It is the perfect finish for a home in this location.
As our relationship got serious, we started talking about the house. Dennis gave me an open slate when it came to redecorating. I was very careful how I went about this task. Dennis was a widower. I didn’t want to walk in and wipe out his wife from this home. I always asked his permission before I removed anything. I know how hard it was for him to make these changes, and I sure didn’t want to make this any harder for him. One issue I had was that this house had furniture in every square inch. It was overwhelming to me. I also had furniture in my St. Charles home. It was fairly new furniture, and I would like some of the pieces, if not all, to be able to move to this home as we made it our home. There was no room for anything more. Dennis promptly starting clearing out furniture. A lot of the furniture were pieces that came from his deceased wife’s family. He contacted them and asked them if they would like it back. He proceeded to donate furniture and collectables back to her family. Of course, any items that his son wanted went to him first. This was, after all, his mom’s things.
The first thing we did was repaint the interior. Dennis was pretty surprised when he discovered that I love painting walls, so he happily joined in, and did the cutting in at the ceiling in the living room. Oh, I forgot to mention, the walls in the living room are 20’ high. He had a large extension ladder, and climbed up with a paint bucket and brush while I stood at the bottom of the ladder having panic attacks. I am deathly afraid of heights. I worried the whole time of him falling. I would be in tears until he came back down the ladder and I knew he was safe. Today the joke is that I stood at the bottom of the ladder worried he would fall 20′ right on top of me, and it would be weeks before our kids would find us. Fortunately, none of that happened. We also had the exterior painted, and changes made to the front porch that not only gave it a nicer look, but made the entrance more functional. It was an amazing transformation. All the upstairs bedrooms became guest rooms with two rooms having queen size beds and one room with a king size bed. The master bedroom is on the main floor. A couple years later we did an update on the kitchen. This kitchen is a cook’s dream. It has a 96” center island. It is a great space for food prep, especially baking. It is also a great island to use for pot luck parties in the summer as we hosted many pool parties. We also hosted my son’s wedding reception out around the pool. Originally the island had the cooktop in the middle. When I cooked, I was staring at the refrigerator. Moving the cooktop to the wall counter tops, I now had a view out the window of the beautiful back yard. The pool deck was expanded to have more walking space, and tables and chaise lounge chairs were added around the perimeter.When I sold my St. Charles house and moved to Fulton, Missouri, my grandkids were sad. They said they had so many good memories of playing at that home when they were little. These kids spent their adolescent and teen years at this mid-Missouri home making a new set of memories—swimming in the pool, roasting hot dogs at the fire pit, and making many of their amazing videos that I will keep forever as amazing memories of my grandkids.People question why we would move from this almost 4,000 sq. ft. home in a gorgeous setting to just 1,600 sq. ft. Home in Arizona with no pool, and no one nearby. My husband is now 74 years old. When he turned 70, I told him “no more 20’ ladders.” I wanted Dennis to take it easy and enjoy his retirement. We wanted to move somewhere warm so we didn’t have to deal with cold weather and snow in the winter. We chose Arizona, and found a home at the foot of the San Tan Mountains. For Dennis that was paradise. He loves hiking, and we couldn’t ask for a better place to hike. Our home is on one level. It is pretty much maintenance free. We have been there for only two winters, and we are making memories with our children and grandchildren there. Most of them have made it out there to visit, and it gives us a new set of memories.
It took Dennis and me almost six months to downsize from this large Missouri home to the smaller one in Arizona. We started closet by closet. We donated thousands of items, and as we continued, it got easier and easier. It felt freeing not to have so much stuff. Our kids had first pick of anything we chose to dispose of, and what they didn’t want, we donated. I have just one piece of furniture that went to Arizona. It was a rocking chair that has been in my family all my life. No other furniture was moved. When the sale on this house closes, we already know what furniture our kids want, and the rest will be donated. It will be a much easier move. All the stuff, like books, kitchen items, etc., were all moved to Arizona. I had to bring a few kitchen items back for this summer. I am hoping and praying this will be the last summer trip to this home.
I want a new family to make memories here. There is so much room for entertainment indoors and out. I want to think about new kids splashing in the pool in the summer, barbecues in the summer, and hot dog roasts in the fall. Then my “Home Sweet Other Home” will be just my “Home Sweet Home.”