I never thought I’d be writing this post. Not now. Not this soon. But after only three years of living in and loving our beautiful Southern Colonial style home, the home that made all our lovelier belongings (mostly those from my mom) exclaim, “This is where we were always meant to be!,” and made my husband and I walk around sighing over all that we’d been blessed with, knowing that we didn’t deserve a lick of it.
“We are moving.”
Yes, writing those two words surprises even me.
The decision to move is a long story of chance encounters, conversations with various and assorted peoples, weighing of pros and cons, asking God to show us the way, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseam. And now, after months of talking about the possibilities, our house is on the market.
I’m going to tell you the story as briefly as I can, but before I talk, let me show you some pictures of our home:
These are some old listing pictures of our home before we moved in (sorry, I couldn’t access them all).
For those who haven’t seen my home, and the changes we made after moving in, here are links to a few posts I did along the way as we painted and placed our own home decor:
If you’ve come to know my style at all you know that I am not a minimalist, but I had to become one for staging, and I must admit that I rather like it.
These are the current MLS listing photos that show how she looks after five long weeks of staging, i.e., removing half of our home decor so people can see beyond our style and imagine the possibilities . . .
Staging courtesy of my good friend Leslie Hoyt of www.hellohomeingreenville.com and www.hellohome.us.
In my last post I promised to come back with news of what I’ve been up to, along with some pretty pictures, and I do believe our grand ol’ Southern gal is feeling prettier than she’s ever felt before.
You can scroll down to the end now or you can read below the long, long story behind the decision to move.
- Last November Mr. OTN had surgery on one of his feet to correct a problem that he’s suffered with for years. They felt that if one foot was successful they’d do the other. It wasn’t. He lives with pain in his feet on a daily basis, and though he doesn’t complain much his feet feel miserable most of the time. He’s been to multiple docs, tried multiple remedies, received healing prayer a number of times, etc., all to no avail. We’re not giving up on an answer but during the time after surgery, when he had to navigate the stairs, we seriously began thinking about the possibility of moving to a single story home.
- Spring came and with it the many day trips out on our boat to visit various lakes in the area. Each time we would be reminded of lake living in the Pacific Northwest and miss it terribly. The lake, not the Pacific Northwest. We HEART South Carolina.
- Ever since moving to South Carolina we’ve carried the dream of one day living on the lake again. We thought this would be after retirement, as none of the lakes we visited were close enough for hubby to commute.
- We had a guest speaker at church one Sunday, a Pastor from another church, whom gregarious Mr. OTN connected with immediately and soon we were hearing about this Pastor’s house on nearby Lyman Lake. Only 30 minutes from downtown Greenville and the best kept secret around! Yeah, maybe we’d check it out someday.
- One day, when we were out on the most desirable lake in the entire SOUTH, Lake Keowee, we started dreaming of retiring there.
- We talked to a couple who were lounging in the lake near their dock and they told us about the community they’d just built their dream home in. They said they’d waited five years to finally get there. Mr. OTN told them that was our plan, to wait four or five years and retire at the lake. The couple went on to tell us that though they’d just moved in, they were going to have to sell their home because they’d both just been diagnosed with cancer.
- Their story made me sad, and led me to thinking about the possibility of moving even before retirement. One never knows what tomorrow might bring. Perhaps we could rent a room in town for Mr. OTN to sleep in when he’s on his 7-days straight shift.
- Alas, the thought of living half time with the hubs, 7 days on, 7 days off, wasn’t so appealing. We value our time together, even when he’s on an 84 hour work week and I don’t get to see him much.
- More looking on more lakes until the day we drove over to Lyman Lake on a whim and walked through an open house.
- The house was NOT us. It was about the same price as our current home is valued at but so much less home. The layout, the quality, the style . . . NO.
- The Realtor was really nice, and soon she was talking to us about some land that was to be developed on the lake by a local builder. A small neighborhood, consisting of four 1/2 acre lots on the lake. Intriguing.
- We toured some of the other homes for sale around the lake but found nothing of interest to us.
- Curious, we met with the builder and his wife and talked, then toured a few of the homes he’s built. We were impressed. We thought that we couldn’t possibly get the things we wanted on our budget though (Note: hubby’s budget is higher than my budget and we had to meet somewhere in the middle).
- We visited Pastor Steve (the guest speaking Pastor) and his wife Becky’s home and, as it turned out, it was built by the same builder. We were liking his quality of workmanship more and more.
