The home I grew up in was full of life and laughter and joy.

It was a hub of bustling activity with a project in every room.

My mother tiled the kitchen herself.  My father kept his giant rock collection in the library.  My sister had everyone sign the wood floor in her room.  My brother built a giant marble machine that covered the entire family room.

It’s where I played hopscotch and taught school to my dolls and climbed trees and decorated my room with Laura Ashley wallpaper and watched my mother make pancakes every Saturday morning.

There were speeches and performances and dancing and debates and stories.

And oh…the stories we would tell.

The halls of the house rang with them.

But eventually, we all grew up and left home.

Life continued.

There were new chapters yet to be written.

We all started our own families and the house was left a little sad and forlorn.  It became too much for my mother after my father passed away and so she made the very difficult decision to sell it. With overwhelming sadness, we packed up our stories and our memories….

…..and moved on.

Literally.

bird house before picture

And as we were cleaning up the house and getting ready to move my mother to her new home.

I discovered this.

Dirty and broken and barely salvageable.

birdhouse before picture

It was the remains of a birdhouse.

This birdhouse once perched on a stand in the middle of the backyard at that wonderful home where I grew up.

It was there when I ran out the door to meet my friends after school.

It was there the day I chased the chickens around the yard.

It was there when I graduated from high school.

It was there the day I got married.

It was there the day I brought those precious twins home from the hospital.

birdhouse on the farm

We brought those pieces back to the farmhouse in Kentucky where my husband carefully restored it.

Piece by piece.

Shingle by shingle.

Board by board he refinished it and refurbished it and recreated it and rebuilt it. He spliced those old broken pieces together and rebuilt the inside and painted it white.

Until it was as good as new.

Maybe even better.

And then?

That house I grew up in?

We found it again.

Those people that my mother sold it to?

We bought it back from them.

That house of stories?

The one with the curb where I first kissed my husband?

The back porch where I waited for our first date?

It became ours once again.

And the birdhouse that we rescued?

It came home again.

And just like that birdhouse of my youth?

It has a stand.

It’s holding court in the center of the flower garden.

Just like before.

It’s here.

It’s still standing.

And all these years later, it’s renewed and refreshed and restored and rejuvenated and ready to take on all the chapters yet to come…

…because it’s finally home.

Just like me. 🙂

PS I found some of the CUTEST birdhouses online in case you wanted to start your own birdhouse tradition.

disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post.

Comments

  1. Image for Gina Gina

    When you moved back, the birdhouse was the first thing i asked about! As i read this post about your life journey, i smiled as i realized how happy i am to have taken part in much of your life journey here on your blog. Thank you for sharing and taking us along for the ride! We return here and it is kind of a landing place where we know we are always welcome.

  2. Image for Wen Wen

    Oh gosh how I love your story!! How you tell a story is my favorite!!! Btw your hair is beautiful!! I have hair envy ! Have a blessed day Peace, Wen

  3. Image for Sue Topjun Sue Topjun

    As usual, you make me smile. Wishing you and your wonderful family peace and calm in these unsettling times -- take care of you and stay safe.

  4. Image for Barbara Barbara

    I love your birdhouse! And I'm sure the birds are happy it is back. I think I'll have hubby help make me one too! We love sitting on the porch watching and listening to the birds♥

  5. Image for Deb Wostmann Deb Wostmann

    Stop, no don't!!!! You have made me tear up in so many times, but in such a good way. Thank you for sharing your stories. Never stop sharing your memories and your love. Stay well my friend.

  6. Image for Donna Donna

    I am really not thinking about the birdhouse but about the signed wood floor in your sister's bedroom. Boy, I wish I had a picture of that. Did your parents give her permission for this? Childhood.

  7. Image for Jackie Jackie

    This was just the sweetest heartfelt story that brought a tear to my eye. I'm sure your heart bursts with joy to be home again. Thank you for sharing! (Tight hug)

  8. Image for Mary Mary

    What a lovely story! I love watching, feeding, housing our birds also! You are so lucky to have had such a happy childhood 🌞

  9. Image for sandi sandi

    I've told you before...I'll say it again! I LOVE how you write. You put me right in the middle of your story as if I was there watching the timeline of your life. LOVE LOVE LOVE

  10. Image for Jessica Reichard Lardinais Jessica Reichard Lardinais

    As I read this story, something came to my mind that I always wanted to ask you. Given that your house was your childhood home and there is so much nostalgia attached, do you ever find it emotionally difficult to make permanent or even semi-permanent updates and changes? I ask because I tend to "find the perfect spot" for whatever knick-knack or piece of furniture I have and then I want to leave it like that for eternity! Just curious if you ever feel that way, too, or does your creativity just override those feelings every time?

