Wednesday, October 24, 2012

11 Years and Seven Months

Last week I placed
a call to our telephone
company about some
internet problems I'd
been experiencing.

The conversation opened
with the customer service
representative saying,

Thank you for being
our customer for 11 years
and seven months.

That simple statement
left me speechless for
a moment, as I quickly
did the math.....

Yep, he was right.

As a child who moved
at least eight times and
a married adult who has
moved another seven,
that acknowledgment 
stopped me in my tracks.

It was a blustery day.

I had my pear spice
candle burning and
the windows glowed with
autumn's reflection.

The wind howled
outside and the crows
cawed noisily. I felt
warm and snug and
so appreciative of my
house of 11 years
and seven months.

Preparing a cup of tea
and settling in front
of the computer screen,
I kept thinking about
those words ~
that span of time ~
and all of the happy
family memories that
have happened here.

My daughter was in
kindergarten when we
first moved in.

My son was two and
the house was baby-
proofed.  We still find
the little outlet covers
on overlooked outlets,
from time to time.

Now my girl is a senior
in high school.

I have waved them both
off to school, every day, from
 the front door window of
this house.  For the first four
years, my little guy waved
with me, yearning to be
boarding the bright yellow
bus with his sister.

Next year, he will be
riding alone.

I am so grateful for
this house ~ our home.
Even though I know
it is not our forever
place and that we are
really just caretakers
for future families and
future memories, I feel
such a surge of love 
for these four walls.

11 years and seven months.

I never dreamed it would
be this long, but so


thankful that it has been.

It always amazes me to think
that every house on every street
is full of so many stories; so many
triumphs and tragedies, and all we
see are yards and driveways.

~ Glenn Close

What stories does
house tell?



Susan T said...

What a coincidence, I had the carpet cleaners here yesterday and had to move furniture out of a couple of rooms. It got me thinking what it will be like when we move on, we have been here nearly 20 years.It is the longest I have ever lived anywhere. My son who is now at university was weeks old when we moved in, it is the only home he remembers, so full of famiy life and memories. We know the people who lived here before us and they brought their two children up here too. I hope it will always be a happy family home.

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

So glad you have been able to call that one place home for so many years - although I suspect that wherever you go you will make it home. So many wonderful memories you have made within those walls….and wishing you many more to come!

Farmgirl Paints said...

i love your house. and i think it's precious to think of being a caretaker to future families. ours of course is new to us. most of the memories are in the last one, but i can feel the layers being built. it hugs us when we walk in. the porch beckons me. my craft room wants me to come in there to make something. i just feel it. it's a good place to dwell;)

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I know that the walls of my house have seen and heard at least 70 years of joy, pain, laughter and probably some of the unspeakable. But I know that while in our care, this HOME has become a new place of which all the memories will blow away with the wind, leaving only walls for yet another family to come and start over again. Thus is the life of inanimate things, but the life of a family carries on in the progeny. I have no such gift, but only that which I have created and I hope that I can leave something of value behind. LOVELY POST MY DEAR and I think I know which blustery day you are talking about; it was WILD and FABULOUS, and today it is WARM! BIZARRE......


Olive Cooper said...

Sometimes it scares me that I have become attached to a house. For I know that it can be taken away like so many other important parts of my life. I do not mean to be sad but that notion of holding on lightly does occur to me. xo, olive

Kelly said...

Precious...Thank you.

paige said...

what a wonderful post!!!!!
i love this
i love your perspective
i love your pondering spirit
i love that quote


The enchanted home said...

You are sooooo talented Suzanne. Seriously you should write a book (preferably that can play music because it adds to your powerful musings in such a beautiful emotional way) This made me tear up and smile at the same time. I get all choked up when I look back at certain points in my life and where my kids were at that point, how young they were, the innocence, the OBEDIENCE (lol), just the wonder of it all.......and then bam! 10 years goes by then 15 then 20 and it feels like it happened with the blink of an eye. I just want it to stand still awhile or at least pause just a little. It is indeed very precious. Beautiful moving post!

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...


I know that I say this each and every time I comment but I will say it again, I love to come here to read your beautiful and thought provoking posts. You always get me thinking, about the simple and everyday events and how special they really are!

Have a beautiful day!


Deborah said...

Beautiful Suzanne.
It's true...the places where we dwell hold such memories,
I am so blessed to hear some of yours.
Thanks for sharing those treasured memories with us!

Deborah xoxo

lisaroyhandbags said...

Gosh, I can only imagine how it would feel to be in one home for that long. We've moved about 22 times. How anxious I am to settle! There's great comfort in putting down roots. Xo

A Vintage Chic said...

Beautiful, Suzanne...

