Yesterday, the sale of my house in Shropshire completed.
On one hand I am really pleased about this. The lawn does not stop growing because we are not there to mow it and who knows what problems we might have suffered if it had remained unoccupied through the cold winter months.
On the other hand it represents the end of an era and I have to let go of a house I loved.
It was not a perfect house. The rolling programme of maintenance and repairs took up a lot of our time and energy. The garage door was the bane of my life and pulling in and out of the drive could be tricky at times. It was not perfect but it was such a good home for us: the home that my husband and I made together, the threshold he carried me over after our wedding, every room echoing with wonderful memories.
We have a new home now. We don't own it but we will be here for the next three years at least so I am happy to invest time and energy to make it the best home it can be for us. It is much smaller than our old house so I was delighted that it managed to accommodate nearly all of the furniture I had collected over the years. Even my very large mirrors fit perfectly into their new settings. I had to get rid of two big comfy leather sofas (they were very old and tired anyway), a dining table and chairs (I had two sets and kept my favourite) and our Eminent Solina F225 (Charis made sure she had a farewell organ session while she still could). A super king sized bed that my husband had made was repurposed as shelving.
Being surrounded by familiar things is comforting and I am taking ownership of the garden by trimming, pruning and generally hacking at anything that looks even remotely overgrown.We may have downsized but I am determined to make that a positive force in our lives.. a way of living a simpler life free of clutter and confusion. It is almost working!
One thing I thought I would really miss from my old home was the greenhouse with its grape vine. It had become a bit of a tradition to harvest the grapes and make grape jelly for our Christmas day breakfast. The new house does not have a greenhouse but it does have a grape vine. Today, I made grape jelly.
I love that I can carry the good things from my old life into the new. I love the challenges that relocating and downsizing have forced us to face. Now that we are settilng into our routines and thinking about the future, I know that I am going to love discovering new traditions and ways of finding fulfilment.
The sale of my old house represents the end of an era but I am more than ready for the start of a new one.