Thursday, December 20, 2012

last day home

Today is our last day in our house.
I'm sitting on the bed typing this, because it is the only piece of furniture that hasn't been packed into the cube in our driveway.  I've lived in this house for almost four-and-a-half years.  When I moved in, I was a newlywed (first husband) and the house was an abandoned wreck (this is our kitchen).  
I thought this house was the final piece to our happily-ever-after.  Instead, a few short weeks after moving the furniture in, we started talking about divorce, a few even shorter months later we were separated, and less than a year after moving in, our divorce was final.  I bought the house from my ex-husband, filled it with roommates so I could pay the bills, and for the very first time, looked around and realized I could change it (sorry, Dad, about putting your butt on the internet).
And change it I did.  I had a friend teach me how to spackle, sand and paint.  I recruited a few more friends to help me paint some more, and my dad to hang doors (there were none) and fix some of the worst of the minor damages.  I didn't have a ladder yet, so I would paint as tall as my chairs and desks and countertops would allow me.  I have painted every single inch of this house.  
That meant that rooms looked like this for months, and then one weekend I spent entirely painting the top three inches of all the rooms.  I spent days, nights, we spent weekends painting.  It was only a few minutes ago that we said to ourselves, "Finally.  We have painted it all."
And I don't want to make everyone groan with the worst metaphor in the world, but it's simple fact.  As this house changed, as it grew from a battered and neglected shell into our home, I changed.  My life changed.  This is where that happened.
I started running again after a five-year layoff that led to surgery.  You've read the ups and downs that have come along with that decision.  I brought home my first puppy in this house, we named him Graham because his little sweet puppy breath smelled like graham crackers.  He learned to walk without wobbling here, he ran through his first snowfall here when DC was hit with the worst storm in whatever amount of years, he turned us into a family here.  You all saved his life, here.
The poet moved in, we moved in together, in this house.  We figured out how to live together, we worked through the baggage we were both carrying from our pasts, here.  He got dragged into the biggest and slowest DIY project ever, and learned how to replace a water pump and install a ceiling fan and hang a bathroom cabinet.  

We got married here.
And then celebrated, here.
We've thrown hundreds of parties, I've spent so many nights drinking wine with friends, we brought Molly and then Sofie home.  We have replaced every piece of baseboard molding, painted every ceiling.  I became an ironman in this house; the poet, a marathoner.  I learned how to cook - really cook, not just make chicken stir-fry and pizza - in this kitchen.  
So, I know that this doesn't have anything to do with swim/bike/run, but I just needed to pause.  To take a moment, to stop and remember.  It's hard to leave these things behind, there were times when I thought we would never leave this house.  "Especially after all this work we've put into it," I would cry, whenever leaving came up.  It's been harder than I expected, to take the house apart and pack everything up and walk around inside it, empty.  But we are leaving, we are heading west with our boxes of crap and our lawnmower and our couches and our puppies and to what we hope will be a better life for us.  This house has been the backdrop of our lives, and now it is time to say goodbye.

24 comments:

  1. This brought tears to my eyes. So many beautiful memories. Yet so many more to make in your new home. Good luck with the move.

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  2. What a wonderful post, Katie. You have beautiful, happy memories of this house and will soon have just as many in your new home. Best of luck these next few days!

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  3. Your post just made me cry, there are SO many emotions that go into a normal "not fixer upper house" and this is surely one of the most intense home connections I have ever read/heard about. There are so many beautiful memories, hold onto them! I once saw a cheesy HGTV show where a family was really attached to their house but had to move, and they cut out a piece of the wall and framed it so they could always have a piece of the house with them. I feel like you and the Poet should do that! Best of luck with the move and your new adventure in Boulder! Hopefully we can connect when I am out west in March :)

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  4. Beautifully written. You have grown so much since moving to that house, so no wonder it is hard to leave. I'm sure you will become attached to your new home in Colorado too. Good luck with the move!

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  5. Goodbye house. It's time to make a home.

    (I love the pic at the bottom. Perfect.)

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  6. What an awesome journey. I expect one of your first posts from Colorado to be titled "first day home". :)

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  7. You are leaving behind some incredibly good juju - and a beautiful paint job. You've done well by your house, and that will only serve you well in your new one. Safe travels!

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  8. Awww, I like this post a lot. I've felt a small amount of this leaving apartments I've lived in (the memories), and if/when we move on from the house we live in now I'll be incredibly sappy (so many memories, and an entire house of paint, every inch besides the murals they left).

    Have a safe drive and cheers to more memories to be made out West!

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  9. Such a beautiful post Katie <3 so excited for the next chapter for you guys. Have a safe trip.

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  10. That's really well put. Onward and upward right? Time to start making new memories in the new location.

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  11. What an awesome post. I hope the rest of your move goes smoothly. You will soon feel just as "at home" in Colorado as you have in VA.

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  12. Such a lovely, lovely post. Wish you all the very best of luck and love. Dude.

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  13. Wishing you all the best as you transition to the next phase of your life story. Your resilience is lovely.

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  14. Have a safe trip back to Colorado!!! Looking forward to meeting you and the pups when I'm out there in February :)

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  15. So many lovely memories, so much building, so many new memories to make. Have a safe trip!

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  16. Beautiful post. You've made wonderful memories in VA, now it's time to make them in Colorado! Good luck with the move, and have fun!

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  17. Best of luck in Colorado. Nice post.

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  18. I loved this. CO though already seems perfect for you two. xoxo

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  19. i love this post. thank you for sharing.

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  20. Dang, it sounds I missed an adventurous life in the years before I found your blog approx. 6 months ago! Of course I did. I'm glad for the semi-recap based on the beautiful memories of your now ex-home. Sounds like you have made big things happen and gained a lot of love in the last five years. What was wrong with the adorable Graham? Did I really save his life? ME?

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  21. So lovely and so many great memories! Best of luck in Colorado!

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  22. Katie,

    I love reading your blog because you have this incredibly poignant way of putting your thoughts and feelings into words. This post, like many of your others, brought a little tear to my eyeball. I love when that happens though, because it reminds me of how human we all are, and that even though we are perfect strangers and live thousands of miles away from one another, I can still empathize with those same feelings you write about. I am so happy to see the pictures of Graham - he looks so happy and healthy! Now that I have my own doggie I feel like I fully understand your very special family :) Thank you so much for sharing your stories. I can't wait to follow your new journey in Colorado!
    Briana
    Boston, MA

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