When my husband and I decided about two months ago to buy a house across town and leave our dear old place we named Lane of Palms, our friends and family were aghast. They still think maybe something is wrong with us, that we’ve gone crazy, or at the very least are in the midst of some psychiatric crisis. To tell you the truth, we weren’t in the midst of a crisis before we made that profound decision to move, but we may be by the time it’s over.
We are in our early seventies and thought we’d be living at the Lane of Palms for the rest of our earthly lives unless maybe in our old age we might have to go to an assisted living home. We were very happy in our home. We love this old house, originally a log cabin built before the civil war. It isn’t on the historical registry because former owners and we ourselves have done too much to change it, make it comfortable for everyday living. For instance, the former owners bricked over the logs in the early 1950’s making it look more like a ranch style house than a log cabin. Over the 41 years we’ve lived here, we’ve added a new wing, upgraded the chimneys and fireplaces, added a pleasant ramp and deck, glassed in a side porch to make it a fun garden room, and totally remodeled a bathroom and kitchen to make them bright and efficient. That’s not to mention my lovely built-in desk and shelves where I write. And it’s not mentioning our biggest project which was to expose ancient, beautiful hand-hewn logs in an upstairs bedroom, adding chinking and making it a charming room for our grandson Charles Reeves to grow up in.
So why leave? There are several answers I give when people ask, and I guess all of them are true. We both simply felt compelled in early December to “look” at one house which led, in January, to our finding the white brick ranch style house on a South Georgia “hill.” Was it God “compelling” us? We feel it was. Answer #2 is that we felt the need of some adventure. (Boy, did we get it!) Charles’ comical answer is that he’s moving nearer his office. He lives three miles away at Lane of Palms, but at the new house he’ll be only one mile from Cairo Animal Hospital. And Answer #4 is something like, we needed to go through our “stuff” and moving is the very best way to downsize.
But “downsize” doesn’t match our move to Ten Ten Fourth. Because Ten Ten Fourth is a much bigger house than Lane of Palms. Folks would understand if, in our seventies, we moved to a neat little cottage. But a house with four big bedrooms, a den and a living room, a breakfast room and a dining room, and a marvelous “scullery” as I’m calling the dreamy walk-in pantry and laundry room combined–no, no that’s not downsizing! Oh, and did I mention the yard? It’s at least as large as our present yard, although of course it doesn’t include a pasture and barn and a herd of goats.
As we shop Lowe’s–again!–ordering blinds for twenty windows, I am convinced we are really crazy. But tonight as I put my spices on a lazy susan shelf and stowed a crockpot in a nice roomy shelf all its own I took a deep breath of satisfaction. This afternoon I marveled at the beautiful azaleas at Ten Ten and didn’t feel disloyal to Lane of Palms until I got back here and saw slanting sunlight on the magnolia tree that’s grown so elegantly and proudly by South Broad Street.
We don’t want to leave our dear old home. But we do want to go to that beautiful new home! We’ve raised our dear two children at Lane of Palms, as well as almost raising two grandchildren. Now three more grandchildren and a handful of great-grands are running figure eights in this old house, dashing out to run the goats, examining their very own birth trees planted as each child was born, shooting baskets, having teaparties. Lots of good memories. But we plan to make lots of memories in that new house–we’re taking the basketball goal, setting up a new badminton court, taking out some shrubbery so as to have plenty of football throwing space. I can just see our whole family gathered in that big, big dining room and living room at Thanksgiving and Christmas. We won’t have to hold our breath to make room for everybody!
Leaving Lane of Palms? I guess so. But taking a lot of it with us. And that’s not just counting the three crates of photo albums!
Like Abraham of eons ago, I feel we are going with God’s blessings. And that makes it all okay.
(If I were more proficient with my blogging I’d send you pictures of our before and after houses. I need another lesson, Eric!)