Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Selling your House - 31 Years of Memories

Today was the closing of the sale of our home. Exciting, yet bittersweet feelings  happen during this process.

We held our last gathering on the wrap-a-round porch  on July 4th and reminisced about the good times .  The house  is empty now and waiting for the new owners to arrive.  As I walked around last night, checking every room,  there was a sadness in my heart and it was hard not to cry. It is very hard to leave this house.

This home is over 130 years old and we were the 7th owners.  We bought it, the year it turned 98.  It was important to us to maintain it's historical attributes, yet maintain and update it as much as possible.  I think we achieved that goal during the 31 years that we lived here.

I think about hauling this chandelier back from Atlanta in a box and all the beads bursting off the wires during the trip.  I had to have it completely re- strung when I arrived back in Chicago.
But it was worth it!

The rooms seem much bigger now without any furniture.

The dining room without it's 14 foot table.

One of many chandeliers that I collected over the years for this home.


The kitchen island void of all my clutter and collections.

The laundry  -one of my favorite rooms in the home.  I collected those majolica tiles for many
years, before I had enough to complete the backsplash. And that old sink, I adore.
I am hoping to find another one for the new place.

The cabinet that I stored my flower vases in- wish I could take that with me.

The living room with it's original pumpkin pine floors. They creak with every step.
I love that sound.

A newly remodeled bath that my daughter only enjoyed for a few years.

A pair of opaline matching lights that  my friend Linda Lee found for me.

Another chandelier from Round Top, Texas.  What a fun trip that was!

 And then out to the gardens, filled with 30 years of plantings. I really won't miss the weeding.

The arbor that my husband built to surprise me while away on a trip.

The gazebo that my son and husband put together for me for Mother's Day several year's ago.
I hate to leave it behind, but it doesn't   fit the Carolina mountain vibe.

My fountain surrounded by the log plant stands
that were salvaged from a tree that fell down in a storm.
Probably the hardest thing to leave behind-  my husband's roses.

They are a passion of his and I received the benefits of his hobby- lots of fresh roses in the summer.

Now with only empty wine bottles around, I cut some to take to our new temporary home.

And of course, my herb and vegetable garden.  What a joy to walk out my back door and cut the herbs needed for dinner.   That I will really miss.

After my inspection  and  trip down memory lane was complete,  I arranged  flowers for the new owner and left a note wishing them good things in this  old home.  

Lots of their family and friends live close by and I sure this kitchen
will be well used.   I awarded  her queen of the kitchen!

And a chilled bottle of champagne in the refrigerator.
So goodbye old friend.  You  have been a wonderful home and I will always love you.
I wish the new owners all the best in their new home.  I am sure they will be wonderful caretakers of this old lady.  They  are "old home" people and that is a special kind of person. I am excited for them to create their own memories.  And I cannot wait to see what Margie does with the house.
She has a wonderful style and the house is due for a change!
  And if you believe in "signs" pointing you in the right direction-  when the new owners  were purchasing tickets to the Grateful Dead concert in Chicago this past weekend, their ticket cost added up  to  the exact  number of the address of their new home!  And to make things even more interesting,  while cleaning out the basement this weekend, my husband found an old milk crate. We don't know how it got there, but it was labeled  from a dairy with the same name as the maiden name of the new owner's mother.  We washed it off and kept if for them.   Some things are just meant to be!
Selling your home of 30 years is a life changing event.
For me, it is time for a new direction, new interest and new challenge,  So keep posted as my friend and I both build our dream homes in the Carolinas during the next year. It is wonderful  and almost unbelievable that I can share this creative process with such a good friend. 
 Boy- are our husbands in trouble!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Nashville Wedding at the Hermitage

Last weekend , the wedding of the daughter of one of my dearest friends was held in Nashville.  It seems like yesterday that we were talking about what Santa was going to bring for Christmas, and now we are talking about what the wedding flowers and food will be for the wedding.  Where did time go?

