Yesterday I stood just beyond those french doors in the dining room that currently holds a refrigerator and 247 yard sale plates….

….and thought about the time I told this dining room goodbye.

Six years ago my mother sold this home.

On the day of closing, I was the last one out of the house.  We had spent days cleaning out every bit of us from the house.  We pulled down dusty boxes from the attic and packed up old maps and pictures and letter jackets and vintage Monopoly games and my grandmother’s china and a red tricycle and shoeboxes full of dried homecoming mums.

And then?

The house was empty.

The rooms echoed.

The spaces were silent and still.

And me?

I stood in the middle of the house and cried.

I slowly walked from room to room telling them all goodbye.

I told the kitchen it was amazing and I’d miss the hot chocolate and the caroling parties and the after-school dates with my boyfriend.  I told the dining room that Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same anymore and that all those turkey dinners with extra cranberry bread had been amazing.  I told the living room that I’d think of it when I watched the Real Housewives of wherever.

I waved goodbye to the bedrooms and the upstairs landing and the staircase and the bottom step where I waited for Santa Claus.

And as I walked to the back door to open it for the last time, I stepped into the downstairs bathroom to say my goodbye.

I stood on the cold tile floor and stared into the mirror over the sink.

The mirror I’d looked into to put my red lipstick on before high school.

The mirror I’d checked my glued-on plaid bows on my sweater vest before my first date with my boyfriend who became my husband.

The mirror I’d stood in front of on my wedding day in my wedding dress.

It was all too much.

It was all too hard.

I literally couldn’t take it for ONE SINGLE MORE SECOND.

And so I did the only thing a super-despondent-about-to-leave-the-house-forever-kind-of-girl does when faced with all of that sadness.

I grabbed the mirror off the wall and ran out of the house and put it in the back of the car….

….and drove it back to Kentucky with me.

When I got home, my husband carried the mirror upstairs and put it into the attic.

And there it sat for years, gathering dust.

It never really had a place at Thistlewood.

It wasn’t its home.

Until.

Until the day we bought the house back.

We carried that mirror down from the attic and drove it to Texas and hung it right back where it was meant to be.

I stood in the bathroom and wiped away a bit of the dust covering the front of the mirror and smiled at my reflection.

My mirror and I were a little older.

A little dustier.

A little more worn around the edges.

But we were both still wearing our red lipstick.

And we were both finally home. 🙂

PS  If you’ve been following along with the renovations, this is the bathroom from the diagram.

And right where that door was?

There’s now a shower. 🙂

 

PPS If you open up your mailbox and see a gift guide mailer that looks like this.

Be sure and open to page four to see a face smiling at you.

It’s just me.

Hoping you’ll smile back. 🙂

Comments

  1. Image for Sandra Sandra

    Love your blog, and so happy you were able to buy your lovely former home. I hope it will remain in the family for generations to come and be a place of comfort and joy always.

  2. Image for Kristin Kristin

    Oh Karianne you can tell a story. I was right there with you! I can't wait to follow along with the remodel! God bless you sweetie, Kristin

  3. Image for Susan Ronnfeldt Susan Ronnfeldt

    Oh Karianne! I love this!!! I was tearing up reading this. I love that you have that mirror! This was all meant to be. Thank you for your lovely words, and taking us along on the journey! You are making me long for my childhood home. It is a lovely old house, well cared for. Hopefully I will get that chance. some day.

  4. Image for beverlee beverlee

    I just have to say how fortunate to be able to have this beautiful home back in your life. Most of us don't even have one this beautiful to return to. You and this beautiful lady were meant to be. Two ladies who understand and need each other. I know you already know this, but I wanted you to know I know it, too. Such a fun journey you have taken us on.... Thank you!

  5. Image for Toni Toni

    Some blogs I delete.....yours I ALWAYS read! Thanks for sharing your life journey in such a meaningful way! Bless you.

  6. Image for Char Char

    Crying as I write this. Recently sold the big family home to move closer to grandchildren. Happy about the move but I cried, too, as I said goodbye to the rooms and the memories they held.

  7. Image for Kris Kris

    I prefer to think of myself and things I love as "matured" (like wine or cheese), not older and dustier. :) That describes you and your mirror.

  8. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Miz karianne, you don't sit still long enough to become dusty! But I know what you mean, and I'm so glad that you and the house are reunited again. Whoever said, You Can't Go Home Again, just hadn't met you yet! Blessings Little One.

  9. Image for Sandy Sandy

    Oh, what a cute story! A+ as always. I have an old mirror which hung in our powder room for 38 yrs. Remodeled room and removed the mirror; now deciding its new home. Eager to open your post daily to view your "new life" to your childhood home. I love Kirklands too.

  10. Image for Cyndie Cyndie

    Choked up here as well--happy tears as it's all good! I'm glad I'm not the only one who's been known to cry when leaving a home. I'm so very happy for you!

  11. Image for Debbie Esparza Debbie Esparza

    I can totally relate to today's blog. I too remember being the last one after all was gone from my parents home, I swear every memory flashed before me, and I cried and cried. I am so happy for you and your family. I love your blog so much, thank you for opening up the door and letting us visit. Have a glorious day!

  12. Image for Sherrie Sherrie

    Sooooooo funny! You have come so far with the remodel already. I wonder if it's harder to change a home that has so many wonderful memories, or if the home in Kentucky was easier to change to suit your family. Can't wait to see what else you have in store for us.

  13. Image for Barbara Barbara

    What a lovely story! Sometimes when life deals us a situation, there are plans in the works for it come back around in an unexpected way. Thank you for sharing this with us

  14. Image for Jo Jo

    You are a gifted story teller! Very moving. We have a similar style shower and love it. We continued the tile up over the ceiling. Love the existing tile on the bathroom floor.

