Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New is not always better

Once upon a time, we lived in a house that we simply adored. It was a big, rambling Tudor, with lots of land, and deer who apparently thought the land was there specifically for their daily strolls. After three years, pretty much against our will, we had to relocate and leave that house, and we moved over 800 miles away to the sweet, smaller house that we reside in now.
So, here we are, four and a half years later, and our old house is up for sale. So I checked it out online, and found photographs. The photographs are significant, because the new owners "updated" and "modernized" the house...so I looked at the pictures, and found myself so saddened.
The pictures show a house with extensive complicated landscaping, and a beautiful patio with a fountain and a pond. And the interior - the walnut tongue and groove walls are gone, the built-in bookshelves are gone, and everything is light and modern and...I looked at the pictures and felt like the soul of that house had been simply cut right out of it. It had been such a unique and lovely older house, and now, it looks like so many other big new homes, with little personality and lots of bells and whistles. And while the changes to the yard are pretty, and heck, we might have added a similar patio ourselves, many of the changes are ones that -again - are the sort of thing you see frequently in higher end houses, and they are hardly specific to this particular home.
I know how potentially idiotic it may appear to be, to be this affected by a home I no longer have any responsibility for. But you see, this house was what we hoped would be our "forever" house, where we would bring up our boys, live our lives, bury our family pets, run on the trails we built...and instead, we had to leave it. And now, someone has taken this grand older home and turned it into just another updated house.
Back in late summer 2002, my husband brought us to this house, so that we could see the house in person that we had looked at online for the last few weeks. We were moving from Colorado to Missouri, and we wanted to buy rather than rent, so this was our last chance to find a house. We literally just dropped into a realtor's office, asked to see this house - and this house only, which the realtor thought was just bizarre. So we opened the front door, my husband walked in first - he looked around the foyer, and as he turned to hold the door for me, he said "This is it." And so it was - just like that, we knew. This empty old house, which had sheltered the family that built it for their entire lives, opened itself to us and said "Finally! I've been waiting for you! Welcome home." -- and yep, we were home.
I've never felt that way before or since.

1 comment:

  1. I hate it when people "modernize" beautiful old homes and buildings. I work in the old Ozark Theatre in Webster which has been undergoing a rebirth the last several years. I was amazing the artful stuff that was uncovered when the "new better more modern' stuff was removed. I feel for your old house. I'm sure it misses you too.
    Margaret (Mogie)