One Last Look

We’ve owned many houses . . . Six to be exact.

However, this one (other than the house our son basically grew up in) was different.

All coming down to memories. Firsts of . . .

The first time my Sweetie came through our doors in the arms of her mom and her dad by her side

about a couple of weeks after she was born. The house that we closed on the day she was born.

I would also have to say that in all of the building of homes that we had done in the past,

this particular one was the easiest . . . a great experience . . . as we had a great builder.

That builder (Reese Construction) will be building our second home here in N.C.

After the “walk through” I stayed a bit to say good-bye and for One Last Look.

Limelight Hydrangeas-Housepitality Designs

The above image is of a pitcher of Limelight Hydrangeas I picked from my yard just before we moved.

They now sit by the kitchen sink at Berry Patch.

When I saw how the photo (iPhone) came out, it seemed to have a touch of sadness to me.

Not something that was overtly cheerful … it is cheerful in person.

My camera is still in a box . . . so my trusty iPhone will have to do for now.

Great Room-Housepitality Designs

We were late for the closing . . . did I mention that before?

I took the time to sit on the sofa one last time. The new owners purchased the sofa and

tables/ottomans. It is OK as I am not sure how they would fit in the new “right-sized” house.

Let’s call that house, “Old Hickory”.

I walked through the house to say my good-byes.

Here is how it looked.

Great Room-Housepitality Designs-2

Oh the many Birthdays, Holidays, Dinner Group functions, Sewing Group, Bunco/LCR

and so many activities with family and friends. Great times.

I remember wanting the large farmhouse sink to bathe my Sweetie in.

She then graduated to “her bathtub”

Kitchen Area-Housepitality Designs

Kitchen-Sunroom-Housepitality Designs

Kitchen-Housepitality Designs

And my favorite room . . . how different it looks . . .

Oops, I forgot to take down my little candle-lier!

Sunroom-Housepitality Designs

The master bedroom . . . how spacious it looks . . . I so loved the light in there.

My builder will be replicating this ceiling treatment in Old Hickory.

Master Bedroom-Housepitality Designs

 My Sweetie’s bath tub. . . she had many a “bubbly baths” in it.

I remember the times of me sitting in the chair while she was taking

her bath . . . a tub full of bubbles and her favorite bath toys,

always singing away.

She will be very hands-on with her new room.

Master Bath-Housepitality Designs

The Media Room

Media Room-Housepitality Designs


Kitchenette-Housepitality Designs

Hubby’s office

Office-Housepitality Designs

Oh, the Guest Room

Guest Room

The empty upper porch….I shall miss decorating it and having my morning coffee

listening to the birds singing in the trees.

I left the hanging ferns on both porches as I felt they were so much a part of it, it’s personality.

Upper Porch-Housepitality Designs

But it was time….time to move on to the “right-sized” home.

Time to turn the keys over to these lovely new owners.


I picked up my mom in  Georgia 2 days after closing on the house.

She is a trooper about visiting me with all the boxes stacked everywhere!

I took her to her favorite store . . . A Japanese food store in Cary, N.C.

She is walking around now without the use of a walker.

Her partial knee replacement surgery was definitely a great thing!

Now she is a sort of quick stepping, soon to be 93 years old, happy camper.

Mom-Housepitality Designs

She was able to see my Sweetie’s singing performance too.

Here we are at dinner after the performance.

More treasured memories were made.

Me, Mom and Graylyn-Housepitality Designs

Before I go, I want to tell you a little story about the experience I had while unloading

my car after we came home from the closing.

I was feeling a little sad . . . but then again, I said to myself, “SNAP OUT OF IT!!”

No need to feel this way . . . put things into PERSPECTIVE!  

While stepping up to the porch with a armful of clothes,

a butterfly landed on my shoulder. Then it fluttered to the ground as if it was watching me.

I went inside and when I came out, it landed on my shoulder again. It was a goose bump moment.

Someone was telling me that there were great times ahead in our next adventure in life!

On the next trip the butterfly was sitting on the porch and then fluttered around me and landed

on the shrub next to the porch…..I ran and got my phone and it patiently waited there so I can

grab a picture…..from then on, nothing but smiles . . . and the feeling of tired bones too!

Butterfly-Housepitality Designs

We had a great meeting with our builder this week and we are pretty much well on our way

with the final floor plans of the house.

