House for Sale – We have lived here since 1985

Some time on our last trip, Larry and I both got the bug, the itch. It was a feeling that, regardless of where we were on the road, we were home. When we returned to Brookfield, the house that formerly felt small, now seemed way too big with too many square feet of flooring to clean and yard to mow. And, just in case we needed any more encouragement, I got breast cancer again and we were made aware of how short life is and what were we waiting for??? So, we put our house on the market and continued in earnest the house emptying that we had started two years earlier when Brooke and Dan moved in. We loved our house but it was time to move on to living full time in Shiny.

We lived in this 1950’s cape for 34 years. We raised Brooke and Sam here. Why, we lived there for so long, we wore the finish off of our maple table! Preparing to leave was bittersweet to say the least. After some consideration, we decided to not rent a storage unit and to keep only a few items. In the end, we got rid of everything except for two plastic tubs of things for Larry and a dresser and antique steamer filled with my things. We would store these with family members. This wasn’t an easy process and we were glad that we didn’t have to rush it. Larry listened to about 5 audio books as he patiently scanned in all of our family photos and his father’s vast collection of genealogy material.

Aside from some framed prints and artwork, below you will see what I have kept. It’s an interesting display, don’t you think? There are hand made ornaments, hand made wooden bowl, momentoes from Brooke’s wedding, a bunny given to me by my best friend that I held during a hard time, love letters, a Campbell soup doll of my Mom’s, childhood books, my own cook book, school year books, a bill box, egg shaped rocks, hand made quilt. What would you keep?

We tried really hard to find good homes for all of our items when possible. Connor was bequeathed his Uncle Sam’s beloved Duckie, Lots-a-Legs and Boy-Baby. Brooke gave her American Girl Dolls to a co-worker’s daughter. Brooke’s doll house, made by her Grampy, Fred Warren, was put on Facebook Marketplace for free. It was gone within hours to a 4 year old girl who had just been adopted.

It was amazing how much stuff we had in our house! We kept emptying and emptying it. I was frankly appalled by the amount of ‘stuff’ we had accumulated.

During this whole process, I had surgery and radiation treatments. Suffice it to say, that it was no fun and that I am so blessed to have such amazing friends, family and medical team to help me through. I was reminded how much it is the little things that help when you are suffering. A simple text message, “How’s it going?” made a world of difference to me. Then there is my rock star husband, Larry. What can I say? He took care of all of the details of the move, reminded me to take my pain meds and told me I was beautiful. Who could ask for anything more?

The moving out process created a nice distraction to the treatments and the treatments helped slow down the exit process. We have to admit that about three weeks before our departure, we both had serious, wake up in the middle of the night doubts about what we were doing. But, we just kept going back to our original intention – that feeling inside – the call of the road – and then we settled down…until we got wound up again!

Finally, the day arrived, we were all moved out. We had met our prospective buyers and are so happy that a nice young family with two young children will be moving in. We were done. The chapter was over. Brooke, Dan and Connor helped move out the last items (alas, Sam had the flu and couldn’t join us)

Connor, Larry, Susie, Brooke, Dan

I was 28 and Larry was 30 when we moved into this house. It’s been a good life so far and we sure are looking forward to many happy days and great adventures ahead.

29 Comments

  1. Wow, you guys. Congratulations!! So….where are you now? We’re in Wolfeboro. Are you anywhere nearby?
    So happy for you that you’re following your dreams.

    1. Oh, rats! so sorry we missed you. We are in Ohio now and heading towards the Indiana Dunes. Hopefully our paths will cross again.

  2. I’m in tears. So happy for you guys, yet feel your pain (well, I’ve never had breast cancer, or any life threatening disease, so maybe I exaggerate.) But I have moved after living in a home for many years (and swear I’d NEVER do it again.) I am VERY happy for you two, and partially envious that you have been able to make your lives so free. I on the other hand, have just built a new (large) home and am deepening my settlement into a community that I love. It’s fascinating what we each choose to do with our later years. Bon Voyage and don’t forget us on your return trip through VT!

