Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Today is the last day in our current home. In the morning movers arrive to load our furnishings. We are leaving our large home of many years on a small rural acreage and settling in a Fort Worth TX suburb. We planned and built this home to suit our needs, so I have mixed emotions about leaving. But I’m excited about our future with all the conveniences a city has to offer and less responsibility for Hero.

Of course, we are sad to leave the great friends and neighbors we have here. At the same time, we look forward to being close to friends in the city and making new friends there. And we will be only a few blocks from all the stores we could ever wish for, and close to doctors, hospitals, dentists, etc. No one gets younger so those things matter.

Our next home
What do you think - should the
shutters be another color?
Our lot there is long and filled with large trees and thick grass. Actually, the back yard resembles a small park for us to enjoy through the breakfast nook window as we eat our meals. We look forward to setting up our birdbath and birdfeeders to add to the view.

This move has been pondered for months. Hero and I agree we are doing the right thing for our future, and we agree that of all the homes we viewed, this house is the best one for us. When we entered this house, we each felt welcome and comfortable. The house has happy vibes. Our difficulty has been in downsizing. Sure, it sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? How much room can two people need? (Especially when one of them spends all her time in front of her computer.)

When I say downsizing, I mean really, really less room. By a lot. Sorting through our collection of junque and deciding what to keep and what to toss, give away, and sell has created painful decisions. We have hundreds of books and we’re moving to a house with no bookcases. Not even a little one.  Yes, we both have kindles, but there are books we treasure and reread. Yes, we can build bookcases . . . somewhere, eventually.

The house to which we’re moving is—to quote realtor lingo—a “mid 20th century” home built in 1965.  No updates have been made except new carpet. I'm sure it's been painted, but needs it again inside. We will have only a few tiny closets. The closet issue bothers us, but not the home’s age. After all, we’re mid 20th century people. LOL

Back to the bittersweet part. Do you have things your kids made in school? Do you have things your mom saved that you made in school? Old report cards? Baptismal certificates? Things your parents and grandparents saved? We have all of that! Plus I’m the repository for our family photos and information. Yes, I have backup on my computer. That’s not like holding a 150 year old photo in your hands, though, is it?

One of my family photos,
Mary Jane Clemmons

So, we are bidding goodbye to many things we would prefer to keep to make room for those we must preserve, like the photos.  Seeing some of these discarded items drop into a trash or “sell” box is like slicing off a tiny piece of my heart. I’m trying to toughen up and stop hoarding . . . I mean collecting . . . so many things.
Ceramic cherub made years ago by my friend
who is now 105 years old --see?  How
could I not save this?
Besides family photos, I collect a lot of “stuff.” Angels, nativity sets, religious icons, crosses Darling Daughter 1 gives me, a particular type of ceramic figure Darling Daughter 2 finds for me, art nouveau and art deco items, and more. You see a pattern and a problem, don’t you?

Okay, maybe, just maybe, I don’t need spoons from every place we’ve visited, and certainly not from every place my mom visited. Maybe I don’t need those rocks my daughters painted when they were 5 and 7. And all those prints I’ve bought while traveling when we have no more wall space to display them? But I loved Monticello and Mount Vernon . . . okay, selling those prints.  And how many teapots does one couple really need? We use the same one every morning.

Monticello from Wikipedia, because
my print is packed away.

Now, if you were to visit our home, you’d wonder if we’d ever thrown or given away anything. Trust me, we have.  But, we’ll be having a giant moving sale about October. I promise I won’t bring any of my own stuff back into the house. Probably.

Thanks for stopping by!


Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

OH I feel your pain - it is so difficult to give anything away. I still haven't cleaned out my Dad's dresser and he died 11 years ago. I think it was so hard to clean out my parents home and then have Kellie's stuff right after. My brain can only let so much go and then I have to stop for a while. I know, I am terrible.

We live in a two and a half story house of 3200 sq ft. Can you imagine the stuff we have. One room we call the dungeon is the room I have to get back into, but.....

Love your new house. What a beautiful setting and, no, I don't think the shutters need to be painted a different color. The whole place looks homey and quite inviting. Good luck in your new home. Enjoy!

Unknown said...


It's a great post and made me think about my own treasures packed away from my last move 6 years ago.

I hope your move gets easier!

Virtual Hugs,

Carra Copelin said...

Dear friend, Caroline, we are so much alike. I feel your pain! My DH and I are completely different when it comes to our junque. He will throw it out in an instant where as I hang on until my fingers bleed. A couple of years ago, we cleaned out our upstairs storage(1,000 sq. ft.)so I understand your dilemma. Good luck in your move -- we'll see you on the other side!

Lyn Horner said...

Caroline, Hubby and I downsized right after our kids moved out back in '99. It's a pain in every sense of the word. Parting with stuff we love is so difficult.

Best wishes to you both in your new home. It's lovely, and I agree with Paisley, don't paint the shutters a different color. The black makes the windows pop -- in a good way. Lyn

BrendaC said...

I'm selfishly excited to have you in the neighborhood. My house is just one big closet so I know your pain. Bookcases can be purchased, rooms can be painted and new memories made. You can always enjoy a drive in the country.

As for the shutters. I kind of like the black. It makes me think of New England style homes.
But make it your own.

Unknown said...

Caroline, I know this has been a very difficult time for you and your Hero. However, tomorrow always goes softly, so be strong. I envision you two enjoying your new home and all the stress you're going through now, melting away. Change is good for the soul. We must all move forward or the past will gobble us up.
I know you'll love your new house. I love the black shutters. It gives the house a sense of subtle elegance.

Nicole McCaffrey said...


Wishing you much joy and happiness in your new home, it looks so cozy and sweet and I love the trees!

I always like to see black trim against a brick house so I think the shutters look great just as they are.

Hugs for your bittersweet moving day!

Susan Macatee said...

It's always hard to downsize, Caroline! I try to do it on a regular basis to reduce the amount of clutter in my house.

New house is looking good! Good luck to you in your new home!

Susan Horsnell said...

My Dear Friend
Love the new house, don't change the shutters they are great.
Our boys have all their school memories but I have kept the things specifically made for me.
Moving around so much in the past has made me a minimalist, too hard to hoard when you pack and unpack every two years.
Take care

Ruby said...

When my mother-in-laws passed away,she left half of her estate to my husband. I came home from work one day and 8 antique chairs( none of which matched anything we had)were sitting in rows in the den. I asked my husband if he was having a meeting. Now my older daughter has 4 of them. I think it is easy to start collecting things when you stay in one place a long time. Until I moved here I had never stayed in a place more than a few years.
You may want to rent storage until you get your house the way you want it. And don't look back at the house as you drive away. You'll find yourself in tears. Good luck.

Marin Thomas said...

Good luck with the move, Caroline, I hope all goes well and enjoy setting up your new house :-)

Unknown said...

It is sad to move although exciting too of course, we moved from an area where I grew up to the city 5 years ago and I have never looked back as it brought new friends, opportunities and experiences. You have a lot to look forward to. You should think about renting a storage unit for a while to store your things in until you have the time or the inclination to sort through them properly.