I wish you all a  most beautiful day and will return with more “happenings”

and maybe a few glimpses of the Berry Patch House in disarray!

Oh and one more thing…..Happy Birthday to my sister Carol!  We are a year and a half apart.

So that will make her 28!

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  1. Awww what happy memories you have! and your mom and my mom are the same age 🙂 Enjoy your new home Shirley and making new happy memories for many years to come! xox

  2. Beautiful generational pic and home. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I know you new home will be even fabulous than the one you just sold. Enjoy the adventure!

  4. Cheryl palm says

    Now it’s just a house for someone else to make memories….you made it a home with lots of cherished memories which you shared with us…for which we are all blessed! I was sad when you said you were selling as I loved seeing your beautiful rooms but a butterfly told us we are on a new adventure and memories and I can’t wait… hurry get those plans finalized….I’m anxious to see the new home. Enjoy your time with your mom! And thanks so much for sharing today because it really was rather uplifting! Oh and you look fantastic for being 29…

  5. So sad to say goodbye to your pretty home, but you have a new one on the horizon. Great three generations photo! Have fun unpacking. I would put out little as possible so you don’t have a lot to pack up again.

  6. This was such a sweet post! Oh the memories you have and then all of the wonderful events that will occur in your new location. Have a great time making new memories!

  7. It is hard to say good-bye Shirley. I had to try and put things into perspective as well when we sold. The boys were still babies 3 and 5 when we moved into our last house. There were so many wonderful memories made there. I walked around our old house and we even had a conversation with it. We had quite a few during the process. I told it that I hope it has many more wonderful memories and thanked it for being such a good home to us. I was depressed for the four months we lived in boxes. I wanted my old house back. A large part of that was because our build process was the worst and at times we weren’t sure we were even going to close on it. It sounds like you are already having a great experience with your builder again which will make all the difference. Even though we had to walk down a rocky road to get to where we are today we are so happy we stuck it out. Sure there are things that annoy the heck out of me like the fact that out of the three bathrooms we have not one of them was completed correctly by the builder but eventually we can fix all that. We love our house and know it was the right decision to make for our family. I can not wait to see your new house being built and then becoming a home for you and your family Shirley! Hugs my friend!!

  8. Shirley, this is a very sweet post. The new owners are getting a beautiful well cared for home…such beautiful craftsmanship. I am so glad Mom is there with you..maybe she will make you slow down. Loved seeing the three of you together. It is quite normal to have parting sadness as you have made wonderful memories in that house. The butterfly was definitely a sign. Perhaps the best is yet to come! Rest, refresh and enjoy your family!

  9. Marty Oravetz says

    Your home was so gorgeous with all of your beautiful decor, but I am sure the new one will be perfect too.

  10. Donnamae says

    You really do have so much to look forward to…guess it’s all a matter of perspective. I’m sure it was difficult to say good-bye to your home….but I’m sure you left it in good hands. Have fun with your mom…enjoy the visit!

  11. So bittersweet Shirley, so glad your mom can be with you. I know you will have fun styling your new home, and creating new memories there…

  12. Great story and the butterfly was meant to be. I’m happy your mom got to see your sweet sing. Enjoy the ride. It’s a house, the memories will never leave you.


  13. What a bittersweet moment, to say good bye to your house for the last time. But oh, what excitement is waiting for you and your family in your new home! Shirley, how I’m looking forward to seeing it when it’s done, exactly to your specification, such a blessing!! I know the new house will be filled with the laughter and love of you and Tommy and everyone you love, my sweet friend.

  14. Did I miss the announcement of which house you are building?

  15. Shirley,
    I know its always bittersweet to sell a big part of your life where so many memories where made. However, you know in your heart and in your head its the right time to “right-size” and it will be an exciting time as you plan and build your new home. My uncle sold his home of 28 years where his daughter was raised last year when he was diagnosed with Parkinsons and needed a one level home and less yard.

    It was hard at first for him to say good-bye but he loves his new place and is relieved that he doesn’t have the stress of trying to maintain a house he is no longer physically able to do. I have seen too many people wait too long to down-size and it makes its so much harder on them in older age. Cant wait to see how your new home takes shape. Have fun with your Mom…she looks great by the way for a young 93!

  16. Peggy Marshall says

    Awesome post….love it! Best wishes to you and yours on your new home and best wishes to your precious Mom for many more good years!!! What can one say but that “You are Blessed”.