- Still trying to make our decision, I was invited to join a group of lake ladies for Bible study at the lake (35 minutes from our current home). Not totally certain but hopeful that we’d eventually be living at the lake I said, “Yes.”
- We took plans into the builder on a few different occasions, but each time it turned out that they were far more expensive to build than we could afford (Mr. OTN’s fondness for fancy rooflines and gables is a killer). To have a lake house we were going to have to lower our expectations.
- We finally decided that if we wanted to live at the lake we were going to have to find a set of plans we could learn to “live with.” Not ideal but, as they say, “Ya’ can’t always get whatcha’ want.”
- 8-23-17, after too much time thinking about lake property, I wrote this in my journal: “I’m so tired Lord . . . As we go to meet with the builder again today I pray that we will either feel like we have a plan we can move forward with, within our budget, or feel closure. I’m ready to be done with the time spent obsessing on this. Lord, LET US BE a testimony of Your great love and mercy.”
- The very next day, 8-24-17, I wrote this in my journal: “We met with the builder again and went out to the lot with him, walking all the way down to the water [quite a feat as we had to navigate through branches with giant spider webs]. Something very strange happened yesterday. After two other meetings, where it felt like we were going to have to cut way back on our expectations, he came out with a plan (one he had planned to build for himself) that was perfect. He also said it will be within our budget.” Only God.
- The question came next, “When do we need to put our house on the market?”
- “Now,” was the answer.
Then came the five weeks of
1. Removing everything in our home that the stager said must go, as well as anything we didn’t need in the next 6 months.
2. Painting and repairing items from the inspector’s list
3. Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.
4. Refreshing the yard by taking out fading plants, bringing in some Fall foliage, spreading cedar mulch in the flower bed and long pine needles in all the other beds.
5. Leaving for a long weekend to rest our tired bodies while the stager put the finishing touches on our home and the photographer came to give our Southern lady her first professional photo shoot! Oh how she SHONE!
And today, my home is perfect. Almost perfect anyway, and waiting for the next family who will love her well.
I will actually miss this home and neighborhood (we have the BEST neighbors) quite a bit. As I stood in the yard looking up at the guest room windows tears came to my eyes at the thought of the many people who have come and stayed in those rooms during the short three years we’ve been here. Does that tell you what’s most precious to me when it comes to a home? It is the people who will come and share it with us.
Our lake home will be different, a Craftsman style, and she will be beautiful in a whole ‘nother way. I’ll have the chance to pick my own finishes and there will even be some extra special things about her that we don’t have here. I am quite excited as you can imagine! And my guess is that her setting on the lake will make her even more inviting to guests from near and far.
So now the wait. The wait for the perfect buyer. The wait for the new home to start taking shape (she was just approved for a permit this past week). The wait to see what God has in store for us next as we try to imagine decorating and living in a home we’ve never even seen. CRAZY!
I hope you’ll come along with me on the journey of, “What’s next?” We have no idea of the time frame, building, selling, moving – once or twice, but trust that God has prepared the way before us and we are more than ready to step into the adventure.
P.S. I’m already loving the ladies-of-the-lake and I’ve only been to two Bible studies with them. Isn’t God good to give us community before we ever move?
I’ve been known to link up to the following great parties!!!
IShouldBeMoppingTheFloor, TheDedicatedHouse, Dwellings, ProjectInspired, InspireMeMonday, BetweenNapsOnThePorch, CelebrateYourStory, What Joy is Mine/Monday Musings, Darling Downs Diaries, The Art of Homemaking, MomentsOfHope, Glimpses, SittingAmongFriends
TalkOfTheTown, HomeStoriesAtoZ, AStrollThruLife, CoastalCharm, CedarHillFarmhouse, TuesdaysAtOurHome, TheWinthropChronicles, Rich Faith Rising Unite Linky, Testimony Tuesday,Cheerleaders of Faith,Tell His Story
ShareYourStyle, ImpartingGrace, EmbracingChange, HaveADailyCupOfMrsOlson, MyRepurposedLife, ADelightsomeLife, KatherinesCorner, Thought Provoking Thursday, SincerelyPaulas, ThoughtfulThursday, Tune-inThursday
FrenchCountryCottage, TheCharmOfHome, TheDedicatedHouseAnythingBlueFriday, ShabbyliciousFriday, Sweet Inspiration, Faith’nFriends, Missional Women Faith Filled Fridays, Dance With Jesus FreshMarketFriday