We shape our buildings and then our buildings shape us. Winston Churchill
“I think of Simplicity as a gift. A gift we were given. A gift we are giving to another.” Don’s words bounce off the now empty floor. “I see all the ways we have made this home. How strange it will be to have another family living here, calling it home,” he adds. I take a long loving look at this tender-hearted man, a man who I feel I have known a lifetime, and intimately sense his every word.
When we met Simplicity, we were at the beginning of our marriage with new careers. We had hopes to grow both our love and our talents in a place we could call home. Simplicity’s emptiness was a white canvas on which to paint our dreams. She allowed us to challenge her spaces in creating our life here. Her empty rooms transformed into humming offices and studios. Her many doors challenged our furniture arrangement. Her unique floorplan became the charm we learned to love.
Today, she is empty of furniture, but not of memories. While the wooden floors are swept of dust bunnies, the stories remain in our hearts. How quickly I remember the day we first set eyes on Simplicity. She looked a bit awkward, having been moved to that site a few months before. No grass, no trees, nothing but a big yellow house in the middle of the block. We loved her instantly. Such fun days were before us as we planned our arrangement of furniture and how we would live our life in her boxy spaces. As I walked through each of the now empty rooms, the memories quickly spilled from my heart.
The grandchildren’s countless adventures in discovering Simplicity’s nooks and crannies. The overnight stays of so many as each one rested in the corner guest room. The faces and voices of friends and family who shared a meal at the dining room table. The hours of concentrated study, research, and writing in my small office developing my master’s thesis. The planning and preparing for our first art shows. The clanging of the pots and pans in the tall blonde cabinet in the kitchen as they readied for yet another meal. The smell and sound of the coffee brewing, awaiting our morning chats. The porches where we took deep breaths with our thoughts, watching the squirrels at play in the trees and hearing the birds call to each other. No room, no space, was truly empty as each memory resonated like a prayer of gratitude.
Walking past the refrigerator, I released a magnet that held a small slip of paper. The words, a reminder of our hopes for this move. “May our decision to leave Simplicity be clear and respectful. May our decision to purchase a new home be wise and adventuresome. May we be at peace.” These words have been our mindful intentions.
One last sweep with the dust mop and we close the door. The sound of the latch is final and there is a tightness in our hearts. Simplicity will sleep the night alone, in silence. In the morning her new owners arrive, and she begins a new chapter of life. Just as we will. Good Bye, Dear Simplicity. We have grown our hearts and souls here. Don and I know each other better, love each other more. Here we have supported and honored the other’s becoming. Difficult and playful conversations have held both laughter and tears. Your spaces have gifted us and many others with memories that have shaped lives. You have been a respectful witness.
Now, we take all we are and all we have to our next house. Remembering the lessons learned here, Simplicity, we will create home once again. It is time to go.
P.S. Thank you, dear readers, for your journey with me these 53 weeks! When I started this blog about our house, Simplicity, I wondered how it would end. Little did I know then, that a year later my last blog would be about saying Good Bye to this old house that has loved us so well. And here ends my story of her. I plan to take a blog-break until the new year and then return with this same address ‘about simplicity’ with a new format and intention. Hope to see you in the new year!