Luke 10:5 – “Whenever you enter a home, give it your blessing.

Gratitude Day 805

This week, Hubby Rick and I said “good-bye” to something we have come to love – our Poynette home. When we moved there 7.5 years ago, the 110+-year-old house was well loved and in need of a major facelift. We spent the next several years updating every inch of the house, carriage house and property. Rick put so much into making this house into a beautiful home. Together, we thought about how we could convert this Victorian farmhouse that had been turned into two apartments back into a single family home that would function for decades to come.

I love that old house. My antique furniture fit well into this home. We used lots of lumber and wood from Rick’s parent’s farm to add character and charm and make it unique and special. For the first five months that we lived there, we basically “camped” while we worked on updating about half of the 3,000 square foot house. Just a few days before we opened up our home for its first Christmas open house, dishes were put in the completely remodeled kitchen for the first time. We finished this update literally hours before over 100 people walked across the threshold. People oohed and aahed over the make-over. Meanwhile, Hubby Rick and I knew there was another half of the house that needed just as much attention.

Slowly, we chipped away at those projects, taking a few years to finish the other rooms. As time went on, we gained confidence and tackled more daunting projects, including adding a completely new main bathroom. Rick watched over 100 YouTube videos just for this room.

Why did I love this house? The wrap-around porch is a stunner. We have hosted parties, and gatherings, showers and other events on that porch. More than one person has stopped and told me that we had the best porch in our little town. And we probably did. The open front stairwell and the more hidden back staircase reminded me so much of the same-era farmhouse that I grew up in. The hard wood floors, the pocket doors, the creaky stairs all took me back to my childhood and the first house I ever called home.

Rick took the original carriage house (yes, there are bays for horses and carriages) and turned it into a space that he spent hours in. When the insurance company told us that it was not insurable because it was in such poor condition, Rick’s words were, “Well, let me show them!” And he did. This little piece of Poynette history is now cute as a bug, complete with a handmade cupola and Rick’s parent’s weathervane on top.

So why would we ever leave this house?

It’s a questions Hubby Rick and I have pondered so many times. We love the neighborhood and our neighbors. For several years, our 92-year-old neighbor, Kathleen, and I have had a weekly weekend visit. We’ve hosted church yard sales and gatherings in our backyard. Rick built this cute little backyard swing area where we enjoyed coffee in the morning or watched the evening sunset with a glass of something that tickled our fancy in the moment.

We have considered moving for a couple years now. Two people really do not need a 3,000 square foot house, so downsizing was part of the plan. Would it be helpful to be closer to family and the ability to be more available for helping with our grandkids? Yes.

And so, one day, we purchased a different home. It was quite unexpected, as we had looked at so many homes and tried to buy several other houses. I really did not expect that this would be the house that we would have an accepted offer on. But it was.

For the last 2+ months, Hubby Rick and I wondered if we were making the right decision. Neither one of us are in love with this house. It will work. Rick keeps telling everyone that a benefit of this house is that it is 100+ years newer than our last house. And it is.

Last Tuesday, we loaded our belongings into a moving trailer and pulled away from the house that I love. Yesterday, a young couple officially became the next owners of this house. They see this as their dream house and I pray they come to love it as much as we have.

When people move, they are usually excited and anxious to get into their next house. Honestly? We have mixed emotions. Yes, we have accomplished a goal of downsizing, moving into a house that is one-third smaller than our last home. We have purged and sorted and let things go for someone else to love. Fortunately, we are just 10 minutes away from Rick’s farm and have been able to store some things there until spring.

And yes, we are closer to family. When we told some of our grandchildren that we were moving, one’s eyes lit up as he said, “Dianne, you and Grandpa have never been this close to us!” As they walked through the house this week, this same insightful teenager told me, “I loved your other house. And I know you did too. You and Grandpa put so much into that house. But you can make this into a home as well.”

Well, Waylan, you are correct. We can make this next house into a home. Already, we are in the process of doing so. A house is a structure: the boards and walls and layout that makes it unique from other houses. But a home? Well, this is the heart of the building. It is the life that happens inside of the building. While we often focus on the shell (me included!), I keep reminding myself that it is the relationships and precious moments that happen within these walls that are far more important than the specific color of paint I have chosen for each room.

There are pluses and minuses to every home. I gave up that beautiful porch but the kitchen is actually larger in this home. Rick does not have as much space in the garage but it has heated floors which makes working in it more enjoyable in cold weather.

Yes, we are personalizing this house and making it our own. (Hubby Rick thinks I have way too many ambitions of what should be done!) This time around, I am being very intentional about what I keep, how I use it and letting go of things that do not fit into this house or our lives. We have made hard choices about what to keep and what to let go as we moved to this house. Rick and I were both pleasantly surprised when the moving trailer was not full! (Rick did remind me that we had already hauled several loads ourselves to the new house or the farm which were not in the trailer.)

Most importantly, I am so grateful that we were able to live in the house that I love for 7.5 years. We made so many wonderful memories in that space and hopefully restored it so it can bring joy to families for another 100 years. Likewise, I am grateful that we currently have a roof over our heads and another space that we can make our own. I look forward to creating just as many special memories in this next house and becoming part of a new community.

This move was the 16th time that I have hauled belongings from one space to another in my life. Clearly, I am not one of those people who stays put in one spot forever. I appreciate those who have. Yet, there is excitement for me personally in creating a home that we will love and enjoy.

Usually, these Saturday posts include things that are inspiring me lately. In light of moving, what is inspiring me this week?

  • Challenge yourself to go through your stuff and only keep the things that you love and really enjoy. For those things that still have life in them, let someone else enjoy and love them. Bless them and let them go.
  • Downsizing is good. Already, I have identified things I should have let go off before they were put into the moving trailer. I promise to only put away the things that I know will be used or are something that I dearly love. I have let go of things that I have loved over the years and am OK with this. When the time is right, I will add in a few new-to-us things .
  • I’m trying to figure out how to make my old, antique furniture look “right” in a more modern house. I am giving myself permission time to figure this out rather than hurry up and have every thing done immediately. There’s a lesson for all of us in this. We can re-evaluate our spaces and make sure they serve our lives now. Just because they have been a certain way for awhile does not mean this is what works for us today.
  • Fresh starts are good. This move is an opportunity to look at many areas of my life and make adjustments to prepare me for my next life phase. I am no longer in my 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s. What is important to me today is different than it was in earlier decades. I am looking into my heart and soul and asking intentional questions. You do not have to move to go through a little introspection. You can do a little “house cleaning” in your own life, right where you are.

After the movers pulled away from our current home, I opened my arms and ask God to bless this next house of ours. To turn it into a home that Hubby Rick and I will learn to love, enjoy and share with others. I know this place will be a blessing for us. I’m anxiously waiting to see what lies ahead for Hubby Rick and me.

For the years of living in a home that I dearly loved, I am grateful.

Blessings –


O Lord – Thank you for the beautiful Poynette home that we were able to enjoy for several years. Bless the family that now calls it their home. May it continue to be a place that brings joy to others. As Hubby Rick and I begin to create a new home, may we discover ways to create special memories and relationships in this new community. I pray my experience will inspire others to ask Your blessings upon their current living situation. Amen.

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