In the excitement and busyness of settling into a new home, it’s easy to forget to say a proper good-bye to the old place. So before our years here get fuzzy and forgotten, I’d like to remember my favorite memories from our fourth home (To give credit where it is due, I am completely copying this idea from a recent post at Young House Love).
1. The whole family pitching in to help out. By the time we left (and it’s still in progress), the whole house was updated and reinforced from the foundation to the eaves. Almost everyone in our extended family pitched in at some point, lending tools, expertise, and man power to our often tedious home-improvement projects.
2. Of course, 80% of the manpower and 99% of the expertise came from my father-in-law, the man who rebuilt the piers of the house, re-sheetrocked and textured every room of the house, built a closet out of an empty corner in Abby’s room, re-built the front porch, and painted the whole exterior of the house. Just to name a few of the projects that he’s done over the past two years.
3. Hosting our first houseguests before we had even moved in all the way. We all slept on air mattresses and brushed our teeth in the kitchen sink because the bathrooms weren’t in full working order. Are our friends great sports, or what?
4. For our first months in the house, we lived in the back of the house while the front half was still under construction. Slowly, we moved into one more room at a time as they were finished.
5. The beautiful wide baseboards and trim around the windows in every room. They don’t make houses with details like that any more!
6. While I’m thinking of windows, I am going to miss those great ones in the kitchen.
7. Filling the house with friends for baby showers, small group, and Christmas parties.
8. Sitting out on the front porch, watching the world go by and keeping tabs on the neighbors. Yes, I’m Gladys Kravitz.
9. Cooking with gas in the kitchen. Only literally.
10. The rest of the block.
11. The backyard is where I planted my first fruitful garden!
12. The cozy wood room, where we drank coffee and watched TV on the computer almost every night.
13. Taking walks in the beautiful neighborhood, laughing at the juxtaposition of historic mansions and government housing within blocks of each other.
14. My Happy-First-Mothers’-Day rosebush growing in the front flowerbed.
15. My Happy-Valentines’-Day gnome standing guard by the front steps. (But he gets to come with me!)
16. I took advantage of being within walking distance to the post office and the public library.
17. We brought Abby home to this house!
18. Last winter’s snow day!
19. The freakishly tiny laundry closet gave me the perfect excuse to buy the front-loading washer and dryer I’d always wanted.
20. Baby baths in the bathroom sink…
…and then in the lovely claw-footed tub, refinished by–guess who–Wayne!
21. I could really go nuts with the Abby milestones…so I’ll let this one represent all the happy baby memories. The sweetly decorated storybook nursery, sleeping on the floor of the storybook nursery, Abby’s first rolls…crawls…steps…falls across the floors, Abby digging in the kitchen cabinets, Abby climbing up and down the front porch stairs, playing peek-a-boo in all the doorways.
22. Well, maybe one more: receiving all of our sweet friends and family who brought gifts, food, and much-needed human interaction to us in our first few weeks as parents.
23. Eccentric details: the floor plan itself, the mysterious chimney in the attic (no fireplace in the house), cute but barely-functional doorknobs, concrete steps to nothing on the side of the house.
24. The special gifts left behind by the previous occupants: the whiskers on the mirror, the wooden mallard, the laundry service sign, the Fry Daddy.
25. The sounds of the neighborhood: trains and whistles, sirens from the nearby fire station, kids playing and riding bikes two doors down.
26. Oh, sad: I almost didn’t even mention Callie and Phoebe, the once-golden-“children” of our family. Well, they had a great yard to play in after we demoted them to full-time outside dogs. Also, Wayne built them a great little doghouse in a corner of the garage. And they had lots of birds and squirrels to bark at.
What kind of place could have possibly enticed us away from this sweet house? Well, stick around. It’s almost picture-ready.