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Friday, March 15, 2013

A New Chapter

....by Olivia Kelly

 There was a big change in my life recently. My husband and I just sold our house, the first one we ever bought. It's been a bittersweet experience. 

The Little Blue House

Bitter, in that it's been a real pain in the butt to update our little old cottage and keep it clean enough for showings while running around after two little boys. Bitter, in that we love the individuality that made this house special, the fun nooks and odd crannies. Bitter, in that my second son was born into this house and it's the only home my older son can remember.


It's where they learned to walk, to run, to talk, to argue, to laugh, to tell a joke and to make scrambled eggs. That house is where they learned the importance of weeding and watering a garden, the first time they ever saw a plant grown from seed to fruition. 



In that yard they learned the difference between thyme and rosemary and lavender, and that mulberries are sweetest when they are plump and almost black. 

The first time my older son realized he could propel his own swing with the power of his body and gravity was on the playset in our backyard.

If that driveway could speak, it would tell the tale of countless spills and tumbles, as my sons learned to balance on their first bikes, skateboards, scooters, and occasionally just their own two feet. I'm sure it would stay mum on the time I ran over my younger son's tricycle while backing out of the driveway, however. (It wasn't my fault! I told them to put away their toys.)

It was here that I finally managed to coax a tiny lilac bush into blooming, even though it only produced a measly smattering of flowers each spring for two weeks. But I had my lilacs!

 

That house has borne the brunt of two little boys growing, learning, making mistakes and winning small victories. There are juice stains on the carpet, bloodstains on the ceiling fan (don't even ask), bumps and scrapes and scratches galore adorn the walls, floors and windowsills; each one is its own story. 


I'll miss the fireplace made of river rock where we spent many winter nights watching the fire crackle and hiss.

I'll miss the window over the kitchen sink where I could see the boys shrieking with giggles as they played in the sprinkler.

I'll miss my little soft yellow and white office at the top of the stairs, with its pretty view of pine trees and the weather-worn brick of the chimney. 

I won't miss the dearth of friendly neighbors, sidewalks and families with small children. Despite the good times we had in the Little Blue House, my sons are growing older and the lack of other kids their age in our neighborhood is starting to become an issue.


My husband and I began to feel guilty that they couldn't just run down the street to a buddy's house and ask him or her to come out and play. It was something that both of us loved about our own childhoods, and wish for our boys. So it was time to make a move.

We've decided to build in a new community only minutes away from the Little Blue House. The boys will stay in their school, we can keep our household close to my parents (who live nearby) and the new community has a large percentage of young families. We're excited, full of hope and pride and butterflies in the stomach. Pretty soon they will break ground on the new house and I can't wait. 

It feels good.
It feels right.
A new chapter.


How about you? When's the last time you broke out of your routine and opened a new chapter in your life? 
  

22 comments:

  1. You can't just mention bloodstains on a ceiling fan and NOT explain that one - lol. The last time our family moved my oldest was 18 months old. We moved from Arizona back to Illinois. This is the only house my kids have ever known and it is full of so many memories. I would have a hard time picking up roots (plus I am too lazy to think about moving this place - lol).

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    1. I vowed NEVER to move again after this one, I swear it was so much work!

      Okay, the blood stains on the ceiling fan story: My cousin came to visit when the boys were one and three years old. He's a great guy but doesn't have any kids and isn't used to taking precautions when playing around with them! He gave my one year old a ride around the living room on his shoulders and THUMP! stood too close to the fan! The blade rotated around and caught my son in the back of the head, cutting him. Thankfully, it was a small (ish) cut and didn't need stitches! ;)

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    2. Ouch!!!! Similar story at my mom's house. Brother-in-law (no kids of his own yet) tossing the first grandchild (our nephew) in the the air and right into a ceiling beam in the kitchen. We've never let him forget it - lol. Luckily the child wasn't hurt seriously but I think my brother-in-law still feels like crap because of it.

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  2. Congrats on the move! I hope the building goes smoothly and you guys love the new place!

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    1. Thanks Deb! I'm sure there will a post sometime in the summer griping about the construction process, lol....

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  3. Congrats on your new move! I know you are going to love a new house to build memories in. :)

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    1. Thanks! We're really looking forward to the move...

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  4. It is bitter sweet to move, especially when it's the first house. I remember our first house. I loved it and hated it. I break routine about every four years now. It's hard to start anew, but satisfying. Next time we are probably heading back to the south. I feel at home there.