  17. Your blog today was wonderful and heartwarming, and your butterfly is definitely sending you good thoughts and wishes! Good luck at Berry Patch, and I know your next chapter will be a wonderful, exciting and inspiring one!!

  18. Oh this brings back memories, I did the same thing: walked through, said goodbye and took pictures. I wish for you only the BEST of times in your new right sized house, and for now at your in between house!!!! Abut the butterfly: my sister and I think that when we see a butterfly it is our Mom saying hi. Maybe yours is your Dad saying he is watching over your new adventure!!! We are in Fl., in a hotel room. Joe’s brothers cancer is back, the tumor doubled in size in a week. At this moment he is having his second craniotomy to remove it. The surgeon is optomistic. I can only pray. Have a good week. XO

  19. Shirley, I truly understand how you feel. I cried when I did the final walk through of my old house, and I cried when I signed the closing papers. To be honest, it has been a tough year getting adjusted to the new house. I am thankful to be close to my family, but for some reason it has just been difficult to adjust to everything. The story of the butterfly gave me chills. What a sweet sign. I have several of these in my yard. Your Mom is such an inspiration! Enjoy your visit, and I look forward to seeing the progress on your beautiful new home!

  20. Such a beautiful home, I so enjoyed seeing all of your posts. The new owners must be so excited. It is sad leaving a home with so many memories, but the excitement of your new home will replace the sadness. The butterfly story gave me goosebumps!

  21. Oh how I enjoyed reading this today and looking at the beautiful pictures – I hang on your every word. Since I was a very young child I have dreamed/prayed for a place to call my own, a place for me to be “creative” for me and me alone, I love being home. For some reason God never saw owning was for me. Now at this stage of life my dream has stopped and I watch others dreams come true. I could feel your sadness leaving this beautiful place but also feel your excitement making new plans. Wishing you all the best and I will continue hanging onto your every word. (wink) God Bless you, your family and your new home.

  22. Your home was beautiful. The master bedroom ceiling was such a fantastic part of your home and I’m happy for you that you are going to have another one! That is so sweet that you got a picture of the new owners in the house- they really got a gem! The moments with the butterfly had to be so touching. You are a very kind soul and I’m sure it was your sendoff to release you with good feelings. I can’t wait to see the new home get underway and which house plan you went with. Good times are definitely ahead! Love the photo with you, your sweetie and your mom. ❤️

  23. Houses are not about the structures but rather houses are all about memories…love your butterfly story too.

  24. How sad, yet how happy too! You must feel so accomplished right now, having that job completed, Shirley. And what a job it was, and what a fantastic job you did! The new owners look thrilled in that photo.
    Can’t believe how grown up your Sweetie is! And your mom looks terrific. Onto the new project with complete focus! (don’t let the Berry Patch blur your focus for Old Hickory!)

  25. Alycia Nichols says

    This makes me feel happy and sad all at once. While I have enjoyed your home along with you over the past few years, I look forward to seeing what you do in your new one. I can only imagine the movie reel that played through your head as you closed the door behind you one final time. So good to see yourMom looking so spry! She was a PT champ!!! I’m proud of her!

  26. Shirley, what a bittersweet time for you. I can’t even begin to imagine. All of my memories since marriage are centered in the home we still live in. I like that you have already named your new home, that is something I have decided to do, it is never too late. The photo of your Mom, your Sweetie, and you is just beautiful.! Enjoy the time with your mom and get some rest. You can unpack a little later. Hugs~

  27. Oh what a sweet post! Shortly we will be going down the same road. We are looking at condo living as we also own an ocean side cottage where we plan to live for half the year. Our current home is where we brought our boys home to when they were born. So many friends, relatives and pets who walked through the door have passed and will never cross that threshold again. We are both retiring soon and have worked hard so a little more time to relax and less time caring for a big house/property. My little grandson will love the ocean and I know many friends and relatives will visit… yet…I am wistful about when that last day comes to do my own farewell walkabout at the ‘big’ house. I am sure I will find a goodbye piece of kitty fluff from one of our many resident felines that have passed on! Your kitchen sink photo is very poignant but the one of you, your Mom and Sweetie is adorable!
    Now that is a GREAT memory!! My Dad is 93 and Mom is 92 …such a blessing to have a great grandparent for Sweetie!

