Sunday, January 3, 2016

The New Year Came and Went....

My last post in 2015 was in regards to moving day for us and moving forward. I am sure some of you followed along on my most painful and stressful journey on selling our home and moving. Thank you for all the encouragement and support, as I appreciate each and every comment, email, message of encouragement and sympathy on how I was struggling with all of it. Sometimes good decisions are hard and sometimes they are harder to move forward with.

We did get moved into our new home, a week later it was Christmas and then it was all over. It was a good holiday, the kids were here with their special friends and we had a wonderful holiday and then it was time to decide what was going to be my "word" for the new year. Twenty-fifteen was rapidly ending and the new year was just around the corner.

My words for 2015 were "letting go" and to be honest, I could have never imagined what those two words would actually mean and ultimately how they would impact my life as the year unfolded. Absolutely Never. Words have a power like no other when spoken aloud. I reread my post for January of 2015 and was astounded at how things changed and the turns some things took and in ways I never would have dreamed.

The major turn of events during 2015 which lead us on as journey of selling our home were certainly unexpected. The home for me, was one that love built in more ways than one and the only home I have lived in all of my "real" adult life. Thirty one years to be exact, and forty one for my husband. The roots run deep there and the memories embedded even more so. There were so many wonderful memories created inside those walls and also a lot of not so wonderful memories, which we as a family somehow managed to over come. There were memories that were really not significant but when they come to mind, they spark a feeling of fullness and home between the walls of that house. Yes, I know we take our memories with us and that is true enough, but it has been very hard to leave the place where all of those memories were born. I never would have dreamed this past year would lead us to letting go of all things precious to my heart and deciding it was time to move on and into a new house. It has been something that has sparked so many emotions. I still find myself pining for "home" and probably more than I should. I don't think I have ever in my life understood fully what it meant to be "homesick" and I am here to tell you, I have felt that feeling so profoundly and to the depths of my soul. As I type these words, the thought came to mind that my last letting go for last year surly must be these feelings of homesick and focus on looking forward to what all is to come and just hold all that has been so dear to me close to my heart.

I thought at the beginning of the year that "letting go" would apply to me downsizing many of my collections and possibly not buying more to bring into my home. Well, that surely did happen as I had to scale down in a big way before we moved. I sold, and re-homed so many of my treasures that if I think about it all now and the magnitude of what I let go of I find it hard to believe. We lived in a small house, but the house had been remodeled a couple of times in the past, and the house was made to hold all of my collections and treasures. The sheer magnitude of all that was inside the walls of that house was overwhelming when I had to really look at it all. I will say that the powers to be sent the right people to buy my beloved treasures and they all went to good homes. It was really amazing to hear the stories when I had a sale at my home as to how many people had the same affection for the things I have loved for so many years. I honestly thought I'd feel sad when I sold so much of my things, but it somehow was freeing to let a lot of those things go. They served a purpose at another time in my life, but it was time to let those things go and in doing so, things sure felt lighter.

I would have never thought that letting go in 2015 would take me to a place I never thought I would go. Due to many of the complications of selling our home and buying the new house I was forced to make a decision I never in my heart wanted to make. The people who purchased our house in the contract requested we leave "The Chicken Resort" with the sale of the house. I agreed and we signed the contract, never thinking for one minute that in doing so, that things would soon unfold in a way that it would create a hardship of not being able to move the birds with us. The reality of having to make a decision and make a good decision for my beloved flock and their welfare was one that broke my heart into tiny pieces. In the end, I gave them to the people that purchased our house. They were every bit as excited and happy as I was devastated and sad. However, in my mind, that was my chickens home and the only home they had known, and surly they would be happier there in their own home than any other temporary housing I could come up with for them. The having to let go of my chickens is such a sadness that I can hardly type the words. I miss Benny the rooster more than I care to admit and I spent the last two weeks leaving for work early and driving by my old house and parking in front, just so I could hear him crow. The very idea that I can't walk back into the coops and scoop them all up and hug them and sing to them still breaks my heart. I miss them, and of all the letting go I had to do in 2015, this very one is the hardest of all. I have to put on a happy front, but inside, my heart hurts each and every day when I think of my chickens and not having them here with me. I never knew how a flocks of birds could have such a hold on my heart.

And finally, in moving forward into the new year, I am reminded of all the things I had to let go of in order to propel me into making the decisions we made about our future. I had to let go of thoughts that had been responsible for some negative impacts of my life. Things that for years had me believing I'd never go back to the place where we would end up moving to. Things that if I allowed myself to think about, would cause panic attacks and dread and allowed me only to feel a total since of safety from it all, at our old home, my safe haven. It's funny how it has taken almost a lifetime to over come some of those feelings of fear and dread, and enough so that I moved back to a place I said I'd never return. It is also not so funny how on my very first day back, I was unexpectedly reminded of why I felt that way in the first place for all of my adult life. Some things I guess are never the same, but then again, they never change at all. I now know, I still have a bit of letting go to work on as this new year unfolds, remnants of 2015 if you will, are still around. But I know now, I am at a place in my life that I can do that, I just need a little more time with all of the emotions and newness of what all twenty-fifteen brought about in our lives.

