Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Evidence of a Life Lived






After twenty eight years, I am selling the house my late husband and I raised our kids in and the house my husband died in six years ago. I knew after he died I could not maintain an acre of land, a dirt driveway and an aging septic system etc. It has taken six years to down size and deal with the clutter. When the stager came over to give me feedback on how to make the house look for prospective buyers. She used and interesting phrase, she told me I needed to turn my home into a house. All evidence of who had lived there (personal photographs, any artwork or dust collectors that weren't generic or even hinted at my taste had to be put away) I understand that it needs to be done, but it was the exact opposite of what I had done for twenty eight years. The house is evidence of the lives that were lived there. There is a board between the kitchen and living room where my husband measured and marked how much the children were growing. The concrete by the garage that we poured has our names written in it including one that says "pink dinosaur" because that was what my daughter wanted to be called when she was little. All the pictures on the walls are either ones that have a story behind them or photographs my husband took. And then there is the framed map of Australia with the pen line around it. Right after we were married, my husband and I took a four month trip around Australia on a motorcycle. It was the trip of a lifetime. There are framed pictures of my first books. Good memories, sad memories...evidence of a life lived.  And so I take the memories and the photographs with me. Things like our names in the concrete remain for the next owner to wonder who pink dinosaur was. I have such mixed emotions. Looking forward to having a house that will not feel like a part time job but also feeling like I am losing something very important. Still trying to sort through that. How about you? What would where you live say about who you are as a person? Have you sold a house after being there a long time? What about your childhood home?

Leave a comment with your email address I will be giving away two copies of my book Hidden Away. The main character is a woman who prepares second homes for owners to arrive and ends up caught in a theft ring.

31 comments:

  1. It's always hard to leave a place that's become a part of me. Just going back can bring all the memories back.
    Theresa Norris
    weceno at yahoo dot com

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  2. I feel how difficult this is. Thank you for letting us the readers in. I clean model homes for a builder. They happen to stage the home with personal photos, art wort and nick-nacks. I guess it depends upon who you ask. I hope you can find a home that has a good feeling going forward. I love all your books.

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    1. thank you. I hope I can find something that makes me happy too

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  3. Being an old Army brat, there was no "childhood" home. After my Dad retired, the home they bought when I was a teenager became home. It's where my Dad died, our daughter thought of as her home away from home, and we discovered Mom had Alzheimer. It was sad indeed when we had to decide what to sell and what to keep for Mom as she moved into our home.

    Our home is where we lived in for so many years. It was where we started our marriage, where our daughter went to her heavenly home, retirement started, and Mom was released from the grasp of Alzheimer going to join the love of her life. There were many smiles, laughs and happy memories made in that house as well as sad and hard times, but it was OUR home.

    We had always stayed in the area foregoing moving to a better location for us because of my parents and a job with retirement benefits. Now that both had passed and we were both getting older as well as my health issues, we decided it was now or never. So three years ago, we greatly downsized and moved to our dream destination. Downsizing was hard and easy as the same time. Having accumulated not only our stuff over the years but also things my parents had acquired from my grands passing and then us from them and always having extra space to keep it in, we had generations of items to go through.

    We had drawn up our floor plans for us - not thinking about what would work best on the resale market. That meant a home with one bedroom with the one closet. Less space to accumulate stuff, clean or pay utilities on. Once we found the property and locked in a builder, we knew we had even more downsizing to do. Before we moved we knew what we would have room for and where it would go. Everything else had to go by sale, giveaway or tossing. Actually we found a lot of it had no emotional attachment other than it once belong to a relative.


    At times you wonder why didn't we do this earlier, but then you think no we wouldn't be who we were if we hadn't gone through what we have. More importantly, I don't think we would have appreciated it near as much as we do if we had done it sooner than we did. I've never been good with change, but I found that sometimes change can be good for you - for your spirit, emotionally and for the future to the brightest. Our timing was right on too because even just a short three years passing it would almost impossible for me to do now what I did three - four years ago.

    As you start this new stage in your life, may it go as smooth for you as our change was for us. May your house sell fast making the break smooth and easy even if emotional. May your new home bring you joy, adventure and fun times in the future giving you fond memories of your new home.

    Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to win a copy of "Hidden Away". Shared and hoping to be one of the fortunate ones selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    1. thanks Kay for sharing. downsizing is hard but so worth it and moving to a smaller place forces you to downsize.

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  5. When my grandparents got older they chose to move to an apartment so they didn't have to do upkeep and now etc. We moved into their house which is where my mother grew up. They had a concrete block garage and my mother and her friends had written on the walls with chalk. As a child, I enjoyed seeing it and it was there all of my childhood as well. My parents no longer live there and I've often wondered if the drawings and such are still there. A lot of wonderful memories in that home from spending what seemed like more time there than with my parents (I couldn't get enough of my grandparents) and then living there for most of my childhood. I'm sure if was very hard for my mother who had lived most of her life in that home.

    Thank you for the chance to win. This sounds like a very interesting book!

    nstotts (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

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  6. that is a great story about the drawings. it's all personal history.

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  7. Your Australian trip sounds awesome! So...make your home look like a house...hmmm...that would be difficult...Thank you for being open w/ your life changes... Would love to read this book! Badawson16 at AOL dot COM

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  8. tough to move
    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  9. I sit here and ponder how to make my home a house. I wouldn’t even know where or how to begin. My heart aches for you through this. May your new home be a blessing to you.
    janeen dot bair at gmail dot com

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  10. I'd love to take a tour of Australia. And wishing you the best as you downsize!

