Change is Hard


See my beautiful new garden window, now installed? I can barely wait to cook in the kitchen that will come to life soon just on the other side of that window. It’s nothing but bare walls and bare floor now, but soon it will be a kitchen. My new kitchen. Someday I’ll bake birthday cakes and tuna casseroles and pumpkin pies and eggs from my very own chickens there. I’ll light candles in the window and put cookies in the oven and it will be mine.

But change is hard. I’m leaving a place that means a lot to me, this old farmhouse, even as it has become an uncomfortable place to live in many ways. We’ve stretched the limits of this one hundred-year-old home. We aren’t the first family to live here, but we are likely the last. My cousins have newer homes here on the farm and this house stands mostly as a family monument, but it won’t stand forever.

My great-aunt got married on horseback and came here the day she married. She raised her two children here, and later partly raised two of her grandchildren here. After she died, the house stood empty for ten years other than the occasional visiting relative. Now I’ve raised three children here for two years. Three BIG children in a small, old house. The rooms are too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. The four of us share one bathroom. There are few electric or phone outlets, and this old house has borne the invasion of our satellite TV and wires dragging everywhere across the floors.

When I’m tripping over yet another wire, stumbling over the piles of backpacks and shoes because there are no closets, and shivering because there was no such thing as insulation when this house was built, I’m ready for my new house.

But when I bake cookies in that kitchen where my great-aunt put on her apron every morning, I know that I am probably the last mother who will bake cookies here for her children. Then I think of how I will be the first in my new one. A new beginning for a new farmhouse.

I can smell the cookies already. I hope they’re going to be good.

*Latest in How to Do StuffBest Ever Gingerbread Cookies.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on December 12, 2007  

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12 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 12-12

    I actually find old, abandoned houses quite interesting and often sad. They have an energy all their own, from all those who shared their space. If your old family farmhouse is to be torn down at some point, perhaps some of the wood, etc. can be salvaged and installed elsewhere. In that way, the house would live on, not just in memories.


  2. 12-12

    Kim, if they ever tear this house down, I’ll be the first in line to salvage pieces of it to remember it by, that’s for sure!

  3. 12-12

    Life is ever changing. Aren’t you glad you have all the memories to take to your new home? You will always remember the good times (hopefully forget the less happier ones). You and your children will build new memories to be passed down to other generations. The old house could see another family as lots of people need homes. I would feel sad if it just sat there with no one to take care of it the way you have. I know you are all excited about the new house being almost ready. I am excited for you. Have a great day and :hug: to all.

  4. 12-12

    The garden window is awesome. Perfect for herbs, a light in the window on stormy days, etc. I’m excited for you to move in and continue family traditions. :yes:

  5. 12-12

    That window is lovely! :snoopy:

  6. 12-12

    I know your cookies are going to be good! :hungry:

    No matter what happens to the old farmhouse you will always have your wonderful memories. Now you will be making new memories in your new home.

    I love your garden window! :shimmy:

  7. 12-12

    The garden window is great.

  8. 12-12

    Just by living in the old farmhouse for a while was a tribute to the past. Now it’s time to move on to the future with the new house. You will always have your memories and pictures and the house you leave behind will always be a part of y’all.

  9. 12-12

    What will happen to the old house once you move out? Will it still be available to friends and family visiting?

  10. 12-12

    Change is always hard but it looks like it’s going to be a nice change :catmeow:

  11. 2-28

    That wonderful farm house could be a great guest house for occasional travelers and lovers of your blog! Rent it out by the night, complete with books for relaxing, written by the famous West Virginia author who does a lovely job of writing this blog.

  12. 3-7


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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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