So what are my words for the new year? Well, to be frank, I decided I'd not pick any words for this year. In all honestly, I was afraid to do so after discovering the power of those two words had in my life last year. No matter how hard the letting go was, it will all be for the best as this year unfolds, that I know, but forgive me if I say that I was a little afraid to chose words for this year.

So instead....I am working my way through twenty-sixteen a little differently. I read online about a gratitude/joy jar for each and every day of the new year and knew right away that was something that would benefit me in a huge way. You can see the facebook  post that inspired me HERE. I have added a new button on my sidebar as a reminder to keep adding to the jar, even on days I may find it hard to do so. I expect there to be lessons in this process to learn, and maybe, just maybe ease into this new year feeling a little more positive from all that I let go of in 2015.  Maybe, just maybe this will be a jumping board to eagerly anticipate all that is to come in twenty-sixteen and look forward to it all in a positive and joyful way. 

Happy New Year my friends, be kind to those you encounter either by chance or day to day. You truly never know what kind of inner battle someone may be fighting on the inside, no matter how happy they seem on the outside. Show gratitude and joy in all things....that is my mantra for the new year.

Monday, December 14, 2015

So This Is Where The Long Journey Lead us............Today!

Update on the last few days:.....Thursday December 10th we closed on our little house on Winnie Street. The beloved little house no longer belonged to us, but to a new family. There was not much time for crying, although there were tears shed, but we had to get busy with a plan to get our stuff moved from our home to "some place" soon. That morning, we were told from the closing on our new house would not be happening until this morning December 14th and we have to be totally gone from our house by December 15th. We were totally panicked at what to do. Graciously, the home owner of our new house with the prodding from his wife no doubt allowed us to move our belongings into the garage and shed of the new house, just not in the house itself until today.

So that is what we have been doing ever since...moving...load after load! My brother and my niece and her boyfriend helped with all the major things, and heavy stuff, thanks be to them, they were life savers. We should finish up today, and in the morning move our bed and the dogs after we clean one last time. I spend one whole afternoon patching nail holes and repainting every room where it needed to be touched up. I can not tell you how many people told me I was nuts to do that, it was not something I needed to do. I just said, yes it is and I did it. That is how I do things, I would expect someone to do that for me, even if they wouldn't, so I certainly expect no less of myself. We are almost to the closing of the door one last time, it is still a hard thought to conceive, but I'm feeling better about it.

The story for today is one I never expected to tell. It comes from the unexpected and a request that every one I spoke with thought it was a little odd. In truth, it was the medicine my heart needed to heal a little quicker from all of this.

The new homeowners in the contract, requested a meeting with us and a walk through of the house when they got the keys. It was to be scheduled before we were totally moved out. So many people had told me they had not heard of that and it was a bit odd, I don't know if it common or not, but we had to agree to it none the less. On Thursday, after they signed the papers at closing, their Realtor had called our Realtor and said how excited they were and wanted to drive from Southlake to see the house, and unfortunately we were not home. We had left earlier in the day with a truck full and were unloading a truck at our new house full of boxes. I felt bad we were not there, but the lady called and we scheduled for Sunday afternoon instead. She told me how excited they were and they wanted to know how to care for the chickens. I got off the phone and felt a huge dread come over me, as I did not know how I would make it through that meeting not in a huge heap of tears.

Sunday afternoon, they came like scheduled. When I opened the front door, I just took a deep breath and greeted them and said, "Welcome to you new home!"

They are a sweet couple, maybe our age or a little older. Hard working, and thrilled to have our home. At first, it was a little awkward for us and them as well, because the silence for a few seconds was deafening...but I am usually not lack for words, so I just had to start blabbering like a fool at first to get the ice broken. I was amazed at the things they were most concerned with at the house. The wanted to know first thing, how to work the wood Stove. The told us how much the loved it and asked all kinds of questions. We took them room by room and they told us what the loved in each. The loved the bathroom and when I asked if they wanted me to leave the shower curtain they were thrilled, as it matches that bathroom perfectly. The loved the barn door closet doors in the bedroom and really love the master bath. I told them we made the vanity in the bathroom and where the wood had come from and we did that with our friend who is a carpenter. I could tell they loved it as much as we do. They wanted to know if I was taking the curtains in the house, which I was not as our Realtor told us we had to leave them. I guess they did not know that and was so happy as they said the loved the ones in the kitchen so much. I told them I had made them and they said they felt I was a crafty person.

