Moving from one old house to an even older house.

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I love those old homes with their built-in cupboards and cabinets, the arched doorways and separate rooms. I love the old wood floors and the nostalgia of knowing that families from the old days lived there. Women baked bread daily as a routine and didn’t blog about it because there was no internet, for one, and it was normal. Children played all day without the assistance of iPads. People walked to the store or post office. Neighbors leaned on the fence to gossip.

We live in an older neighborhood. We have an old house. I love this house. It has a soul. When we tried to sell it recently…well, we tried twice, once last year and once this year, this house would have none of it. Not one taker despite how charming this little house. Then we decided to keep her. I named her Henrietta which means “home ruler”. And she is, she is the one who decides what is going to be happening here. I sensed she was not ok with us getting rid of her so we decided to keep Henrietta in the family and rent her. After all, everyone in the family has chores.

I was going to try out a property management company but kept hearing not so positive rumors. Bali and I decided yesterday to try our hand at renting ourselves. I did the research and printed up formal applications that released information so I could screen and do background checks such as rental history and work history. I posted an ad on Craigslist by noon, right before our family lunch. By 7:00 pm we had our tenant and were celebrating with blackberry pie (pie is my new thing).

I had two applicants within an hour and some phone calls. Both parties were likeable and very much like us. But the second person won Henrietta and my heart. We knew the minute he left he was the man for us. He is in the construction field and I assumed he would be rough and unsuited for my sweet girl but he was a man with an old fashioned soul. He said he lived in a cookie-cutter suburbia and felt like he was dying there. He loved the colors and charm of the house. He loved the house immediately. I totally understood him. My husband and I looked at a house in the suburbs when we were still searching for our new home. Bali liked the house and I hated the neighborhood. I said, “If we move here I swear I’ll start drinking vodka every day! I’ll die here!”

I truly feel that I’ve been reincarnated from a very old-time and I still haven’t adjusted to this modern world or life. I try to escape into a bubble of old fashioned and Victorian as much as possible. Not that I don’t absolutely love some of the modern…just in small doses, like the washing machine and Star Wars movies.

Henrietta is 79 years old and a sturdy, pretty cottage. We are moving to an elder that is 119 years old. Arthur. He is sturdy, grounded, a protector and provider. We will thrive in his care. I intend to live out my life there on his porch.

Now that I have my old lady and my old man, I feel complete.

Do houses have souls? Yes, they do. They have spirits perhaps. I don’t know. But I do feel like they choose us. Some homes are our destiny. Even the bad ones. Perhaps they just need love and revival or you need to learn a lesson. Like attracts like so when you wind up in a certain house you only have yourself to look at when you wonder why you are there.

These are the only homes I’ve ever owned and both were my very last choice. They were the last house on the market that we could afford after being outbid, losing or canceling the other houses. But they turned out to be “the one”. Henrietta has been the house ruler in every way. We have lived here happily, safely, never a leak, not one thing broke down…no problems. We have lived blissfully in her arms. She took good care of us and I hope she takes care of this next family. She is mine and I will keep her forever. I can feel her contentment with this decision. You may think me silly, but I remember the first time I put her on the market things started breaking down and I kept breaking dishes in the sink or on the counter. I felt her anger and it unsettled me a bit. This time on the market she behaved but didn’t attract one buyer.

So, I thought, “I wonder how she’ll react to being rented.” Obviously, that went over well and she was pleasant and agreeable. Got us a tenant within a couple hours. Good job, Henrietta.

Arthur had a buyer when I first saw him. I drove by and that night it was a pending sale. It lasted 10 days. Long enough for us to get into a short sale mess with a straw bale house down the road. I went to explore Arthur while dating the straw bale house and I wanted him. My husband took some convincing. He didn’t like across the street but I didn’t care. There were trees to hide the complex.

When the straw bale house didn’t work out I begged Bali to consider Arthur and he was a kind companion and let me have my choice. We will be moving in as you read this blog.  Now Bali is happy. He sees what a treasure this old man is and how we will have such a great life in this new town.

We will plant trees, roses, flowers, berries, and till up a huge kitchen garden. There is a quarter acre and it is a gardener’s dream. Bali will be taking 3 days off a week. He will work 4 long days and enjoy a long weekend to focus on building a shed and turning our little town plot into a productive and lovely, living yard.

I will paint each room over time as I get a feel of what color each room should be. One day we will replace the carpet with real wood floors. The old wood floors are no longer there. I will can and preserve what we grow and cook and bake like crazy. I may even learn to sew.

I can’t wait to drink my creamy coffee in the living room and crochet a new afghan for the couch. I learned a new trick from a subscriber for making thick afghans easily with my simple stitch. You crochet three strands of yarn at once with a Q hook?

I can’t wait for the foster babies that will be loved and safe in our old home.