  15. Image for Janette Janette

    Here I am again and the tears are just rolling down my face, Karinne you describe everything in such detail and with such feelings...how could anyone not feel it all......you know I have a beautiful huge mirror that hasn't seen my reflection for thirty years, it was my mum's so I grew up with it and it came with me on house move,s even the one it won't fit, I think if I ever get to see it again, for sure the mirror will be in shock, but I just know I won't be able to help myself, everyone I ever loved has looked in that mirror...how silly is that...wishing you all happiness sweet lady....xxx

  16. Image for Harriet Harriet

    My girls did the same sad goodbyes when we moved out of their childhood home. It was hard but the memories are still there. So glad you got to go back home and get that mirror back where it belongs.

  17. Image for Julie Briones Julie Briones

    You're just showing up everywhere, aren't you?! So fun! Love your story... and excited about the new shower and other renos! So happy for you!

  18. Image for Laurie Laurie

    My parents sold my childhood home last summer and I know exactly how you were feeling when you grabbed that mirror and ran! Glad you were able to "go home again"!

  19. Image for KAREN G. SEBOR KAREN G. SEBOR

    You are just an absolute sweetheart! I too have happy tears in my eyes. I could relate so well to your feelings about your growing-up home! and then returning to it!!! Today my precious Mom would be 100! She is celebrating in Heaven. Just an emotional day today. I love love love reading your blog. Never stop!! (How can I get a Kirkland's mailer?? I looked online and they don't offer a catalog.)

  20. Image for MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!)

    KariAnne, so happy that you and your dear hubby and children are "home"! Also, so happy that the mirror is back exactly where it needs to be -- in your gorgeous "HOME SWEET NEW HOME". May you all be blessed to make wonderful new memories! Blessings, dear friend!

  21. Image for Sherry Sherry

    You are a blessed lady to be able to raise your kids in your childhood home! A lot of fun history to share! 😁

  22. Image for Terri Hughes Terri Hughes

    Happy that you and your husband got the chance to purchase the home that you grew up in. Beautiful house. You are such a good story teller. Welcome home!

  23. Image for Laurie Laurie

    My Dad passed away unexpectedly 2 days before Christmas last year. We only just reached the point of being emotionally ready to sell the home my parents owned for 50 years, where they both took their last breath with their family by their sides. It closed 3 weeks ago and on the final night it was still my childhood home, I watched the sunset from the patio for the last time and said goodbye to every room and told the house to bring happy memories to a new family. I drove by it last night and the remodel has started. It was bittersweet and I will always think of it as my parent's house. I, too, took a mirror but left my heart in its place. XOXO.

  24. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I'm so happy for you and your mirror! I'll bet the whole family is happy to have your childhood home back in everyone's life. I drive by my grandmother's cabin in Evergreen and wish it was still in our family. Maybe someday...

  25. Image for Gina Gina

    I am so thrilled for your journey. I mean this in the most respectful way, my dear friend.... Kari waits for me at home Oh Kari waits for me I see her standing there beside "the mirror" Kari waits for me at home {{hugs}}

  26. Image for Peg Peg

    Now that's a beautiful chapter in THE most beautiful journey!! I'm so glad I found you!! Love your writing and everything you do!! xoxoxo

  27. Image for dawn darveau dawn darveau

    Karianne, your writing is so heartfelt and real that as a reader I feel your joy, sadness .and amazement. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us but mainly your joy of life - it is contagious. I am looking forward to your many adventures and successes along the way.

  28. Image for Stephanie Wethington Stephanie Wethington

    The words you write come to life for me! You have such a wonderful gift. I felt like I was standing beside you when you were telling your rooms goodbye. I was so excited that you grabbed your mirror and ran out the door with it and took it to Kentucky. Now, you are reunited and that is wonderful!!! I am so very thankful for your stories and so look forward to following you as your and your home in Texas come together!! Thank you so much for sharing with us. xo

  29. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    Not of my own choosing,,but I have pretty much been off line for a few weeks and now attempting to catch up and going kind of backwards reading your blog but I am getting the gist of what has happened. Three years ago I left my farm home where we raised our three sons My husband was born and raised on this farm but he was ready to leave all the yard work, the snow removal. ( lived 1 1/2 miles on gravel to the paved road. I designed the house and it was a big compliment when someone came to our home the first time and would have to ask if this was a new house or an old house. I had it so pretty and perfect. I was the last one to leave and I went to every room and kissed the walls good-by. I was a mess! Tears now as I remember. Much love to you and your family in your wonderful home.

  30. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    You know. I'd have a huge dilemma of changing the home I grew up in for exactly all those sweet memories. Like returning that wonderful mirror to its home. Oh, my! And then I get to your line/flyer at Kirkland's?!!! Wow!! That's amazing!!!! Enjoy this wonderful journey!!! So very happy to follow along. So very proud of you!!

  31. Image for Sherrie Sherrie

    I simplify love all of your stories. For a few moments I am swept away from whatever task I’m doing at the moment to a different place and I’m walking with you and see what you see and feeling what you feel. It’s pretty darn amazing. Thank you for sharing. I know your new old home will be absolutely stunning!

  32. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Being the vintage collector that I am, when I saw that mirror I thought...TAKE THAT! I am so glad you did! It can live anywhere though. It doesn't have to go back in that bathroom. It will just be happy to be back home. It is an awesome mirror! Also, I am excited to see what you do with your childhood home and how you make it your own.

  33. Image for KATHY KATHY

    I am so happy you were able to buy your childhood home!!..How Special for your whole Family!! Love the mirror too Karianne!!..Kathy from Massachusetts!!

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