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Friday, November 6, 2015

dear buyers of our house

I am composing a letter in my head to leave on the counter for the people that are buying our house in 2 short weeks.  It goes like this:

Dear buyers of our house,

Welcome to our your house. I know it seems impossibly empty right now but I can assure you that  yesterday it was full of noise and laughter.  Just five days ago my daughter turned eleven here and three weeks before that my other daughter turned eight. There were parties and banners, balloons and cakes, hugs and loved ones.

This is the place we dreamed up our family, where each mom had a turn lumbering around for nine months, full of baby and possibility. It is the house we brought our babies home to, tucked snugly in their infant carries, where we rocked them, where they giggled their first giggle and took their first steps.

This house has been a place of transformation all the way around.  From its own evolution from decrepit heap into a house that our daughters' friends shyly say,  "I love your house" (perhaps it was just the kick ass playset in the back that has their hearts) to the metamorphosis of those that have inhabited it.  Sandi and I have blossomed from the young women of 24 into the much wiser women of 40 (or nearly). Our girls have transformed from babies to girls to citizens of the world, complete with their own minds and hearts and, lest we forget, iron clad wills.

This structure kept us protected from the elements (except when it didn't and we had to pay people to come and fix that) and gave us refuge from the world. This is the place where we loved, fought, celebrated, laughed, cried and worried.  It is the place we always came home to. My hope for you is that you will feel the same sense of comfort, of home, when you return from a trip or a harrowing day and pull into this driveway, turn the key in this lock and step your foot into this house.  May this place be for you what it was for us, the place where you breathe more easily, where you want to curl up when you are sick or weary, where you know everything will be okay if you can just get there.

A house is a building, a skeleton.  A home is its heart.

This house has some serious heart.  It could tell you secrets: of what it means to love so much you bleed, of being broken open and then stitched back together, of giving up everything to care for another.  This house carries the echoes of family dinners, of dance parties, of countless holidays, of tantrums fueled by the stamina only a fiercely stubborn child possesses, of phone calls bearing scary news, sad news, wonderful news, of laughter so loud and joyful it is still reverberating.  These walls would whisper about heartache and redemption, of hurt and healing, of wonder and joy, of miracles.

It is surreal to turn this house over to you.  I do it willingly, even happily, but with a heavy heart.  I want you to know,  just to be clear, that what we have sold you is our house.  Our home we are taking with us. You will have to build your own home in this house.

A few other instructions: please know our your neighbors are top shelf and treat them accordingly.  They will be beyond good to you but only if you deserve it so make sure you do.  The neighborhood block party is held in July each year in this backyard so you might want to get on board with that.  A harsh winter makes the kids of the neighborhood a little nuts and they like to jump off the back balcony into the snow so keep an eye on them. The wood stove burns best when it is cold out and tends to smoke in November and April. The hardwired smoke alarm in the kitchen (which is connected to the basement and second floor smoke alarms) is heat sensitive and tends to go off every night while you cook dinner if you don't put the vent fan on. I have always thought of it more as a dinner bell than a nuisance because each time it goes off the kids yell, "Dinner's ready!"

Also, know that if you peek in on your sleeping child, avoid the floorboard three feet straight ahead of the door in the kids' room because it always creaks.  And if you have a kid sick with fever the corner of the living room is the best place to snuggle.

Every goodbye is also a hello, every ending also a beginning.  Although we have only communicated between two realtors in the language of home inspections and negotiations of who will pay for what, please also know that I honoring our goodbye with your hello, our ending with your beginning as we also begin again.

I hope you will be as happy here as we have been. If you are then you will count yourself among the very lucky as we do.

Best of luck~

The Carver Girls

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