It's quite something when thoughts and realizations like that hit us, isn't it? We just go along, from day to day, little realizing the accumulation, I think. I'm so grateful for my years and months in this house we built with our own hands...years of laughter and tears...all wonderful memories.

Wishing you a beautiful day of reflection, dear friend...


Blondie's Journal said...

This is a wonderful and poignant post, Suzanne. Our homes not only tell so much about us, but they hold the key to all of the years of happiness, sadness, celebrations and births, triumphs and tragedies...

We have lived in our house for 25 years. Although we had looked at several bigger homes at one time, the thought of leaving our cozy little cottage (that often drives me batty!) made me want to cry.

I really enjoyed this post and your pictures are lovely and perfect!


Low Tide High Style said...

I grew up in the same house, we never moved and just sold it a year ago this December. But after I married we moved quite a bit and the longest we ever lived in one house was 11 years! Though we were ready to move it was still hard to say goodbye to a home were we shared so many memories. We sometimes drive by it when we visit old neighbors, and I will always treasure the wonderful times we spent there! Great post and music as always!!! xoxo


Charm Bracelet Diva said...

Hey, girl! You're not alone. I have moved more times than I care to count. Around the country, not across town (like so many people I know). Congrats on the 11 years. We've managed to make it 8 years and 6 months here, but I'm afraid MI is calling us within the next 12months or so. It breaks my heart to have to leave here, mainly for the children who will have to adapt and adjust and make it through being the new kid. When they cried about it I reminded them of the saying on our family room wall: "Home: where people who love you live." I can only hope that sentiment will carry us through the next few unsettling months....your post, as always, really hit home with this (transplanted) Midwestern girl.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

You know, we never thought our home would be our forever house either...we've been here 26 years now lol! Time goes so quickly and you are MUCH of our lives has happened HERE. It would be so very hard to leave now! Beautiful post, my friend! XO

Jeane M. said...

Wow, love the photos in here. Another wow for that awesome record, eleven years plus. That needs a warm cup of tea, cakes and a bunch of story telling. Love the last quote in here. Got my eye on your next posts.

Tammy said...

Lovely! Like you, I moved my whole life. Every three years growing up because my dad was in the oilfield business. Then with my first husband, in the short 3-1/2 years of our marriage, we moved 4 different times to completely different states. I moved to Kuwait 18 years ago and we moved to our current apartment when Zack was just a toddler. We've been here 11 years and 10 months. Zack will be 14 tomorrow and Yusef is my senior in high school. My how time flies! Best wishes to you and yours, Tammy


Your post made me think that the home I live in is my longest stay in a home (20 years!). All my life we moved and before this house 5 years had been the longest! Thanks for making me look at this fact:). I can't believe your cable company greeted you with that info......

Joanna said...

You're so right. We have been in this house for 13 years and while I know it isn't our forever home, I am really enjoying living here. I never thought I would. It took a long long time to settle but as the children grew up (we moved here when they were 4 and 2) and we grew memories with birthday parties, Christmas celebrations, building works to create a living environment that suited us and the changing seasons, I suddenly realised it was Home. We'll be here another 5 years or so, I think, and I know that I will be very sad to leave, but this is a home for a young growing family and we will have simply out grown it.

I hope that all the happy memories grown here will sink into the walls and help give the next owners a happy place to call Home. I wish I could be a fly on the wall when future owners take off our old wallpaper to find the childrens' height markers drawn on the walls underneath, I love discovering that kind of thing, to me it's treasure :)


Mary Timmers said...

Suzanne, Although our experience is so different from yours-- two houses in our married life, I know our house is alive with memories of our children growing up here. And now, our grandchildren are building memories of Nana and Papa's house. Each one of us has different memories, and they've all happened here!

It's another blustery day out, so stay snug and secure where you are!


Happy Homemaker UK said...

Living in rental houses now, many well over a hundred years old, I think about that a lot in England. So much history these walls hold, including surviving WWII most recently. Really, if these walls could talk!

Tricia said...

The world outside your windows looks so pretty, and the memories you've created inside your home I'll bet are wonderful too. I've lived in my house for fifteen years...I can't believe it. It's hard to think about all the memories it holds and leaving it behind someday. Hope you're having a good week! xo

Leslie said...

Hi Suzanne,

I'm glad you've been able to stay someone long enough to grow roots and make memories. As crazy as life can be (especially during the children raising decades) we look back and miss them. Now in my fifties, I think .. wow! that WAS it. Those were the good old days. Treasure the moments that we have.


Anonymous said...

Suzanne--I love your post today! We have lived in our home for 39 years. Our two children grew up in this home and that alone gives me chills. We have so much to be thankful for! Thank you for your sweet thoughts today. ♥
Martha Ellen

Tiffini said...

oh how I loved this post..and the music. My candle is burning and it is grainy outside today..fitting.

you know we have moved so many times and I am hoping this time we can settle here for some years. At least until Grace graduates..then I see myself moving to a farm with water of some sort and a few outside! we are making some good memories now though:) love ya girlie...hugs

Auntie Bliss said...