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  5. Olivia,
    Congratulations on the new house! Having kids in the neighborhood makes a big difference. When we moved into our current house, our daughter had just turned three and I was worried because it was an older neighborhood without many younger couples. Now many of the retired couples have downsized and younger people have moved in with kids. I grew up in a neighborhood with lots of friends, and I wanted that for my kids. :)

    It has been a while since we started a new chapter in our lives, but I'm hoping it will be possible soon. I'd love to become a full time writer, but it's a huge and scary step to take.

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    1. That is a huge step, but I'll be rooting for you! I just know that it'll happen for you.

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  6. Congratulations on selling your house and buying a new one! So exciting, even if it is bittersweet.

    So...the last time I started a new chapter in my life was exactly seven months ago today. That was the day I got behind the wheel of a moving truck with my car behind me and left Texas to start over again in North Carolina. It's been fantastic for my stress-level and overall happiness. I think it is turning out to be great for my writing career, which was the impetus behind it.

    I went back to Texas for a visit last month, and when I saw my girlfriends, they told me I looked happier than I had the last several times they'd seen me. That just confirmed what I had been feeling for myself. :)

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    1. I was just thinking this morning what a great move it has been for you. (Hugs!)

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  7. Oh, Olivia! I've started several new chapters in my life. I moved around a lot when I was a kid. Recovering from divorce was one of the hardest "new" chapter to begin, and I'm so glad THOSE days are behind me. My most recent "new" chapter has been blending my life with The Scientist's and those of our respective children. New chapters can be scary, but I'm sure you're going to love yours. :)

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    1. New chapters ARE scary, but sometimes they can bring such happiness and peace that it totally outweighs the negative. I think the blending of families is a wonderful new beginning, one of the best!

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  8. Hi, Olivia!

    I know you will enjoy your new home. While you have memories of your first home, just think of all of the memories you will be making with your new one! Such excitement and wonder to look forward to!

    My husband and I have moved a number of times during our marriage. We went from our first home to a newer and bigger one that we built. Then, we moved to Washington, DC for a year, back to the big home, then to Paris France for three years, back to the big home for a number of years, back to Paris for three more years and back to the big home until we retired. Then we moved to Florida into a lovely home with the pool, boat, yard, etc. We enjoyed fixing it up but decided the yard work was more than we wanted to do. So, seven years ago, we moved into a condo and love it! We just lock the door, turn on the alarm and head out wherever we want to go.

    People have asked if it was hard to make all of those moves but no, it wasn’t. The reason is I knew there was always something new and different around the corner. Never stop learning and experiencing something new. That’s what life is all about.

    Happy New Home to you and your family!

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  9. Oh, my- Paris? How amazing that must have been! I would love to live in Paris for a year, or maybe the French countryside. How fun!

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    1. It was a fabulous experience, Olivia. Our family was able to experience so many wonderful things and travel all around Europe. I feel so blessed to have had the chances to do this.

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  10. Oh Olivia,
    I connect so much with this post. I was actually recently journaling about our move. We closed on our house a week or two before you, and the pain of leaving all those memories behind is hard for me...you, however, have a lovely, lovely outlook. We haven't found our 'forever-home' yet...but are looking quite earnestly for it. : ) And the little blue house (which is VASTLY bigger than my first CT home) was a beautiful, beautiful home! All the luck in the world as you build new memories into your new home!

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  11. Congrats on the sale of The Little Blue House. For us, it was the Little Yellow House. *sniff* I miss that place sometimes, well mostly when I have to clean this house. ha!

    Seriously though, it's hard to leave behind a house that you have so many good, funny, terrifying, sweet and loving memories hanging around there, like echoes or ghosts or something. ;)

    I'm know you will make even more FABULOUS memories with your family and your career in your new house, Olivia!

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  12. Congrats on the move! I can't wait to do the same myself! My hubs gets sad at the thought of leaving our first house behind, but once that moving van is loaded, I'm going to peel rubber like an overripe banana. ;] Can't wait to see pics of the new house!

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  13. Congrats on the new house, Olivia!!

    It's amazing how nostalgic a home can be. When we moved to our current place, we originally only planned to stay 5-7 years. We've been here almost 8 now and I can't imagine being anywhere else. :)

    Good luck with the build!! I hope all the contractors are awesome and everything stays on schedule!

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