  28. Aw, the lovely thing about moving to a new home is you take all those memories of the old house with you. That history lives within you. Your life is constantly growing and changing much like a caterpillar that became a butterfly landing on your shoulder. As your daughter is growing up, new memories will form in this new home. Your Mom looks wonderful at 93. Cherish all the minutes you have with her and don’t be surprised if you find yourself having more of who you love present in your home than what you have. Time does that. Best wishes to you on this new adventure.

  29. Shirley, memories are priceless. A house you made into a home was beautiful and we have all enjoyed watching it’s progress. God has granted you and your husband another chance to make another house into a home…and we will all be watching. 🙂
    Now the time with your Mom and sweetie are to be enjoyed and a time to make more priceless memories! God bless this new adventure to create beautiful rooms in “Old Hickory”. Enjoy every minute…

  30. Bonnie Gutierrez says

    Aren’t memories wonderful… I am sure you cherish them. It is stressful to move and to build so stay in your happy place! I love the butterfly photo (and the story). Wishing you good luck!

  31. Sherri Agner says

    Oh Shirley, I’m sad when I come in the neighborhood now and know you are no longer right down the street. Thanks for sharing the photo of our new neighbors. Hope to meet them soon.
    Helping you in the final days of moving opened my eyes to the fact that I need to begin preparing for the next phase and a right size house. As you have been in so many things before, you will now be my inspiration for that journey. I’ve started the purge??.
    I know you will be super, busy so I’m glad I can keep up through your special “Housepitality”. Don’t forget about your friends in “the preserves”! We will always love and miss having you near.

  32. This is bittersweet to read. Memories….I know how you feel. It was very hard for me to leave our last home and I still ride by occasionally to see what it looks like. After 5yrs now I’m glad we moved but memories will always be with you. The butterfly story gave me tears. There is meaning to everything. To me the butterfly was saying I’m with you and you are going to be so happy in your Old Hickory making more memories! You, mom, and sweetie look beautiful!

  33. Rebecca M says

    I’m sad because I really loved your house! But, a new home and memories await you! On and upward!

  34. Ohh, love this, Shirley!!! I’m pretty much crying with you… It still smarts to think of having to leave our last home, which to me was my forever home. :/ But, things change and we change and I’m glad your mom will be with you. I’m glad the same builder is creating your next home! If it works, ask to have your porch recreated. <3 It was a lovely thought to leave the ferns and plants for the new homeowners. They look really happy to be in their new home! I'm sure they will take good care of it. <3

    Hugs and excited to see your rental, Berry Patch, soon,
    Barb 🙂

  35. Bobbi Duncan says

    Shirley, this is such a bittersweet story. I always have a hard time leaving behind houses we made into homes; thinking about all the memories we made there. You will have such fun making your new place into a home, and more free time with less home to care for. I can’t wait to see it! Glad to hear your mom is doing so much better–can not believe she’ll be 93! Hugs!

  36. I am delighted that your mom is doing so well. Enjoy your time with her. I believe in “signs” and I interpret that butterfly’s visit as a harbinger of a good building process. Sweetie sure is growing up, isn’t she?

  37. JoAnn Mooney says

    Shirley, your blog is such a beautiful story of mixed emotions. Of course, it is sad to leave behind your beautiful home with so many memories, but memories remain in the heart. Now you can begin a new and exciting adventure and will soon have a new place to create new memories. I love the picture of you, your Mom and your Sweetie. That had to be a special time together. I am anxiously awaiting to see your new plans and happy that you had a great meeting with your builder! Remember the butterfly and take time to stop and rest as it does, as this will be a busy but exciting time ahead!

  38. Robyn Henningsen says

    What a sweet blog post. We have lived in our home since 1989. It looks very different than it did when we first moved in. So many memories and I can’t imagine ever leaving, but know that we never know what the future holds! My husband is in the construction business and works with lots of homeowners. It is a great experience that can sometimes be stressful but oh so rewarding once it is complete. I can’t wait to see your new home and read your blog posts full of exciting news and pics!!! Keeping you in my prayers as you make a new home.

  39. The very best of wishes to you Shirley as you move into the next season of your life. You have blessed us with your beautiful decorating in your former home…now we are excited to see and share in what will be the beauty and warmth in your new one! Prayers and hugs to you for a continued smooth transition and much joy on this journey!

  40. It’s so bittersweet isn’t it? But change is good, and this is no exception. Lots of good things await Shirley, and you’re going to have a blast decorating your new home, which I know will be drop dead beautiful!

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