Monday, May 19, 2008

Signs...


There's one in my front yard...

there's one in the yard behind us, down the street from us, around the corner from us...
there's two in yards across town whose occupants are actively packing...
one I know of now says "sold"...another nearby says "under contract".

Houses are for sale everywhere it seems... hours of feverish painting, refreshing, cleaning, pressure washing, updating, and de-cluttering have been accomplished. Staging and How to sell your house websites have been consulted along with watching numerous episodes of "Designed to Sell" type shows on HGTV. There were definitely some times recently I felt like I was in a HGTV episode. We've successfully removed any personal items and rearranged furniture so it looks more spacious. We have it ready for the buyers to be able to visualize their stuff in this space. One friend said, "It looks like a motel, I want to come stay" Mission accomplished.
For ten years we have made this house our home (you're supposed to start calling it a house when you're selling to cut the emotional ties...).
Would it surprise you to know that I've hated this house...deep inside where I didn't even want to admit it...I didn't like our house. I didn't even like it when we toured it the very first time...the avocado green stove, the 1978 wallpaper, the avocado green carpet, the dated light fixtures...it's difficult for me visualize potential...and anyway, we were probably only going to be here for 3-5 years and -it was a solidly built house, had a nice lot, and had a 24x28 wired and plumbed workshop...Joe loved the workshop and nothing else (all 262 homes I looked at) felt like the right one. Since then I've hated all the work we needed to do and hadn't...hated that it reminded me of failure to follow through on plans. All the detailed lists of never ending jobs we couldn't seem to make any progress toward getting done...
and yet, at the very same time, I've loved this home.

I've loved that this home was nicer than anywhere I'd even dreamed of living while growing up poor in rural East Tennessee. I've loved that I became a mommy here...learned a little about being a better wife...grew closer to my God...experienced a spiritual desert and came through to the lush mountain side. I have so many memories...and I really don't like change (but growth without change and conflict are impossible...a lesson learned, at least until the next time).

The memories held in this home are priceless. We settled into our married life here. We advanced our careers, Joe got a Master's Degree and his PE license-I became a nurse manager. Then we grew our family here. Grandma recuperated from heart surgery in this home. Buddy and Beth grieved and began healing after an unborn baby went unexpectedly to heaven. Friends and family have visited...laughed with us and loved us. This home has been a refuge from the chaos of life.

We announced the news of our first pregnancy, our second and our third. We experienced grief: a sister-in-law to cancer, an aunt also to cancer, an unborn baby of our own, a nephew born with Downs syndrome, a grandfather...we experienced struggles...for a season we parented a hurting nephew. We listened to...loved and prayed with hurting friends whose broken hearts and struggles brought them to their knees and our door...and we in return were listened to, loved and prayed for by those who reached out to us in the midst of our own struggles...our own pain and hurt.

But the joys...didn't they outnumber? We brought both our children from the hospital, to this house, their first home. They took their first steps and said their first words under this roof. We've giggled, tickled and played hide and seek. We've celebrated...Thanksgiving turkey, burning bread for many meals, blown out too many candles to count, hosted a baby shower or two, decorated Christmas trees...and lit fireworks. We got healthier...we ran races, we played phase 10 with too many to count...
We've lived here...celebrated, grieved, made mistakes, laughed, cried, yelled, fought, prayed and loved... and now, that all the to-do lists are complete...I can honestly say, I like this house. I am content here in a strange way and I'm at peace in this house in the midst of all the chaos.


"if these walls could speak, the stories they would tell"


If these old walls,


If these old walls could speak


Of the things that they remember well,


Stories and faces dearly held,


A couple in love Livin' week to week,


Rooms full of laughter.


If these walls could speak.


If these old halls,


If hallowed halls could talk,


These would have a tale to tell


Of sun going' down and dinner bell,


And children playing at hide and seek


from floor to rafter,


If these halls could speak.


They would tell you that I'm sorry


For being' cold and blind and weak.


They would tell you that it's only


That I have a stubborn streak,


If these walls could speak.


If these old fashioned window panes were eyes,


I guess they would have seen it all--


Each little tear and sigh and footfall,


And every dream that we came to seek


Or followed after,


If these walls could speak.


They would tell you that I owe you


More than I could ever pay.


Here's someone who really loves you;


Don't ever go away.


That's what these walls would say.


-Amy Grant




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