    1. Hi Cathy, Thanks so much for your comments. It is wonderful and a privilege to be able to design your life (or to wake up to the fact that you always could!)

  3. We, too, achieved downsizing, though not quite as radically as you. I call the result “the incredible lightness of being.” I hope it feels that way to you, too, as you fly along in Shiny. What you keep are the weightless things that matter: love, memories, harmony, the continuing experiences of a lifetime.

    1. What an absolutely beautiful sentiment, Pat! I’ll have to keep it posted by my desk where I write in the morning. I haven’t felt that lightness yet but suspect that once the house is officially sold I will.

  4. Congratulations. I will miss seeing Shiny parked in the driveway in the summer. 🙂 I am impressed you could part with almost everything. You are right – we all own too much :stuff”. But I have too many sentimental things to fit in a trunk, most which are handed down through the generations.

  5. Glad you guys made it through the moving process without more stress than you could handle. Moving and selling a home that you’ve lived in for years is stressful enough, without the addition of a serious medical condition. I guess the saying (what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger) really applies in your case. We hope your future adventures are happy and exciting ones. Keep up the great Posts, we love reading them. Again safe travels and if you are ever in our area again, gives us a call and we’ll get together for again for lunch or dinner or even breakfast. Best of luck Rick & Margie

  6. What a lovely tribute to 34 years. I loved your display of things you kept. All the little dolls reminds me how important those are in our lives. I look around my cluttered room and resolve to simplify, too.
    Happy trails.

  7. Good for you guys. We know how hard it is to downsize and get rid of so much stuff and so many memories. We will see you on the road someplace I am sure. Safe travels.
    Paul and Ginger

    1. Thanks, Paul and Ginger. Are you getting ready to close up camp and head out?? It would be great to see you both again

    1. Sue and Larry enjoy this beautiful country because your right life is to short. Bob and I love seeing your adventures. Travel safe and have a wonderful journey.

      1. Thanks for your well wishes, Linda. We are at the Indiana Dunes now. New territory for us!

  8. Dear Larry & Sue, What a huge change for you guys. Life on the road it shall be and best of luck to two long time friends. Different strokes for different folks. You must have been quite anxious during Sue’s treatment and making the decision to move out such a great NH homestead. There is room for Shinny and you two, should you ever visit the northeast again, in Falmouth. I’m busy riding my bike every day, playing hockey and golf, and coaching youth soccer. And watching way too much sports on TV. Life has been very enjoyable for me also. I love you guys, Scott

    1. What a nice surprise to hear from you, Scott. I would love to visit you some day. Shiny is pretty secretive about her future plans. She operates on a strict ‘need to know’ basis so Larry and I never really know where we are headed.

  9. Oh my…even though I knew all of this and was there for some, this post brought tears to my eyes. Remember to be good to yourself, each other, and enjoy every stinkin minute. While we were roomies way back when, I was in awe of how you lived life to the fullest. I continue to be in awe of my good friend that can face down the evil BIG C not once but twice, aging, and life’s foibles with such grace , honesty, and crazy sense of humor. I love you Susie. May we promise to continue be friends and share the good and the bad. Happy Trails!!❤❤❤

    1. Well, isn’t that just the sweetest note ever. Thanks so much for the compliments. I do have to say, “back at you!.”

  10. No matter where you go, there you are! We’re glad to hear that you got away on schedule. We’re just about to put our Alto into storage until next spring. Only short local trips as major foundation repairs here in the spring will take up time (and $$) but we’ll be out there again someday. Enjoy the Gypsy life. We’ll see you on the road
    Michael & Denise.

    1. Sorry to hear that Cozette is a bit under the weather! It was great to see you both…until we meet again!

  11. Was really nice to meet you when you were at Lou and Larry’s. Hope you enjoyed the dunes and safe travels.
    Al and Jean

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