  11. Image for Julie Julie

    I read your prior story about returning to Texas from Kentucky. I smile because you've given encouragement to go for what you really want.......after all you won't know what you can get unless you ask for it! Perfect example here and serves us all well in remembering this! Thank you!

  12. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    My goodness! Who knew there was a restored birdhouse to return home! How wonderful. And tell that sweet Knight in Shining Armor that “he did good”...in your best Kentucky accent for me!! Happy Monday, friend!!

  13. Image for CherylB CherylB

    Love the post BUT...... the WORD NUMBERS on the the front of the house.... fabulous ...just makes the front of your home

  14. Image for Connie Connie

    Since you have such a gift of writing, have you ever thought to write your own memories of childhood, marriage, and motherhood for your own children and they can pass it on down. They would cherish these in the future. Just a thought for you.

  15. Image for Barbara Moore Barbara Moore

    I’ve known since you first shared how wonderful it is for you to be back home. But I just now thought of how wonderful it must be for your siblings! Especially your sweet sweet mom! They all must be delighted!! So happy for you all. Including the baby birdies.

  16. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Awww, Miz karianne, you really know how to grab someone by the heart and never let go! LOL, I mean that in a good way! And you had me at "Birdhouses". I have a birdhouse fetish. Seriously. Not a single one outdoors, but lots and lots of them INDOORS! We had a Martin House in my back yard that was high up on steel pole, and this one reminds me of that time, long ago. Thank you for sharing. I know your Dad smiles at the house you grew up in.

  17. Image for Carolyn Carolyn

    Just curious. With the bird house sitting so low to the ground, do the birds actually use it? Are they skittish and afraid? Are they safe from cats and other predators?

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Carolyn, That's a great question! We just put it out, so we don't have any birds yet! I'll keep an eye on it! Happy day!karianne

  18. Image for Cynthia Chilson Finger Cynthia Chilson Finger

    You are an amazing story teller, KariAnne. Thanks for sharing! Total aside ... I'm planning on a mini laundry room makeover (as long as I don't have to go out and purchase anything) so I've been reading your laundry room posts. Did you ever paint the coffee bar side of the room??! (I voted for Peppercorn, btw ;) Have a blessed Holy Week and Easter Sunday!

  19. Image for Peg Peg

    Love it! Renewed and refreshed and restored and rejuvenated!! How wonderful, and someday will all will be, too!!! xoxo

  20. Image for june june

    Your blog is such a sweet place to land each day. Love the birdhouse...how wonderful for you to have taken it along with you and your family on such a great journey.

  21. Image for TERESA GONZALES TERESA GONZALES

    Your birdhouse suits your house perfectly! So glad you are able to have it once again where it started!

  22. Image for Barbara Barbara

    Birdhouses are wonderful. I’ve had several - some are Churches. Birds love the black oil seeds (WalMart/bird stores). Blue birds love Also freeze dried worms i put in a plastic open container nailed to the fence next to their house. Always have blue bird houses with blu bird families. Just love em all. Bb return to their homes each year. So fun to watch. We sold our house several months ago but left blue bird houses with a promise they’ll keep up with it Barbara gomez

  23. Image for Jerry Stocks Jerry Stocks

    How wonderful to preserve so many memories in buying back your family home. Your writing is an inspiration to so many in these dark times. Be safe

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

    KariAnne, another beautiful post! So nice to read about the journey of the Birdhouse! It is home at last and looks so pretty in that spot -- and so stately, too! Those birds will soon be taking up residence in their beautiful new home! It will be fun to be able to sit and watch them! Have a blessed week! Praying for you all!

  25. Image for Kelly Tadlock Kelly Tadlock

    What a beautiful home and story you have! You are a beautiful person inside and out! Thank you for sharing all of your sweetness with us. You inspire me to do more and to get my own lovely birdhouse! Happy Easter to you and your family. Stay well and warm and safe!

  26. Image for Angie Angie

    I love this. I have a birdhouse story too. My Mom spent all her childhood summers with her Grandparents in North Dakota. We all gathered there a few years ago after my Grandpa had passed away. Mom wanted to drive past her Grandparents house and it was so very sad because it is now a rental and the beautiful Gardens my Great Grandpa kept were all overgrown with weeds. My mom spotted the birdhouse, the one that had always been in the garden, that my grandpa had handmade. It was knocked off its perch just laying in the weeds. Mom stopped the car and walked into the yard to look at it. The renter came out and my mom told him that her grandfather had built that birdhouse and she was going to take it. We loaded it in the car and now it’s at Mom’s. Thank you for sharing your story, I love that you now get to live in your original home. Isn’t God so tender in how He loves us? ❤️

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