We put the old house on the market today.  Here’s what I wrote for potential buyers:

We moved here when our children were 5 and 8, Robert was a graduate student, and we were both working in the Capitol complex. Now our children have grown and left, and we are retiring and moving on, too.

We loved the house: the minute I saw the kitchen, I knew this was our house; my desk would go in the end, where I could see out the sunroom windows and be central to everything. We wanted hardwood floors and good light, and loved the charm of the light cove around the living room ceiling and the step up from the living room. The kids immediately saw that the step from the sunroom to the kitchen made a natural stage, and we hung a curtain for their performances. The two-level deck makes a great stage, too; a friend’s bluegrass band played there for our housewarming. (We invited the neighbors, and quieted down not long after dark.)

We loved the neighborhood: an old-fashioned neighborhood, where you know the neighbors, and we look out for each other. If we are in town, we never miss the home-made 4th of July parade – the neighborhood gathers and parades around Ramsey Park, led by a little red wagon carrying a boom box playing Sousa marches and kids on decorated bikes. This is followed by watermelon and an egg-toss. Our kids walked to school at Bryker Woods with a group of neighborhood kids, and could go to Ramsey Park and the pool without crossing a major street. Seton and the surrounding doctors’ offices meant our family doctor was just minutes away. We commuted to the Capitol complex, a nice drive most mornings, down Lamar along the Shoal Creek greenbelt. Later, we rode our bicycles to work.

We were busy working and raising the kids, and cared more about how the house lived than how it looked. We spent our money on books and travel instead of redoing the kitchen. But we did redo the plumbing, the roof, the heating and cooling, and put in ethernet. Owners before us had weatherized. We lost the big sycamore in the front when we replaced the main sewer line, and still mourn it. We don’t like to use chemicals or water for landscaping, and we haven’t used pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers, so the lawn looks bare in a drought, but the St. Augustine always comes back with the rains. We put in the pond, and then wanted a place to admire it from, and built the screen porch. We redid the deck, and added the arbor outside the sunroom (the Lady Banks roses covered the windows on trellises when we first moved in, but that was bad for the siding – the arbor gives it more air.)

We will miss morning coffee and relaxing in the evening on the back porch, listening to the fountain, and watching the birds. Once, I stepped out to see an astonishing flock of cedar waxwings turning the whole pond gold, taking turns dipping into the water. We will miss waking up to the view of trees outside the bedroom windows. We will miss the sunroom in the winter, and watching the moon from the hot tub. But we are moving to a place with other pleasures, and hope that this house will have new owners who will find it as comfortable and happy as we did.

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