You have probably started to notice that something is going on. Some of your rooms are almost empty now, and others are an uproar of boxes and pieces of furniture not in their usual places. As you know, I’m not a big fan of chaos, so there has to be a good reason for all this mess. I guess you’ve figured out what is going on, though it has been a while since the last time you did this- almost 14 years. I’m not sure how you are feeling about it all, but I hope you will understand if I am not as sad as you might be. We both know I need a fresh start.
But please don’t think I’m leaving without any happy memories. There were many. Remember when Claire was first sleeping in a big girl bed and she would sneak out of it and her room during nap time and go into the playroom, because it was RIGHT NEXT to her bedroom and who could resist that temptation? And, of course, there was the girls’ endless fascination with your laundry chute. They played some crazy game for hours on end that involved hurling stuffed animals down the chute, racing down two flights of stairs to the basement to retrieve the toys and starting all over again.Thank you for making sure none of those stuffed animals ever got stuck in that chute. That would have taken all the fun out of the game.
Speaking of the basement, you certainly did double duty there, hosting countless gatherings for the girls and their friends. They really loved that part of you, especially as they grew older and wanted to be able to hang out with their teenage friends in a room other than the one their parents were sitting in.
That first Thanksgiving, when we hosted 15 people and somehow managed to prepare the entire meal with one small oven and only three working burners on the stove? That was fun. New Years Eve with the girls’ godmothers and their families were full of love and laughter-6 adults and 8 children under the age of 8 for one great big sleepover, a whole lot of celebrating and some fiercely competitive board games.
And who can forget all those power outages? I know, those weren’t your fault. The pine trees and the power line never did get along well. But you taught me how to make do for days on end with no heat, water or electricity. Holing up in one room of the house with mattresses and a roaring fire and good books and time for conversation was precious time for all of us.
Snow was lots of fun here. The driveway made a perfect sledding path. I think I liked it better for sledding than for wheeling the trash can up and down every Friday.
Speaking of outside, you gave me so many new experiences. I’d never lived in the country before, so seeing a black bear just yards from the back door was pretty exciting, if a little terrifying. Hearing foxes cry at night… that was interesting. I liked the hoot owl’s call better. I must admit I grew tired of all the deer. They’re cute, but you and I both know that is why I dug out all the rose bushes that one Sunday morning. I loved learning about vegetable gardening here, and if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t have become a bird watcher or such a fan of peonies.
Your three fireplaces were terrific. Especially this winter, which was long and hard for many reasons. I found sitting in front of your fire most evenings to be just what I needed.
So, thank you. Thank you for sheltering us well for many years. For being the home that my children will remember forever. For understanding why I need to go now. I wish you could come see the new house. It’s quite different. Small. It was once a barn. I know- I’m as surprised as you that I’m going to live in a barn. But I needed a change- a big one.The girls thought I was crazy when they first saw it, but they are excited now.
You’re going to like your new family. Get ready for some big changes. I hear walls are coming down. And they have boys-three of them! That’s something you haven’t had here in a long time- at least 25 years!
You’ll be fine. I think you’re going to like your new life.
I will be fine too, though I will probably cry on our last day together.
With love and gratitude, Lisa