Saturday, February 12, 2011

Empty house

If you have been reading my blog for awhile you know the saga of the unsold house. We bought our current house, spent nearly a year remodeling, then couldn't sell our old house. We rented it out. This month our renters moved out and we are getting it ready to put back on the market. We need to sell it. Soon. Today we went over to see what needed to be done to get it ready to show. As it turned out, not too much. We need to clean some carpets, touch up some paint, do some yard work. Both bathroom countertops need attention. The downstairs bath will get a new countertop. The upstairs bath has a tiled counter with a problem. I worked on it and think I have a solution for that.

Our renters took good care of things. I am grateful.

My son came and helped us for awhile. He asked if I missed the house and said he misses it. Funny, because he never lived there. I don't miss it. I wandered through it today and wondered what I should feel. It is such a special house and I am so grateful that I got to live there for as long as I did but I am glad to be where I am now. I didn't feel sad about being there, just eager to make it look its best and let someone else love it as I have.

When we were looking for a house in Portland we looked at a lot. When we pulled up in front of this house I knew it was the one, before I even went inside. It isn't fancy and has some real inconveniences, but I always said it was the house I had been looking for for 20 years. It has character and warmth and a comfortably well-worn quality.

But I was happy to leave when it was clear that the time had come to move on. I am happy not to be carrying laundry from the basement to the second floor, and toting groceries up two flights of stairs, though I think the house kept me fit for all those years!

When we left today, Ray said, "Isn't this a great house?" I agreed. Then we came home to our comfy cottage in the woods and rested our weary bones.

The house is almost 100 years old. I think the thing about an old house like that is that you always know you are just one of many owners and, in a way, you are just passing through. There is a certain responsibility to keep it vital and pass it on. We're just trying to do that.


  1. I agree with Andy, I miss that house as well. But Terry, I miss not visiting your "cottage", everytime I come by. Your houses are always homes, you just get a good vibe when you walk into them. I have always felt welcome.

  2. Is the statuette still in the garden?

  3. bittersweet post!


  4. I miss that house because you were closer to me. I always felt you were just across the river.

  5. I looks like a wonderful house. I have moved often and always felt that where I lived was home. I wish you luck and hope you have a fast sale. BTW I have now made 12 birds.

  6. Anonymous9:31 AM

    If I lived in Portland, that house would be perfect. Hope it sells soon to someone who will cherish it. I believe that homes have souls perhaps from all the lives that have dwelled within them.

    Jean S.

  7. I remember that house from your blog posts while you lived there. I think it is must be very hard to leave a house where you have been happy. I was glad to leave my house for this place I live in, but it has had wonderful karma and it will be wrenching when I have to move. I am so glad you love where you are now and can wander through this one without pain.

  8. Wish you a speedy sale & one for me too in 2011. I think houses grow souls from the people who make them homes. The right new family will come along to love your house & mine.

  9. Your "new" house is so wonderful, I can see why you would be content. I love both of them, although, being challenged at home renovation/dcoration, I never imagined the miracles you pulled off in your current quarters. They don't seem to resemble what I saw when you first bought the house. So clearly, you make your space; it doesn't make you:-)

  10. Rereading my comment, I thought it might have sounded like I meant _you_ were challenged as a renovator. No such thing. It was I whom I was referring to as someone who isn't all that whippy about setting up a home space that is both elegant and comfortable. You and Ray clearly have a talent that you've honed over the years.

    I also meant to say that when I saw your current house empty, when you first bought it, I never could have imagined how wonderful it could be. Your own insights into the possibilities boggle my mind.

    Sorry if I was obscure. Sometimes my mind and my words don't match.