The lady then told me how she had taken pictures of everything in my house when they were there at the inspection. She said she thought it was beautiful and was trying to find the things like we had as she wanted to make their home the same. She asked about a few things specifically and where I had gotten them, one being the iron decor piece that was behind the fireplace. She said she absolutely loved that and hoped that they could find one like it. I thought to myself, it was not likely they would because I had purchased that so many years ago. As you can imagine, the iron piece is now hanging back where it belongs...I went to the new house last evening and brought it back and hung it up behind the fireplace....I guess it was meant to stay because I honestly didn't know where I was even going to put it at the new house anyway. It will be there on Tuesday when they walk into their new house and will be a surprise.

I asked them if they wanted the sofa and the television stand. I could not believe the look on their faces when I asked them that. Our sofa is blue leather and she told me she had been looking for weeks for a sofa like it. She said they loved it and wanted one exactly like the one we had. She reminded me how they wanted to have things like I had in my home. We gave them those things and they were beyond thrilled. In all my years I don't believe any one has paid me a greater compliment than these people did on Sunday. They had been spending weeks since they signed the papers on this house looking for things like I had as she thought it was beautiful. I left them a picture I had on the wall and she asked where it was hanging, and said it would go back where it was originally. I could tell they were so excited and thrilled to have chosen our home.

The chickens and the coops were where we spent a lot of time. We went out there and I introduced them to all the chickens, explained how I take care of them, the food, bedding and stressed how spoiled they were. They wanted to know in detail how I have taken care of them and what they needed to do, and where to purchase what they needed. I have already purchased the bedding and food for at least a month, so they are in good shape there. The turning point from dread to knowing I had made the right choice in leaving the chickens was when she wanted to hold Rosie and her husband wanted to take a picture. I gathered the eggs that were in the egg box and in one hand she had Rosie and the other the eggs...It was really a sweet moment! They were beyond thrilled when I explained what color eggs the hens laid and they fell in love with my beautiful Benny as well. The chickens were a bit skiddish of new people, but I told then not to worry, they will get used to them and warm up to them soon. They are going to open the coops to the rest of the back yard where we kept our big dogs and they will have free range over all of that area. The chickens and Benny will be very happy at that and I felt at peace in my heart that I had made the right decisions no matter how hard it was and still is. It really is what will be best for them in the long run.

I told them about the plants in the yard and what flowers come back year after year, I showed her a photo of my beautiful wisteria in the front yard and how it blooms the most beautiful blooms in the spring. She was in awe that that the beauty to come in the springtime was in her yard and could not wait to see it bloom in the spring. We told them we were leaving the bird bath and why we decided to do so. We told them about the owls that come in the summer time for water and we wanted to leave it as they come year after year. They were thrilled and eager to see them next summer.

From what they told us, we believe this is their first home and I believe they have made huge sacrifices to be able to purchase it. They are beyond proud and excited and I know in my heart they are going to take care of our home as well as we have. We told them about all the great neighbors and they were glad to hear the neighbors were going to be good ones. They can not wait to start their lives here and it showed in every way.

The little house on Winnie Street, in the eyes of the new owners might as well have been a mansion in the Hollywood hills....because clearly, to them that is exactly what it is. I am so glad I did not listen to any one else and I went with what I knew to be right and that was to make sure when we close the door, this little old house is shining like a new penny for the new family. In case you are wondering if I made it through the meeting without shedding a single tear, I am happy to report I was able to do that, how I don't know, but I did. Now after I shut the front door.....well, that is a different story...but I held it together when I needed to.

There are still a whirl of emotions this morning, and I am sure there will be tears flowing before end of day tomorrow, but I think the meeting was not scheduled for the new home owners, but for me to find peace and comfort leaving a place that is so dear to my heart in the hands of someone else.

You can tell how I talk about our home that I feel it is a special place. Let me tell you how wonderful the feeling is when friends confirm that for you. Thursday evening, after we had moved all day, we got home to find three of my husband's lifelong friends camped out on the front porch. Two of these special friends had lived with my husband back in the bachelor days of their lives. They had come by one last time for one last solute with a beer or two...or three.....ahem. They talked about old times, old friends, and memories and how they had grown up in this little house. What a special gift these three men gave my husband and myself. There truly are no words to describe it. It's in the confirmation that others found the place dear to your heart to be a special place as in their lives too.

Yes, it has been an emotional roller coaster this journey has taken me on. There have been times of second thoughts, dread, and much sadness to leave it all behind. But likewise.....I am finally to the point of excitement in what is to come. Today...we start a new chapter in our lives and one that we are both excited about! I am thankful for the new things that are to come and in the peace in leaving our lifelong home. It all is official today.....we start a new journey and the next chapter in our lives while carrying the cherished memories of the growing years of our life with us.

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