What a pretty house!!!
We built 23 years ago and are rooted :)
I'm pcovi on Instagram.

Anonymous said...

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Denise Mulligan said...

Hi Suzanne!
Thank you for visiting my blog, it has been a long, long time since I've been here.

It is wonderful to stay in one place for a long time, to feel like home is another person in the family. I have lived in my place for 13 almost 14 years. Whenever we have looked at new houses our children get so upset. They don't want to leave here even if it means bigger and a better place for us to live. I guess this ole girl is just part of who we are.

I like our neighbors, our view, our proximity to the parks and ocean. It is a lovely area to live. I have grumbled and complained for many years that I need a bigger living area. In the past five years I've come to believe that my small home is much more sufficient for our needs.

No, we don't need more space, the tight quarters has made us close as a family. My kids are not tucked away in another "wing" of the house. They are always close were I can hear laughter and argruing.

I love hearing my children's voices, their interruptions when I'm painting or cooking or immersed in me. It forces me get outside of myself and enjoy them while they are still young enough to be with us.

I am so much more appreciative today of the home I have and where I live. My little nest has taught me a very big lesson, home truly is about the people you live with. How you fill your days and your heart.

Very inspiring post and beautiful photos. Thank you for this reminder.

michele said...

gorgeous reflecting, suzanne. loving your photography and eye.

our house is about sheltering troubled souls. comfort. about zen for the weary. peace for those of us who are muddling through more often than soaring.

does that sound melancholic? because for me, it feels even sacred.

love to you.


Palomasea said...

A beautiful post, dear Suzanne...gorgeous photography.
I, too, have moved around quite a bit, and it feels strange that I've remained in the same place now for twelve years....
We do need a larger space, but it is difficult to imagine so many wonderful memories will be left behind here...
Blessings, and stay cozy...
- Irina

Sandi~A Cottage Muse said...

Beautiful post Suzanne!
We are living in the house my husband grew up in. My in laws bought it right after it was built. So much many stories!
Now I have some great things to think about this weekend!

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

I've been off the blogging radar for quite sometime, but it is always a pleasure to hear what you are thinking about and the stories you are telling. Happy Halloween!

susan@avintagefarmwife said...

Lovely post! And that is how it goes...days turn into years that turn into life. We had better try to make the most of each one, hadn't we?

Teacup Mosaics said...

Hello Suzanne!
I have missed visiting but when I do poke my head in I am always touched by your pictures and your message. What a feeling it is to have your nest for such a sweet time in your life. The only scary part is that time really flies and I am sure that is why you were taken aback.
I hope to visit more often and in anticipation I am doing some house keeping on my blog and I hope you don't mind I will keep you on my blogroll. I am only keeping the blogs that really speak to my heart.
Have a BOOitful Halloween.

Amanda (Small Acorns) said...

Beautifully thought provoking Suzanne. I often wonder about the stories that our home must be able to tell. We moved in just on 6 years ago, and after leaving the memories & ever so happy times in our previous home it took me some time to feel the same about this one. However this house has too become a home. Last year when we were doing our alterations we had the opportunity to hide a 'time capsule' inside one of the walls, and we thought this could be a fun thing for another family to find in years to come. We popped in, amongst other things, a photo of ourselves, a good bottle of cabernet sauv, a newspaper, an old mobile phone, some money & other things we thought would be a snapshot of our home in 2012, things which hopefully another caretaker will eventually find!

Kathysue said...

I love that last quote from Glen Close. I often look at people and think they have a family, friends and a life just like I do and yet I know nothing about them, but if I were to talk to them our lives would probably have many overlaps. I really felt that being across the world in Paris, people speaking a language I did not understands, young families with toddler talking in French, they have lives just like me. We have been in this very home for over 34 years. Almost time to move on, but not quite yet, it is a family home!!
xo Kathysue

Acanthus and Acorn said...

I've been thinking about our house and all the memories it holds as prepare for a new chapter to unfold next many emotions!

Candylei said...

Sweet pictures! I love white picket feNces
Thank you for opening your heart to us. It's a sweet/sad day when kids leave home. You raise them to be responsible and when they are it still feels odd.

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

That's such a funny thing for the company to tell you - how to make people feel old!!!

We've been hear for 8 years now, and I love the feeling of having a 'real' home. I'll always look back at this time of my life incredibly happily!


Stitchfork said...

I realized we've been in this house for 20 years! That's the longest I have lived in one spot!
xo Cathy

Lili said...

As fast as it goes my dear Suzanne, I know you have savored every last bit of it too. I am loving your iron bench under the tree too. xoxo