I sold my childhood home. This had to be one of the most difficult things that I have done as of late. To let go of the house that I grew up in, the house that I lived in for 18 years until I left for college.
I felt so guilty for selling this house. Like I was letting people down - giving up even I felt like I was losing my parents, my brother all over again. I was letting go of so much history. I questioned myself about whether it was the right thing or not...but I realized that it did not make sense to keep it any longer. I no longer lived there and it would take a bundle of money to renovate it in order to sell it or even rent it. When someone came in and made an offer to buy the house as is (the house was not even on the market!) I felt like it was a sign...I was meant to sell it. I thought about it for a couple of days, I cried over it, prayed over it and decided that I had to let go..even it if meant saying good by to house that I grew up in. Prior to signing all the documents - I wrote a letter to the new homeowners - it provided closure to me and was quite cathartic as well:
Dear New Homeowners:
I am so thankful that you have been open to see the potential in this home. When I was deciding what to do with the house that I lived in the first 18 years of my life, I knew that this house could be so much more than it is today. I am so happy that you too see the vision.
This house was a place of many happy Holidays…the house where Santa Claus came down the chimney so many times. So many wonderful meals in the dining room with the family! The Christmas tree with the multi-colored lights was placed in the corner of the living room – exactly where children could sit and gaze into the lights while dreaming of what Santa might bring them. My brother and I had many a birthday party in the house – our friends sitting around the dining room table while we all were anxious to blow out the candles so we could eat cake!
It was the home that my parents brought my little brother home to. I wanted my parents to send him back because I wanted a sister. He turned out to be a pretty good lil brother though.
I remember my parents telling me that they put up the old fence in order to keep me from traveling the neighborhood. That fence really didn’t stop me. I was just a social kind of girl!
My mother was an OR nurse. She set-up a small medical center in the back room off the kitchen so I too could be a nurse like her and take care of any of my dolls that might be sick and required medical attention.
My parents were sure that they had a musical prodigy on their hands so they bought an old piano. I played many countless hours on that old piano. If you can imagine, the piano was in the living to the right when you walk in the front door. Little did I know at that time how that piano would impact my life forever.
I remember my dad raking the leaves from the old maple tree in the front yard and then jumping into the pile of leaves….oooh…did that make my dad mad! I can still remember the glorious smells of autumn – falling leaves, fires burning in the neighbor’s fireplaces.
I remember my grandmother and another neighbor who lived a few houses down sitting in the swing on the front porch on the good weather days and I can only imagine the gossip that those two shared.
It was that kind of neighborhood growing up. Neighbors cared about one another and looked out for each other. We were more family than just people who lived on the same street. I hope that this neighborhood can be the same for you someday.
I baked my first cake in that kitchen and it wasn’t bad either! Chocolate of course.
I walked to the Zesto from the house for their delicious dipped dogs more times that I can count or we would walk to downtown Huntsville with our 6 RC bottle tops and see a movie for free on Thursdays. I guess that dates me – right?
In case you are wondering, the hill at the top of the street is a great place to sled down after a snowfall. It was neighborhood favorite spot where the kids always gathered. Just make sure that there is plenty of hot chocolate available once the sledding is complete.
It was at this house that my date picked me up for my very first Tri-Hi-Y formal in 9th grade. I remember my mom taking me next door to the rock house to have my picture made in front of their living room window.
Yes – this house was my home until I moved away to college (Roll Tide!), and I never returned to live in that house again.
As I say goodbye to the house that holds so many childhood memories my only wish is that another family will have the same opportunity to build their own memories within those four walls.