Living a Dream

Someday, we will sell this house. I don’t know how it will happen. I just know that it will. When I think back on all of the things that we have done here and the life we’ve had, it makes me sad to admit it, but sooner or later, we’ll have to let it go. We’ve lived here for 13 years. We’ll probably make it to 15 or 17 years before we finally decide that this place is too big for us and move on to something more suited to our lifestyle at the time. Maybe, we’ll move to Florida. The idea of leaving this house behind to someone else, without them knowing its story, our story, just didn’t sit right with me though. So, I wrote a letter to the future homeowners of our dream house.

To Whom it May Concern,

We have truly loved this home. So much so, that I want you, the people that are going to enjoy this home after we have left it behind, to know that a family lived here and loved here. I want you to understand that you have purchased something more than just a house. This is a place for you to build a life. There is evidence of the amazing life we built here all over this property to give you some ideas of the history this house has had, and it stands as a testament to how wonderful this home is at being a place for you to build your dreams.

There are pavers under the side gate. These pavers were put in place to keep our dogs from digging out underneath the gate and getting out of the yard. The hole was originally dug by our first yellow Lab. Her name was Lucy and we only got to spend 2 years with her. We rescued her as a senior and soon found out that she had cancer. Our time with her was short, but very special. So when Jet attempted to get out of the yard through that hole after she died, we had to fill it in and it broke my heart. I have painted Lucy’s name on the paver that covers the spot where she dug the hole, so that she can leave her mark on this place, because she deserves to have her memory honored forever. She was truly an amazing dog, I wish I could tell you everything about her in the space of this letter, but there isn’t enough room.

We have owned many dogs over the years. Currently, there are three living with us and they will go with us, where ever we go. All have been, and will continue to be, Labrador Retrievers. This breed embodies everything that we love in life. Having fun, living life to its fullest, even when things are bad and most of all, an appreciation for good food. So I hope you will forgive some of the things our wonderful dogs have done to the house over the years, though, since you bought it, I’m sure you already have. There is one spot I want to tell you about though. There is a patch on one of the walls on the main floor next to the laundry room door. Our first lab puppy chewed a small hole in the spot. Thankfully, I’m pretty handy with dry wall mud and was able to repair the damage, but I’m sure you will eventually notice that the texture is a little bit different than the rest of the wall. I did not correct or yell or shout at my puppy when this happened. The damage was my fault for leaving him unsupervised in the house while I went to ask a door to door salesman to leave. So, I simply repaired the damage and then I took my wonderful puppy for a walk. I look back on this spot fondly now that Mugen has passed on. I pray that you will look back on this spot too and know that love happened there.

There also used to be a dog kennel in the corner under the pine trees. A windstorm knocked down one of the pine trees and it took out the front side of the kennel, so we had the kennel taken out. That’s why there’s a pad of concrete in the corner and the fence is a different color in that location.

We had kids too. Wonderful kids. Amazing kids. So, from time to time you may find plastic easter eggs or cartridges for water pistols or even a hot wheel in the back yard. If you have a dog, I’m sure that she or he will dig one of them up and bring it to you. We had water fights in the back yard each summer. We used to sled down the hill along the side of the house on pieces of cardboard when it snowed. Many snowmen were built over the years that we have lived in this house. Many legos have probably fallen into the vents over time too and I’m sure you will find a barbie shoe in the purple bedroom upstairs. My daughter was never a fan of these dolls, but I bought them for her anyway and she pretended to play with them. She was always more interested in crayons and colored pencils and has become quite a talented artist as she has grown.

I’m sure you will find the occasional oddly shaped dice in the basement as well. If you step on a D4, I apologize. It smarts doesn’t it? It’s much, much worse than stepping on a lego and every geek in the universe will cringe when you say the words, “I stepped on a D4!” That’s us. We’re geeks. Many sessions of Dungeons and Dragons were played in the basement with our friends. The basement was our place to gather together and have fun. It was a wonderful place where we were able to leave behind the troubles of the work week and enjoy the company of good people. So, when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11th 2001, our friends gathered in this basement to discuss the events of the day and we let loose with all of our fears over what had happened. Some of us cried. Some of us made plans in the event that a war would be brought to American soil, but most of all, this house sheltered us and gave us a place to put ourselves back together in the face of a tragedy the like of which we had never seen in our lifetime. Somehow, at the end of that evening, we were able to find hope again.

The roof has been maintained religiously to keep it firmly over our heads. The house has been painted a time or two, but always to match the original color that the first owners put into place. Many of the carpets have been recently replaced, but many things about this house will remain the same. We have made no structural changes to the interior. The fireplaces, which are just gorgeous, were installed by hand by the original owner. He was a stone mason and his devotion to his family was evident in his work.

We leave behind many memories, some of them sad. Three of our wonderful Labradors have died while we’ve lived in this house and I imagine that at least one more will join them before we’re finally able to let this place go, but the joy and the love that we shared while we have made our home here outweighs all of the bad stuff. We watched both of our children grow up and graduate high school and then go on to college, while we lived here. Many skinned knees were healed with kisses in the bathrooms and many tears were dried with hugs on the stairs too. We also played games and spent hours reading books in the chairs in the formal living room and I can’t even begin to tell you about the amazing meals we have made in the kitchen! Thanksgivings and Christmases have been celebrated here every year, too. We will cry when we leave our home behind. The life we have had here was truly a gift and we will always remember every detail of this place. It will be a part of us forever.

It is my deepest wish that you, the people who have purchased this amazing home, live truly wonderful lives here and that the joy that you find in your lives outweighs all of the bad things too. I could go on about the amenities, and the heated bathroom tile in the master bath is a godsend during the brutal cold of our winters, but I’m sure you will enjoy discovering them all for yourselves. Really, more than anything, I want to wish you well, whoever you are, and I want you to know that this house is more than just a house. From the time that it was purchased by us in 2000, it has been a place where a family lived and thrived. It’s a six bedroom house, so I have little doubt that a family will purchase this home when we put it up for sale and I wish the same for you and your family too, but if you’re not a family, if you’re just starting out, or just in need a lot of storage, that’s fine too. Whatever you need, whatever you do, I wish you all the love and joy that we shared while we have lived here.

Have a wonderful life in your new home! I know you will love it just as much as we do.