How Do I Say Goodbye To A House That Has Been A Home?

Soon there’s going to be a for sale sign nailed to our front gate. I’m not exactly sure when that’s going to be, but soon – very, very soon. And I’m not really sure how to feel about it, in fact I lie awake at night worrying about how I should feel about it.

I want to move, of that I am absolutely positive! This house, with it’s great transport links, has served us well. But it’s time to move on, to go back to my roots and my family. I’ve given Yorkshire a try (five years and counting) and it’s stolen a part of my soul, yet I know that Wales is where I belong.

This could be the last time

I now just have to get over that ‘this could be the last time’ feeling. We threw a dinner party the other evening and it crossed my mind that this might be the last one in this house, my mother-in-law came to stay and I got quite meepy when I realised that it would probably be her last visit to this house, we had a BBQ and I wondered if it would be our last. And on it goes.

Not that I have any particular sentimental attachment to the place, I’m not really that kind of person. I kind of go with the flow, live where I need to, do what has to be done.

But you see this house isn’t just a house, it’s been my first home with Andrew (Mr Chic) and together we have stripped the whole thing back to its very bones and put our own stamp on it. We worked out what is and isn’t our style in this house. And we’ve had a whole lot of decorating triumphs and disasters – in equal measure. And through the experience we learned about each other, and we’ve learned where our skills lie (don’t let me anywhere near the garden, I kill anything in it). It’s paved the way for future homes and future projects – a trial run home if you like.

Will saying goodbye to a house that has been a home mean not using these cushions again?

So although I don’t believe that I will be clinging on to the the doorframe kicking and screaming when the time comes to lock the door for the last time, I do wonder how I’ll be about letting go of the home that we have built together knowing that I will never, ever be coming back.

This house is filled with ‘us’ and it’s been the stage on which we have played out some of our most wonderful and terrible days. This house holds the threshold over which I was carried after our wedding. It is where we got the news of our daughter’s engagement. It is where Andrew healed after breaking his back and neck. It is, and has been ‘home’.

And now somebody else is going to live in it, call it home and play out the scenes of their life. I wonder if they will rip out everything that we so carefully built, paint over the colours we so carefully chose, obliterate us. In a way I hope they do; after all we will be but a moment in the house’s history.

But I wonder if a small part of us will linger, a smudge on the living room wall that never seems to disappear no matter how many coats of paint are applied. And I wonder if we will ever look back at our ‘home’ and call it a ‘house’.

Cheerio.

 

10 Comments

  1. June 1, 2016 / 7:19 pm

    I know exactly what you mean. It’s not the house per se it’s the memories & the reminder that time is marching on. I blubbed when we moved over 7 yrs ago & we only moved about 2 miles down the road! But our last house was our first. 2 of my 3 children were born when we lived there. We had invested a lot of emotion in that house!! Good luck with the move & welcome back to the Motherland!!

    • June 2, 2016 / 8:55 am

      Thank Nicky!
      I get what you mean with the whole ‘time marching on’. Time seems to be flying by lately, I do wonder it that’s part of the reason for my sentimentality – I’m desperately trying to slow down time 🙂
      Michelle xx

  2. June 3, 2016 / 8:17 pm

    Hi Michelle,
    So happy to find you. I have the site 1010ParkPlace and write Brenda’s Blog there. Earlier this year I sold my home, the place where my husband died, unexpectedly, Christmas Day while out jogging. It’s difficult to say goodbye to a home full of memories and try not to think about the changes the new owners will make. In case you’re interested, here’s my post. http://www.1010parkplace.com/the-yin-and-yang-of-saying-goodbye/
    Wishing you all the best in your new home,
    Brenda Coffee

    • June 4, 2016 / 3:56 pm

      Thank you so much for leaving a comment Brenda.
      I read your post and was extremely moved by it, I cannot possibly understand exactly what you are going though, but it has made me (and a couple of friends of mine who also read it) appreciate this day a whole lot more.
      I see that you wrote the post a few months ago, I hope with all my heart that you and your dogs are now settled into your new house. I won’t call it your new home, as it may not feel like that yet. All I can say is with the deepest of wounds comes the toughest of scars, and the toughest of scars will numb the hurt – eventually.
      My very best hope for a brighter tomorrow. Do keep in touch and let me know how things are going.
      Michelle xx

  3. June 4, 2016 / 1:29 pm

    I love the idea of a house holding ghosts of families past. I often wonder what the people were like who lived in ours before us. Although I don’t believe in actual ghosts & I don’t think a bricks & mortar house holds the key to anyone’s happiness or lack there of.
    The wonderful thing about memories is that they reside inside of us. You’ve made some incredible memories Michelle & you’ll take them all with you when you go – Happy moving day!
    xxx

    • June 4, 2016 / 4:04 pm

      I’m with you there Michelle, it’s the people around us and our attitude to life that builds the foundation for happiness, not bricks and mortar that surrounds us. Now that the internal photographs have been taken I’m kind of looking forwards to seeing who buys the house, I hope they make it as much as a home as we have.
      Michelle xxx

  4. June 4, 2016 / 8:46 pm

    I remember being so sad about leaving the first house I shared with my husband – he’d been there 13 years when I moved in but it was so cosy and full of happy times for me. We only moved a few streets away, but we needed a bigger house as we had a baby on the way. It was a doer-upper and we spent lots of time and money on it. We thought that might be our forever home but life has a habit of throwing you a curve ball. We’ve moved again since then, relocating from Nottingham to Cheshire. Our current house still bears the signs of its previous occupants – a family with three lovely girls. Their names are still on the coat pegs in the understairs cupboard and on stones they painted in the garden but I rather like that…they are signs of the house’s happy past. I hope your move goes well 🙂

    Emma xxx
    http://www.style-splash.com

    • June 6, 2016 / 7:25 pm

      Hi Emma
      I really love that you have left the little signs of the previous family in your home. Sometimes we are too quick to eradicate all traces of a previous owner, but signs of a happy past – that’s spot on! 🙂
      Michelle xx

  5. June 11, 2016 / 7:10 am

    Lovely post, a fully understandable, but Michelle you new home will make new memories, and home is where family is, you will have lots of fun putting your own mark on it together, wishing you huge luck with the move,
    Lyn http://www.thelavenderbarn.co.uk

    • June 12, 2016 / 11:12 am

      Thanks Lynda 🙂
      I will be sad to say goodbye, but I already feel as if I’m moving on. I’m letting go – bit by bit.
      Michelle xx

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