Leaving a Long-time Home

Thoughts on leaving a long-time home…

My friend Amy Ray and her husband sold the house where they raised their family this past week. Amy put down her thoughts in words worth sharing:

We are leaving behind quiet ghosts

A penciled happy face on the window frame

The cat shaped flaking paint on that door

I covered the growth chart but a whisper of the names and dates remains

Like the calculations on the shed door from the grocer who lived here before us

And his wife’s spirit I swear I feel in the pantry I like leaving

I like being a part of the life of this house

That borrowed time we shared

Like a tree You can never really own a house

A good house

A house with solid bones

The things I loved were never completely mine

The sun coming in the windows on the south side

All golden or silver or blue white or steal grey

How can one ever own sunlight?

The sound of the door sliding open

The sound of the door sliding shut

The sleep train whistle that filled the rooms at night

I’m happy to pass this home on to good people

I like this transition

This handing over of the keys

This passing on of the love

Thank you, old house

You held us and kept us so well.

Amy Ray, October 14, 2021

They have moved on to rescue the neglected house in the photo in Amy’s hometown, the magical tiny Down East city of Eastport, Maine.

I wrote “Restoring Your Historic House” for people like Amy who understand that we are just stewards of the homes we occupy – and if we’re lucky we get to add to the good memories the house will carry into the future.

The 720 page award-winning and best-selling hardcover book is available in bookstores nationwide and from online retailers.

Signed and personalized copies are available in our shop, https://yourhistorichouse.com/shop/.

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