Sunday, July 06, 2008

Before and After part 3: Web album of the rest of the rooms

I'm using my blog as therapy at this point; it is a place where I can work through how I am feeling about all the changes that are happening in my world right now, and also as a place to record the process to some extent.

Like most women, my home is very much a part of my identity. While "things" are not as important as people, things carry poignant memories, and are not easily discarded. Even something as simple as moving a picture or a chair is felt like a restructuring of life.

Sometimes I like to move furniture and pictures around. A new perspective can be gained that way, or perhaps it is a way to close a chapter of life or to begin a new chapter. I've had seasons of my life when I moved furniture and accessories around pretty frequently, and other seasons, such as the years here in Texas where I have hardly moved a thing.

My guess is that being in such a very different place than where I spent my first 48 years of life made me feel like I wanted stability rather than new arrangements. Ten years in Texas and I still have a hard time saying "I live in Texas." I tend to say "we are living in Texas now..." instead.

I knew we never intended to live out our old age in this particular house. So everyday it seemed one of us would say "this is such a beautiful house. What an amazing blessing it is to have the chance to live here."

Sometimes I mentally note that I am grateful for the fact that I am not living in a war torn land, or in a place with disease or famine. That blessing strikes me as incredibly undeserved. I am so very thankful for my blessing upon my circumstances as well.

Today I read about a couple who "downsized" to a 6,000 sq. ft. house, before they ultimately downsized to two bedrooms in a retirement center. After they moved into the their quarters they found an abundance of time for friendship and activities, which they counted as a good trade for their cast off possessions.

It amuses me to remember that one of the reasons we bought this house in the first place was so we could easily entertain large groups, both for business and socially. We did have quite a few parties with twenty or thirty people milling about and enjoying themselves.

What amuses me about that is that in college I used to have groups of fifteen for parties and bible studies in my dorm room, a room that was roughly the size of my current guest room, or master bathroom! The surprising difference was that people dropped by my dorm room, and I had plenty of friends to hang out with throughout the week.

Few (if anyone!) ever dropped by my big old house just to say hi. Granted it is a haul to get out here, 11 miles off the freeway, but still, I do have neighbors and only one of them has every dropped by regularly.

I'm know I am rambling here. But if you are reading this, I'd like to think that you would, if you geographically could, be a neighbor that would drop by. Soon many people are going to be able to "drop by" my house electronically via the real estate website.

I will not be a hostess to them; they will never know me, nor know how my home really looked before it became a stage. The house will look wonderful; but it is now a bit of pretend.

So...for the sake of my own memories, so I can remember how my house looked before, and how it changed, I put together a web slide show of thirty two slides so I can hostess my blog readers personally through the rest of the house.

If you care to, you can see the pictures without the commentary, and then also with the commentary. My snarky comments take up a lot of room over the pictures and they are what you would hear if you had popped by to see how I was doing with the move.

I have a small favor to ask of you, dear reader, if I may.

If you are someone who usually reads my blog but never or rarely comments, could you please just add a comment to say hi? I know I come across really strong in all this moving, and I indeed am doing well, but I do have my moments when I feel a bit overwhelmed with the process of packing, showing and selling the house, looking for a new job in SLC or California, being there for Bernie as he deals with the stresses of finishing his current job and looks for new work as well.

Like the theme song on the TV series Scrubs says:

"I can't do this all by myself. No, I know, I'm no Superman."

I'm no Superwoman either, and having friends in blogland comment can really make me feel stronger for facing these upcoming days.


Marie Christopher said...

Well, I loved the tour!
Your home has always been warm and welcoming.

Kate said...

I saw a billboard in Texas on one of my recent trips urging readers to "Downsize to a bigger life." I smiled smugly and said to my Sweetie, "We've already done that!" You will find your way to a new living arrangement that will suit you both just fine. I am sure of that. I too am in transition, one I expected and one, very much unexpected. I remain optimistic tho', as I know you will too. Will visit your virtual tour soon but I was lucky enough to be one of those entertained in your lovely home.

Hang in there!
Kate Q:-)

Dawn said...

Your home is lovely!
As you know, we live in the family more than 2000 sq ft with one bathroom....raised five kids here.
I suppose we could a closet perhaps?

I love the spacious Texas homes I saw when visiting there recently. I envied to space to breathe.


Hope all this staging is just what is needed for a quick sale!

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

I just took the all looks gorgeous.

I agree, get out your lime hat for that bedroom bay window will go much better with the Ikea pillow too!

A Lady said...

