Goodbye to the Little House in the Big Woods

I’m a little behind on my blogging schedule. Between the move, the Covid, a weekend away with my husband, I haven’t had the time to formulate my thoughts beyond a few scant notes. So bear with me if you see the sudden influx of posts.

Our move is finished! All the boxes are not-so-neatly distributed between the temporary home and a friend’s garage, and we are settled in. The closing process took forever! It was probably the most stressful thing I’ve ever done and I never want to sell again. How do realtors do their job without crying?

The move itself got emotional for me right at the very end.

Selling this house was weird. I had only lived there a year, but Robert had lived there close to ten years. That was Amanda’s house. I always felt incredible guilt whenever we would paint or move furniture to try to make it suit our family of four. On my best days, I felt the constant sting of hurting people who love her by changing the things she had done. On my worst days, I felt like I was playing house with another woman’s husband.

I had to talk myself back into reality a lot in that little house in the big woods. I had to remind myself that God ordained marriage as good and that it’s NOT good for man to be alone. Robert and I were alone, God brought us together, this was good! But inside the house, Amanda still lived and I didn’t belong there. It was very strange… She and I coexist wonderfully when Robert and I talk to our oldest about her or bring up memories to keep her from forgetting her first mom. But standing in her kitchen, preparing foods that I know from her cooking blog she could prepare a hundred times better than me, we did not coexist. I was an interloper and I felt it.

But then we decided to sell. We wanted to be closer to Robert’s work as he had an hour commute every day (little did we know just how close to work he’d be getting, but that includes a whole job switch that I’ll talk about later. Stay tuned!). There were a few cosmetic things we had to do to put the house on the market, one of them being painting the entire exterior of the house. While I had a great time painting (I love painting walls and apparently houses too!), I was constantly anxious about changing her house. Even worse, when the “For Sale” sign went up, I felt like I had betrayed her. I was selling her house. I… this horrible hussy who stole her husband and sold her house like some ungrateful tramp.

I’m really glad my husband doesn’t see me the way I see myself sometimes.

Well, the offers were made, the contracts were signed, the sale went through. My husband was thrilled. He’s better at seeing realistically than I am and he constantly helps me see life for the adventure that it is. Our permanent home is still a few months out, but God’s already provided for us so well!

And then on the last day, I cried. Yes, the house was mostly Amanda’s and Robert’s, but there were a couple rooms that were mine and Robert’s: the school room we had to paint twice due to a colour snafu, the master bedroom that we redid and made our own, the girls’ room that we painted pink and purple and decorated with a tiny chandelier. This was the house where I had my first, most wonderful year of marriage. This was the house where both our girls learned to sleep through the night after being kids who habitually woke up with nightmares. This was the house I painted! This was the house where I learned to feel safe in marriage. This was the house where the girls started learning how to read. This was the house where I got to be a full time, stay at home mom and really dug into my role as a parent. And now it’s somebody else’s house.

The temporary house doesn’t feel like mine, but it feels like home. In the same way a dorm room wasn’t mine to keep, but was my home for a semester. The room itself is just a room, not haunted by the students who lived there before me. So too is this house not haunted by unmeetable expectations, but can just be my home. I am so very grateful to be right where I am! And so very excited for the adventures that are to come.

Goodbye, little house in the big woods! Hello, temporary house. Can’t wait to see you, permanent house!

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