I've always wanted to write a letter to whomever lives in our house after us. We're not moving. I don't know when we will. But WHEN we do (and I do mean when, not if), I hope I get a chance to leave a letter like this. If I don't, at least it'll be written here...
This house has kept us for over 20 years.
Its rooms have been more than flexible, serving in just about every capacity possible: living rooms as bedrooms and offices, bedrooms as kitchens and living rooms, kitchens as offices, offices as bedrooms and nurseries. It even split itself in two several times to hold two entire families at once.
It's seen just about every life change you can think of. It raised sisters from teen-hood to marriage and beyond. It saw parents through unemployment. It welcomed husbands and brought home babies. It sheltered grandparents as they left this world for the heavenly. It's granted safe haven to best friends needing respite. It's hosted holiday meals and open houses, traveling music tour members, post-wedding wrap-ups, surprise baby showers, and graduation parties. It's loosened its belt to welcome in-laws for extended stays.
It's been the concert hall for birdsongs, puppy barking and old dogs' soft breathing, the squeak of hamster wheels, and the rhythmic bubbles of a fish tank (or two or three). It's listened to piano lessons, and never commented on off-notes. It's held its inhabitants safe as their men leave for night shifts. It's waited up for girls coming home late from work or friends.
It's stood strong during hurricanes. It's dried out after days and days (and days) of rain. It's held cool air on hot days, and warm air on frigid days. It's opened up to early morning breezes, let in the rustle of spring and fall leaves, blown in the smell of lilacs and pine needles and woodsmoke, directed moonlight through windows, and nestled down in multiple feet of snow (it even color-coordinated).
And it's stood, and waved, and saluted to hundreds upon hundreds of train conductors - early in the morning, at high noon in the sun, in the soft blue of evening, and in the motionless dark of night. It welcomed their whistles, nodded in understanding, and sent them on by, affirming it is still here...was here for the last...will be here for the next. And this house's people will come running to help, flashlights in hand, when the train needs them.
This house has kept us for over 20 years. It held others for 100 years before us. With God's help and grace, it will keep you, and people after you, for 100 years beyond us. Whatever the world does, we hope this house remains a place of keeping, a place of safety, a place where visitors and weary ones are safe from the craze of life, a place to rest and rejuvenate for wherever their road takes them next. And if they get tired, they're always welcome - have always been welcome - to come back. It'll be here, waiting and ready.
We give you this house, with hearts heavy with memories and full of gratitude that someone else wants to take their turn loving it as much as we have. We know it will keep you as well as it has kept us.