But a glorious wedding it was!  First of all. the architecture of the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville is
beautiful and a true architectural treasure.

Beautiful ceiling details

 The hotel's lobby where cocktails were served
Guests signed a globe as they entered the hotel lobby for the wedding.
The ceremony-  The father of the bride and the beautiful bride- Erin

The entrance to the dinner - scattered with rose petals and white votives

Gorgeous arrangements of blush roses and white hydrangeas filled the room.

While a bag pipe was played to greet the guests.

 The bridal party sat at the communal table in the center of the room.

Erin and Lynda pose for a photo for me.

Best wishes to the happy bride and groom for a wonderful life together.
Erin- you are a gorgeous bride!  

Monday, June 15, 2015

Where Did All My "Stuff" Go?

The day is here.  Time to pack up 31 years of memories and treasures.  Professional packers are here and somewhat astounded that this much "stuff"  could actually fit within the confines of this old house without exploding.

Packing up your "stuff" is very emotional.  It is traveling down memory lane- where did that come from, who gave it to me, it was my mom's, who I was with when I spotted that incredible treasure. And the tears flow easily.
It's like saying good bye to an old friend that's going away for a year and a half.  You will not be able to chat for a while as they are in a far away, unreachable place. For my stuff, it's the storage facility of North American Van lines. Certainly, not the most exciting place to visit!

So I take a few last pictures of my "Stuff". Kind of a bon voyage celebration with only me and my stuff at the party!!!   I can stare at the pictures  during the next 18 months and try to remember their little faces and plan their homecoming to their new home in North Carolina.

My very favorite amphora pottery collection.

You guys had better behave yourself and return to me safely.

Lots of sparkly stuff-  I will miss you.

And I just got this horn handle trophy back from the silver plating company.. We didn't have a lot of time together, but I promise you a great time in North Carolina. You will just have to wait a year and a half.

Meanwhile, the other barware will keep you company in a big old  Dish Pack box.
It's certainly not the Ritz Carlton, but it will have to do!

Antique Venetian glasses question my decision to send them away in a box. 
At least put us in a special box.

 Threatening to tarnish while away,  silver goblets are not happy about the trip.

My most special goblets- not replaceable.  I must have a special talk with the packers. 
 These little babies require special attention.

And let's not forget the glasses that I made my husband "hand carry" back from Venice, while we
ran through the Paris airport to catch a plane.  One can only guess the words that were exchanged between us as we pushed to the front of the security line with our 8 boxes of fragile glasses.
Our connecting flight from Venice was late and we were about to miss our flight back to the states.

And one of my newest obsessions- Palais by Bayel.  Discontinued in the 70's.

Special pillows, fur throws, - how am I going to survive without you?

And then there's my collection of vintage dresses and handbags. Not that I could even
fit an arm in them, I like to stare at them and imagine myself actually fitting in one.
Good bye my loves.

And now time to dismantle my jewelry cabinet.

Filled with vintage jewelry, flowers, powder dolls and compacts.  Can't wait til we meet again!

 Old books from Paris, decanters from Scott's and a mask from Venice. One of my favorite pictures of my mom and dad on the beach.  Time to tuck you all away.

And now to my great  horror, I look out the window and see the party crashers arriving!

Just how many of them came?

Not one, not two, not three of them.  Oh yeah baby- four big semi's here to collect my stuff!

130 Dish Packs later- probably a world record according to my packers.

 Box by box,  chair by chair,  my stuff was sent into  the protective custody of another person.
All 31,000 pounds of it! 

All that is left is what is being sold at the upcoming house sale.

So the party is over. 
Empty shelves and mantels- what a disgraceful scene!

Only the whispers of 31 years of wonderful memories remain. 
It will be weird living here for the next few  weeks without my stuff.  The walls echo sounds so easily without any "stuff". 
But then again, it's a blank canvas for the new owners to fill with their "stuff".
 I can't wait to see what they do with the place.  Change is good.