Concider me to have popped over to give you a big hug, kiss on the cheek, and silly grin! (and added, "so, what's for dinner?)
I love you and I wish I could be there to help you vent, imagine, and just plain old get through this!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jill,
I drop by your blog almost everyday and sometimes feel like I would be bothering you to leave a comment. I look forward to your "ramblings" and you often make me smile. I too have gone through much change in the last 2 months. We celebrated 30 years of marriage, my dear Mom passed away suddenly, my son graduated university and both my children (son & daughter)got married within a month of each other. A lot has happened. You are in my prayers.
A sister in the Lord.
DEBBIE (Canada)

Elizabeth said...

We downsized from a big house on 2 acres on long Island to an apartment in NY.
It was hard at first. - then we had 2 years in the little house in Marrakech. Change can be awfully hard but it is enriching.
I think the key is to always look forward and never regret what one once had.

Maureen said...

I read your blog and Laura's daily. I am sorry I didn't leave any comment.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps I should have read this post before I sent you that email...a few of my questions would have been answered!

I agree...replace the purple hat with the lime one...the color works better in your bedroom.

Your best accessories: Tiggie and Hart. They add a warmth and softness to any room they inhabit.

Your photo tour will be useful in many ways, not only to remind you of the years in Texas, but also after you move and you're trying desperately to find and place your pictures, knick-knacks, and whatever into your new home. I have referred back to several photos trying to remember what is still missing, or how did I have this item placed, or where did that lamp sit before? I do agree...I hate to see my books sitting around unshelved. And the things that are used frequently (the toothbrush and hand lotion)...put'em out where I can get to them quickly and easily!

Jill, your home is beautiful. I can't imagine anyone in the market for a home not falling in love with it!

Kathy said...

I was thinking of you today and all the changes that are taking place. I relate to 'things' and places being loaded with memories and emotional attachments.

The tour was great and I read all the commentary. What a lovely home - before and after. Sheesh - what a surprise to get a visit from a stager!

Dropping by seems to be going by the wayside. I miss it.

Lovella ♥ said...

Hi Jill, (my friend). . .Oh if only I could hug you now. I didn't get to see the web album since I'm having trouble accessing the web album even my own. I'll have to get my techie son to look at this problem too.
I can't imagine the move you need to make. I can only empathize which is what we can do when we don't truly understand but we care. I trust that in the end, you and B will be settled into a lovely home that will feel like home. . a place where your family can come to hang out. . .really with wonderful kids that want to come home .. . you are infinetly blessed.

Beth H said...

Hi Jill, I first came for the hats and keep coming back because I enjoy reading what you write. Blog on.

Marg said...

This is really scarry stuff.
I have never moved more than 30 miles and yet we always stayed in the same agricultural area.
YIKES, I would need more than therapy.
I'll snoop around at your pictures tomorrow.

Lovella ♥ said...

Ah, so happy I got onto the web album and lounged in your home for a bit, imagining being there for a proper sit for tea. It was all so lovely, your home is truly spacious.

L&D said...

Cheering you on! I have a tiny little home and it's just the perfect size for the 3 of us. I totally get it when you say a home is part of a woman's identity. Very much agree.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jill,
Do you really want to leave Texas? I hear that it's booming there right now. I hope you two find everything you're looking for. You deserve every happiness.
I have a question for you. I can't find Tuka Threads online anymore. Do you know what has happened with Joan and her company?

I can't get over how lovely your house is. Just beautiful. The color, the whimsy, all of it.

Thanks - Alison

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the tour of your home. Loved your spacious bath room with the large windows. I had to snicker at the 3 wine glasses and the 2 books. What do you think was your stagers inspiration on that one? My neighbour has just begun a career in staging and I think she will do fabulous. My MIL staged her own home for selling and she got top marks! To encourage you they moved from living on the Island for years and now moved to our town two weeks ago. They were abit reluctant, but today I was there to help arrange some furnishings and they are so happy and have wonderful neighbours. I wish you and B every happiness and that God will bless you with good friends, jobs, and a peace only He can give. Thanks for letting us have a peek into your home and life. Kathy

Barbara said...

Hi Jill,
I've always enjoyed your blog; my mom owned a hat shop in her youth and taught me everything I know about hats.

We live in Houston (I've lived here 20 years and still say I'm from Indiana; always will) and it's nice having a big house with plenty of space to move around in.

When we were selling our previous home last fall and they suggested a stager, I did meet with her. But so many of her ideas were the polar opposite of me, that in the end I refused her services.

Our house had 3 written contracts in 4 days; we closed in less than 3 weeks start to finish.

That being said, the house we moved into also had some heavy furniture that left marks on the carpet. The previous owner told me ice cubes should take that right up (in case you haven't come across a solution for it yet).