And novel writing. I’m eager to see if this house inspires my fictional mind. I wrote a lot of homemaking books while living under Henrietta’s roof but fiction didn’t come so easy. Perhaps living under Arthur’s roof will be more creative.

I am eager to set up all the bird feeders and start attracting my finches.

It’s almost legal to get up and start working. Today is Monday and we are doing a walkthrough. By the time you read this, it will be Saturday and we will be loading a truck and heading to the hills.

Tell me, does your home have a personality? Have you named your house as well or am I the only nut that does this?

 

29 thoughts on “Moving from one old house to an even older house.

  1. congratulations on finding just the right person………..I do think that houses have souls and we have not named our home or feel comfortable here. The last owner never wanted to leave and although we liked it before we moved in, once we were in it has never felt like home. We should probably work harder to make it more our own.

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  2. Such great news for you, and your family including Henrietta and Arthur. I love the idea of naming your homes. In fact I’m stealing it, if you don’t mind.

    I have crocheted an afghan using three strands of yarn and a Q hook. It did produce a lovely texture out of the cheapest yarn. But, (for me because I have small hands), crocheting with a Q hook is like crocheting with a turkey drumstick–it’s awkward and bulky to hold.

    Best of luck on your move.

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  3. So happy for the Singh family!! I watch your YouTube channel and follow your blog and I have to say this was written very eloquently. Both have the same information but your writing feels like it has a new depth and purpose. I live in a house that I don’t love….it’s too big and the mortgage feels suffocating. So I’m hoping that once my youngest moves out we can sell and move to a cottage that the taxes don’t suffocate us and doesn’t need much upkeep.

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  4. I’m so pleased that you decided to keep Henrietta and that SHE’S guiding you in finding your first tenant. I’m sure Arthur will embrace you and your family as well. He’ll especially love the joy of having children within his walls again. I’ve lived in my home 46 years and hope I’ll never have to leave. Though alone, I’m never lonely as it’s filled with memories of my children’s laughter, petty arguments, holidays and pets of every variety. I’m truly looking forward to your next blog, Kate!

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  5. I live in a condo and I haven’t named her. I feel it’s a her and she has been good to me over the years. I feel at home here. Perhaps it’s time I give her a name or at least time for her to tell me what her name is, lol. I’m so glad you and Bali found a house with land and I cannot wait to see what you do with it.

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  6. I am very excited for you and your family. Waiting patiently for the tour.
    We never named our home when we moved here but I think it will be our last one until we can not handle her anymore. I do find it hard some days as the house is a bit to big for me to keep up with. Plus stairs don’t help as I get older.
    Looking forward to the journey ahead. 🙂

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  7. So pleased this has happened Kate, it’s wonderful to see you reaping the fruits of your harvest. I’m especially pleased you’re keeping Henrietta, it would have been sad to sell her, she has become part of your family.

    Is Arthur in the mountains like you wanted?

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  8. Our home was on the market for a year, which is unheard of in our neighborhood, before we bought her. It was meant to be because we love this home – she’s our first home. She’s about 60 years old, built out of brick and has beautiful wood ceilings. She’s a little funky on the inside but she’s ours and we’re hers. ❤️
    Thank you for reminding me how much we love our home and that she’s part of our family!

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  9. Good evening Kate. Congratulations on your new home and in keeping Harietta. they both sound like beautiful places to live. I’m living in a beautiful flat. It use to be a huge house but was converted into ten flats in 1911. My place is looking south with pine trees and a one hundred year old oak tree brought here from Nottingham , England. My flat has hardwood floors and the old water heated radiators. I can feel the presence of tenants from the past which is all pleasant to me. I have never lived in such a beautiful place. I do own a house in the Kootenays which has flooded four times and I lost over half of my belongings. I’d love to move back to that area one day because my precious little granddaughter lives there. For now, I will stay here and enjoy this wonderful experience.

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  10. Love the idea of naming your homes and will definitely be taking that as a tradition once I can have my own spaces. I hope Arthur continues to inspire you to create more beautiful writing and a full life of adventure! (also excited to see your new garden!)

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  11. Congrats kate on your beautiful new home❤️I love the older homes such beautiful strong details they have👍Your kitchen style looks a lot like mine🙂and I love cooking our family meals in it😉I do believe homes have souls!I remember 25 years ago when we walked through our home we have I knew she was ours!There was two other family’s that put offers in and they picked us and we offered less😉The owner was 90 and she wanted the home to have children in it she told me and we clicked👍She was a master Gardner and had every beautiful flower you could think of💕which we still have today❤️Her name is Lady because that’s what she is a very groomed and solid and every morning she shines like a beautiful diamond🙂when the sun shines on her😘Excited to see your up dates but I feel you did a great job picking Arthur too bad we didn’t live by you😉Lady would have liked Arthur😉💕

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