The Kids and Maggie Sitting on the Front Steps

Dear Home Buyers,

Welcome! We are thrilled that you found us, that you chose to look around, that you’re planning to stay a while. We know this hasn’t been the easiest process to go through, and we appreciate your patience. It’s been frustrating for us — I’m sure it’s been doubly frustrating for you. But we know it will all be worth it in the end.

If our limited information about you is correct, you just added another member to your family. Congratulations! There is nothing sweeter than the soft, warm head of a precious new baby, and we wish you all the joy in the world.

This may sound a little strange, but I have felt from the start that you are the ones who are supposed to have this house. I know I don’t know you. I don’t really know anything about you. But I feel in my heart that this is your new home.

And I want you know that it’s a good one.

Sure, it has its quirks. The patio door sticks, the master bedroom shower needs some work. We didn’t spend any time or money on mulch this spring. The garden and flower beds need a lot of TLC. When we installed the patio, the concrete guy promised us our driveway wouldn’t crack under the weight of his truck. He was wrong. But those cracks? They’re kind of like wrinkles to me. Etched into the driveway, they’re a reminder of the patio that we’ve grown to love — the place where my husband and I like to share a drink together at the end of a long day. Those cracks remind me of all the neighborhood shoes that have stepped on them during sweaty, laughter-laced basketball games.

This is a good place. It’s a happy place. Your new neighbors are kind and welcoming. In full disclosure, there is one set of neighbors who will probably not like you. But rest assured… they don’t like anyone. They don’t even like themselves. They’ll complain about your weeds, your kids, your pets (if you have any), your tree placement, the world in general. But when you sit out on your patio with your loved ones, they will remind you with their silence (and sometimes with their arguing) how blessed you really are. And you’ll giggle with your other neighbors — all the other neighbors — and know that you have something they’ll never have. Contentment. Their grass may have fewer dandelions, but when your babies bring you a bouquet of those dandelions, you’ll be so grateful the TruGreen guy missed them when he sprayed.

There were six of us who lived here — Mom, Dad, four fun and quirky kids. And over the years, we added two dogs, multiple fish, numerous hamsters and guinea pigs, and a couple of frogs. This house was never quiet. It never stood still. It was bustling with life, with adventure, with energy. It sheltered toddlers who turned into teenagers. It wrapped its sturdy arms around a family who loved and laughed and lived life to the fullest.

There were years that money was abundant. And then there were years that money was not. But you know what we always had enough of? Love. Always love.

This house was full of family and friends and music and singing and dancing. We hosted numerous dinner parties, backyard barbeques, sleepovers, and late night soirees. We played kickball in the backyard, we played flashlight tag in the waning evening light, we showed neighborhood movies on the garage and popped enough popcorn to feed an army. We had “Red Wine Events” with our dearest friends. We made crappy strawberry cakes and ate them anyway.

We danced in the kitchen while we were making dinner. We sang to Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen and O.A.R. while we scrubbed the toilets. We laughed. A great deal.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because when we leave, we’ll take our things with us. We’ll take our couches and our beds and our clothes and our dog toys. We’ll take our dishes and our toiletries and our beach towels. We’ll take our camping equipment and our bikes and our lawn mower. We’ll wipe away our fingerprints (well, most of them, I hope), we’ll scrub the floors, and we’ll clean the carpets.

But we will leave something behind.

Within these walls live the memories of the happiness we knew here. The laughter of family and friends is etched into the beams and painted into our reds and greens and blues. Not even Lysol (and I use a LOT of it) can erase that. We leave you peace and contentment and joy.

This house is filled with love, dear buyers.

It is our gift to you.

Welcome home.

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9 Responses

  1. WOW ! I am simply blown away by these words. I hope you will actually give this letter to the new home owners. I am sure it will make them feel very very happy about their purchase.

  2. Dammit! I just sat down to check some messages before popping out again to pick up Alyson from softball practice….and now I’m crying. Beautiful, Katrina, just beautiful writing. Well said.

  3. *sniff*

    Cleaning my basement today–19 years worth of memories headed for garage sales, the Goodwill and the trash. Thinking ahead to another couple years, when I’ll be moving on too.

    Lovely post.

  4. Love this. We have our home up for sale right now and this really hit…well…home. 🙂 Reading the part about your cracked driveway made me remember we will be leaving our driveway with Rocky dog footprints in it (best dog EVER). Bittersweet!

    1. Hello, RandomInternetStranger! I’m so glad this post spoke to you, but I’d much rather you “borrow and credit” my words than “steal” them. Everything here is under copyright protection. (I’m guessing your comment was a little tongue-in-cheek, but just wanted to be sure.) Thank you!! 🙂

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