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  11. I’m sorry you have to do this. So many mixed emotions I’m sure. Praying for God to help you through this transition and for blessings. Hugs

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  12. We recently sold my mothers house that I grew up in, 8 yrs old when we moved there. She passed away 21/2 years ago. Had lived here 50 something Years. It took me along time cleaning it out. My mother never threw away anything. Found a receipt for her bedroom furniture from the 1950s!
    tumcsec(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. My late husband never threw anything away either, and there was a lot of my stuff that I didn't have time to deal with when my kids were little. It does feel so good to downsize and not have as much clutter.

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  13. So much love wrapped up in your home - know it must be hard to leave it. My husband was a pastor for several years. We lived in a parsonage for the first pastorate. Even tho it didn't 'belong' to us it was home for three years - so hard to leave but for us leaving the friends we had made was the hardest. Then we bought a home that needed some work - somehow it wasn't as hard to leave that one. And then we built a home that we lived in for 20 years - extremely hard to leave it when the time came. I can still picture each room and in a lot of ways it still feels like home altho we've been gone from it for over 10 years now. Seems our homes, no matter how many we have, stay in our hearts forever. Wishing you all the best as you begin creating a new home in new surroundings. "Hidden Away" sounds like an intriguing book and looking forward to reading it. Jeannie jbeck2929@roadrunner.com

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  14. I have moved only once in my life, when I was 7 uears old. But I fondly remember the yellow brick walls, tall pine trees, and red clay. I now live in my second childhood home, where the carport cement has the names and handprints of all my siblings. A mobile home is still a home when filled with God and love. racheltirzah(at)gmail(dot)com

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  15. It's so sad to have to pack up a "home" to get it ready to sell. My parents had their house built when my brothers and I were young. They lived it almost 50 years. It was decided that we'd sell it when both parents were gone. It was so hard to go through their 53 years together.

    I know how it hurts! I'm sorry you had to do this! The sounds really good and I can't wait to read it!
    duellonlysis(at)aol(dot)com

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  16. That is so difficult. When I was 15 we moved to a different state and things that I wish I had now, my mom got rid of in order to move. Before we married, my husband bought his childhood home after his mom died. When we could no longer keep up with it, we had to sell it to downsize. Oh the stuff we found that his mother had kept. It was hard for him, but better for us to have OUR place going forward. Now we live in an apartment community and my walls are filled with photos and things that we like! Thank you for being so open and sharing with us. I just can't imagine losing my husband! It's going to be good for you and God is with you through every step! Cherish the moments! Prayers! clhutson1016(at)gmail(dot)com

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  17. I have moved around a LOT over the years. It was exciting. I am finally settled and it would be hard to move now.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  18. Enjoyed your story so far, Sharon, even though it is difficult to think about "uprooting" your life and moving to a smaller house, etc. Hope you have a good (Baptist) church you attend regularly, or can attend where ever you are moving to, and that the Lord continues to encourage you. (Read Ps. 107). I know you have many Christian friends who are praying for you through this page, as well as Avid Readers of Christian fiction, me being one of them. Hope to keep seeing you write your great CF Romantic Suspense books, some of my many favorites. . . Would love to win a print copy of Hidden Away! Thanks for the wonderful opportunity to enter this giveaway! Your friend, Lual Krautter, 712 Carter St., Deer Lodge, MT 59722 Email: krautter41120AToutlookDOTcom

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  19. It sounds interesting. I like the cover. jlb12563@sbcglobal.net

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  20. We sold the house where I had lived for 47 year in 2013!sheliarha64(at) yahoo(dot)com

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  21. We recently sold our family home for many years and I find myself having alot of misgivings about having to sell it.

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  22. Forgot to mention my address, vboudreau57 at gmail.com

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  23. Hi, well, we have been living in this house for about 31 years and it is the very first house we have ever bought, and it is full of memories of my 2 now grown children who have their own little families now. My house has a lot of family pictures and shelves with a lot of family pictures, I would say my house is full of our love for our family. I would not want to move from our home, both my husband and I are retired and it's just the 2 of us and our pup. We have a 3 bedroom home and I would not think of downsizing, as our extra bedrooms are here for when family visits, our daughter and her little family live here in the same town as we do and our son and his little family live 6 hours away, so no, for now I want to keep this house full of memories our Home. God Bless you on your move to your new home. aliciabhaney(at)sbcglobal(dot)com

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  24. We sold our house many years ago,the one we mostly raised our kids (11 years) in and boy I hear you about trying to stage it for prospective buyers! And trying to keep it clean....OY! Moving from one state on the Western coast to the mid-west was crazy...talk about trying to downsize so we didn't have to haul EVERYTHING. Then two years later, we made the cross-country trip to move back to the Western coast. We left a lot of things behind by selling them or giving them away to someone else who could use it.

    We've been settled in where we live now since 2009 and I really don't anticipate moving anytime soon, lol! I love it here on the Oregon coast and can see myself here for the rest of my life. :-)

    Thank you for the chance to win a copy of your book, Sharon!
    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  25. We sold my childhood home when my mom died. It was hard but it's in another state so I treasure the memories I have in my heart. One day we will down size and sell our current house too. I know God's hand will be on us wherever we go.
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
    Maryann

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  26. Sharon, this was a wonderful blog post! I'm sorry I'm so late responding, but I was forced to be offline a couple days. I feel your pain. I will hate moving from our current home.
    Your fond Suspense Sister, maryeellis@yahoo.com

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