I sold my house but I don't want to move

I sold my house but I don't want to move

In 35 days I will be moving. I don't want to go but as I do, I would like to say a few words. A few words of love to my humble home of the past 22 years:

When I first stepped through your doors I remember thinking about the thrill of owning a home. I was very pregnant and you had all the room I seemed to need. You had a beautiful yard, filled with mature trees and an abundance of wildlife. Squirrels, rabbits, birds; they all made for a slice of nature's wonderland.

I never planned to live here for this long but somehow the years have flown by faster than I could ever imagine and now as I prepare to leave you, I can't imagine how I will live anywhere else. If I could pick you up and move you closer to the city where one of my girls now lives, I would. If I could plunk you down next to my husbands office in a "closer to the city suburb", I would. And if I could do that plus give you the much needed extra room I have always dreamed of I would do that too. But I can't.

So, here I am about to say good-bye to you and I don't know how I will do that without the heaviest of hearts. You have been not just a house, but a home. One that has not been built of bricks and mortar but of love and memories. One that has provided shelter and warmth, family togetherness, and a myriad of so many things it's hard to even remember them all.

I didn't even quite have everything settled before I brought daughter number 2 home to you. Number one had not yet adjusted to her new room and at the ripe age of two, made herself a comfortable bed at the foot of mine. When number two was older, she too made a place for herself at the foot of the bed as well.

Over the years their rooms became their own little worlds. They were painted and repainted, decorated and redecorated as they grew. First it was baby bears, then it was tweendom. Then it was high school, hip and colorful and then as they grew it suddenly became grown up and neutral.

The family room began as a Southwest designers late 80's dream. It's evolved over the years and accommodated toys upon toys; boys upon boys. It's been the host room of many a family gathering; my mother was here, her presence is always remembered now that she is gone. She played on the floor with the girls as Dad slept in one of the easy chairs. Now he still comes by and sleeps in the chair.

We made our living room a big dining room so we could have family holidays. There have been many; with relatives that are no longer with us. The great laughter of my mother in law, the beautiful smile of my mother all memories at the table in that room. The piano that the girls briefly took lessons on sits in that room as well. They were little girls, now they are college graduates.

The kitchen has always been my favorite room. It is where family dinners were a way of life, crafts were done at the table. I sat in there sewing halloween costumes, curtains, clothes. I redid it a few years ago and I still think it's the prettiest kitchen anywhere, even if other people don't. It's the room where any party ended up congregating. The room where we played the game of "Life", "Monopoly" and "Catch Phrase" for hours and hours as the room filled with laughter.

And the yard. Oh the backyard with the swing set that we bought for daughter number one when she started going on the potty. And the "little house" that was a miniature version of ours. The pretend games of "house" we played in there. The swings and the slide. The laughter. The patio with the outdoor meals.

Then there was the basketball hoop on the driveway. The hours daughter number two played on that driveway could go down in record books. And the thrill of sitting on the front stoop watching her can never be equaled.

You have been part of an idyllic neighborhood with a park that is also filled with memories. The playground where the girls played for hours; the baseball field where daughter number two and her little league team of all boys plus her, won the world series at the ripe old age of 10. And the riding bikes all around the subdivision; the cement sidewalk that the girls carved their initials into, forever to be a part of this place.

Every time we did something to you we were all so excited. The new bathroom; the new landscaping. Even just a new door was a thrill because with every little thing, it made our home the best ever. And now we are leaving.

I have to realize that no matter where we go, we will make a new place our home. But it will not be the same as you. People always seem to remember the home they grew up in or the house they raised their family in. And I will. But now it's time to go - it will be the hardest thing I have done in a long time.

I will take my memories with me and hold on to them tightly. I don't know if once I'm gone I will be able to come and see you again; it will make me too sad.

So yes, you will have a new family living here. We feel as though we are betraying you, leaving you to have someone else take care of you. We can only hope that they do half as good a job as we did.

Thank you for being my shelter, my haven. When it's time to say good-bye I hope you give me a sign that I'm doing the right thing.

