Tuesday, March 3, 2020

March 3 Post by Karen Whiddon

For this month's blog post, I'd originally started out to do a post on the craft of writing.  I'd planned to talk about Romance Tropes, since my April book features a heroine with amnesia.  (See, I got that plug in anyway!)

Instead, as if my preference, I decided to talk about something personal.  My house.  Not just a house, but a home.

26 and a half years ago, one of the roads I took to work underwent major construction and they made a detour through a brand-new neighborhood going in.  They had model homes and there were two different builders - Pulte Homes and Gehan Homes.  At the time, we lived in a small but comfortable house, the three of us - my husband, me, and my then 13 year old daughter.  We had a mini-Schnauzer named Skipper and a Border Collie named Cody.

Anyway, one day my daughter and I went and looked at the model homes and one that was a "spec" home, ready for move in.  Long story short, I convinced my hubby to come look and we ended up choosing a lot and contracting to build a new large, two story, four bedroom home.

This home has seen many changes over the years.  We put in a pool, remodeled the kitchen one appliance at a time, and got granite counter-tops.  Light fixtures, new carpet, new sod, new fence, landscaping, all the usual things.  New air conditioning unit plus new furnace.  Remodeled the pool. This house has sheltered our family and we've loved it in return.

Many dogs have come and spent their entire, too-short lives here.  They've ran the yard, swam in the pool, and sunbathed in the grass.  We've had parties and cookies, both family and friends, hosted numerous holiday gatherings, though now much of that family has passed on.   Every holiday, we still decorate the house and the yard, though even that is beginning to be a bit too much for us.

Our neighborhood has aged, gracefully I think.  All of the children have grown and there are grandchildren visiting neighbors now.  People have sold houses and moved on.  Some of the homes are on their third or fourth owners.  We, the people next door, and just a few others on our street, are the original owners.

Reluctantly, my hubby and I have begun discussing down-sizing.  The stairs, the large yard, the pool, and the numerous trees with their over-abundance of leaves and sweet gum balls (good Lord, why didn't anyone tell me about those things?) are beginning to be too much for us to maintain.  We'd like a one-story house, close to my daughter, with a decent yard, no pool, and much less maintenance.
Except both of us are super attached to this house.  And after 26 years here, we've accumulated way too much junk.

I've been looking awhile.  Used homes as well as new.  My preference is new, but who knows.  We may end up living here until we have to crawl up the stairs (all bedrooms are up.)

So we'll see how this all shakes out.  For now, this summer we'll enjoy the pool.  The dogs will swim and run the yard.  We'll cook out and maybe start to thin down some of our possessions.  A new neighborhood is going up very close to my daughter's home, and I plan to look at the model homes when they're ready.

Life changes.  Sometimes we have to face that fact.  Other times, we have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the future.  We'll see how this goes.

Check out our Romance Gems video https://youtu.be/KofD5rmTirw


  1. Karen, nice post and congrats on the new release! Amnesia...one of the tropes I’ve never used. I’ve always thought it would be a tough one. I’m sure Snowbound Targets is great! As to downsizing...we thought that’s what we’d be doing nearly 10 years ago, but we ended up in a bigger house with a whole other floor. Now, sometimes, we look around at smaller ones...but we keep coming back to wanting room that they just can’t give us. Like you say: we’ll see how this goes, Good luck and know that wherever you land you’ll be where you want to be.

  2. What a beautiful home! We are the same. Since we do all our living downstairs now, we have downsized in a way, but I think I'd like a smaller yard, closets (!), and an attached garage. However, we're 43 years here--it's hard to imagine somewhere else.

  3. Your home is beautiful. I would find it hard to move with all those great memories too. I'm sure you'll make the right decision, just like you did when you bought it. The amnesia trope sound like a fun read. One of the first romances I read was a woman in a plane crash who had amnesia and was with a man who claimed she was his wife. She wasn't!!

  4. Wow, that's quite a large beautiful house!! My husband and I did the same thing last year. I retired and we sold the house we'd lived in with our three children for over 23 years. We emptied three dumpster's worth of stuff and donated tons to charity stores. The kids took what they wanted and we put the rest in storage. We have our memories of that house though. Good luck with your searching for a new place.

  5. Congratulations on the number of years in the house! That's impressive. I'm sure it will hard to leave -- a lot of memories. I understand the need to downsize. My husband and I are talking about that, but we are still 10 years away. I've never used amnesia. Haven't tackled that yet! I bet you do a great job!

  6. Karen, I bet everyone relates to this post. I downsized years ago, but it was an easy decision. With the divorce, I decided to stay in the family home my ex built till the kids finished school. Once the youngest graduated I started my search in my favorite neighborhood. It wasn't an easy move, 25 years of stuff, but I love my new home. My new love does also. I hope we can live out our days here. Was the amnesia trope challenging?

  7. Karen, we downsized after 26 years in our home. I still miss our former home, but we are much better off age-wise where we are now. Downsizing was unbelievably difficult, though. We sold, gave away, and had hauled away more than I would have believed possible and still have too much for this house, which is 2000 sq ft. That's why instead of a nice 12 x 14 office I have what we humorously refer to as my pink cave. It's only 7 x 10. With bookcases on one wall and my desk and computer desk on the other, there's an aisle down the middle. I do hope you can find the home that's perfect for you!

  8. We're planning on buying a one-story this year too. Decided with my vision problems, a two-story was no longer a good idea. Life changes when you least expect it, just like the current CoVid-19 situation. We always need to be good at rolling with the punches.

  9. A lot of changes for sure after this huge rush of events.. not sure how you're doing now but hope all is well.


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