Have another car drive through the front door? (future blog)


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  • "Have you ever had a really hard time saying goodbye to a home?" Oh, yes. I moved out of my house of 18 years in June 2010, and I still wonder if it was the right thing to do. I moved nearby and I still visit the neighbor across the street, so I have many occasions to see the old place, and I still get melancholy. I got married a few months before and we needed more room. Our new place has that, and we live around the corner from my parents, which is the right place to be right now...but I still can't help feeling sad sometimes. I hope to move back to the old town (which I love) in a few years, because I miss the town as much as the house. Even though we can't move back to the old house, it would be the next best thing.

  • In reply to juliepie628:

    The one thing I won't be sad about is the town. I hope that will make it easier to go. I hope you get your wish to move back to your town; thanks for writing.

  • This makes me sad. The memories will stay with you even when the house is gone.

  • In reply to Yoga Mom:

    You're right, that is what I will take with me for sure. I hope to love my next house even more if that's possible. If I don't find one soon, I may be homeless!

  • Everytime I move I feel as if I left a little part of me behind in the place I moved from. I too know what it is like to move and not want to leave that house. In 2004 my husband and I sold our little house in Ft Lauderdale, FL to return to the Chicago area to take care of my elderly mom. It was the first home we owned together as a couple and the first home my husband ever owned. I will never forget when we closed the door for the last time - we both cried all the way down the street and didn't stop until we were on I-95 heading north. The new family who bought the house were waiting for our movers to leave, so they could put in tile, something I never got to do - that really made me sad.

    We did make it back to Florida, but North Florida this time. It is not the same, but I do love our condo here and I had it fixed up the way I wanted it before moving in, so I will have no regrets in that way.

    Last summer we went back to South Florida to visit for the first time since leaving. We took a ride through the old neighborhood twinged with melancholy. The house looked so different - the new owners even cut down the palm trees in the yard! Now it is someone else's home.

    We will probably never go back to South Florida, but I know where we are at now will not be our final stop on the wheel of life. I just hope for happiness wherever we are.

    Good luck in your new home - I hope it is filled with love, laughter, happiness, and new memories!

  • In reply to ArielPlath:

    Wow, I think of the moment we close the door for the last time and I am dreading it! I have to remember that "home is where the heart is" and my new house will be made a home as well. Thanks so much for your story, I hope you find much happiness in your home as well.

  • Teppi, your best writing is when you address supposedly inanimate objects - like a house or a computer or a telephone company. Mind you, I do not mean this in a bad way at all - to the contrary, I love how you evoke very strong, very personal, very human feelings in relation to each of these.

    A house definitely is only "supposedly" inanimate as it is so full of the lives that have lived and breathed within - as you say, for many of us privileged folk, a house becomes a home. Thanks for evoking lovely images of your family growing up in your home. In the end, however, "Home is where the Heart Is" and you clearly have such a big heart, I just know that a beautiful new home, created by you, is just around the corner. Who knows, maybe you will raise new members of the family (i.e., grandchildren) there.

    Many good wishes as you embark on this new chapter of your life!

  • In reply to jiyer:

    I do enjoy addressing inanimate objects :) I seem to look at them as friend or foe.

    You are always so kind! I am hoping to find a home soon, one that when I walk in I know it's "the one". It's going to take a lot but I am confident that it's out there. And I hope to fill it with LOTS of grandchildren. And THAT will make it the best home ever!! :)

  • In reply to Teppi Jacobsen:

    My goodness I completely forgot to add - your daughter was in a World Series winning Little League team?!! Seriously? With those kinds of genes, absolutely, I hope you have LOTS of grandchildren :)

  • In reply to jiyer:

    Me too!!! I miss the babies!!

  • Hi Teppi,
    I want to congratulate you on an awesome, heartfelt account of what it's like to leave a home you love. I know a lot of people nowadays can relate. I regret ever selling my childhood home and wish I still had it so this resonates a lot with me. Keep up the great work and congrats on an article everyone can relate to....:-)

  • In reply to Candace Jordan:

    Candace I can't thank you enough for your kind words. Coming from you it is the ultimate compliment. 32 days left. I do hope that we find a great home soon and my hope is to fill it with more love and memories when grandkids come along :) Thanks again so very much.

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