A wild front garden greets them
We sold our home of 25 years yesterday evening to the O. family, and the feelings–relief, joy, resignation, peace–collide within.

During the viewings, people's response was "comfortable", "original", "quirky", which fits the inhabitants, too. 

The buyers are a couple like us decades ago, living in this vibrant downtown neighbourhood with their two young children.

They are in the state of overwhelmed delight I well remember; wish I could call them.

The price was a number we could live with and one they could pay: a good deal. But more than the numbers, I'm thinking of the ineffable soul of a house, of childrens' feet in their footed pj's pounding on the stairs, of "Dinner is served", of candlelight flickering.

Aga gets a new family
I suppose it's ego that makes me happy they mirror our own professions, yet it is also a response of the heart. They 'get' the Aga, the plentiful bookshelves, the lush gardens.

The sale of a home you've lived in for a quarter century is an intense process. We learned to let go of our perceptions of what people 'should' like, to drop our defensiveness and to only occasionally say things like "No children died going up and down this staircase". 

Our happiness at achieving a mutually positive transaction is equal to my pleasure at passing on a warm home to young parents, to knowing more bedtime stories, beloved pets, raucous parties, silly jokes and school projects will pass through its doors.  

Isn't "home" a magical, primal, indelible life marker?

La vie continue.


coffeeaddict said…
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
The deeper sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
When you are sorrowful look again and you shall see in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Excerpts from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet

Seemed appropriate somehow and it is ash Wednesday.
Northmoon said…
It sounds like the new family will appreciate and take care of your old home. Should make leaving a little easier knowing that it's in good hands as you move on to new adventures.
I can understand your feelings about leaving your home. Where are you going? DH and I are contemplating what we will do in 5-7 years time when we are ready to downsize as we dearly love our home. I'm so glad you found a compatible buyer!
Susan said…
I'm sure the fact that your kitchen has an Aga was really sweet icing on the cake. Congratulations to this young family and to you also. Now the adventure begins!
Susan B said…
Congratulations, Duchesse! That must be a wonderful feeling. I'm also so glad the buyers are people who "get" the house and space. It sounds as though you've found a good match for your home.
Duchesse said…
coffeeaddict: Thank you for this, the passage is apt. Sometimes joy and sorrow form a double helix.

northmoon: That's it exactly. And we learned how important maintenance is when it's selling time.

Couture: We are moving to Montreal mid-May, to condo in a former church, see

Susan: Several agents had never heard of the Aga, said it was a "problem" and people would want to tear it out. Then they started doing their research and ended up wanting one themselves.

Pseu: If I were Donald Trump I would not care as long as the numbers are right, but it is a big part of our lives so we were pleased about who will enjoy the house next.
Susan said…
They had not heard of the Aga? I'm astounded. Buying a house with an Aga would make me smile for a very very long time.
MJ said…
Congratulations on the sale. How wonderful that you feel good about the family that will be living in your house. La vie continue, indeed, both for you and for the new residents.
I understand what you mean completely! Congrats on the sale and I hope you find another soul-ful abode for yourselves very soon!
materfamilias said…
So pleased, and I know exactly what you mean. Although it's none of your business what happens in a house we sell, we can't help caring about the home we leave behind. To have it inhabited by ones who get it from the beginning is a wonderful bonus, makes it easier to say good-bye.
I can only imagine the feelings that accompany the sale of a house...we are living in our first home and it has been over 30 years.....

It must be difficult to give up the AGA...but onwards and upwards to a new home with the opportunity to start fresh.

A bonus that the new family are in love with your home and will be teaking care of it after you leave.
Duchesse said…
Susan: Was surprised by how many people had never heard of (let alone seen) one, but not everyone watches the British "Aga sagas". One agent told us "Well, people will not want a stove they have to take lessons to learn to use". (You don't need that.)

MJ: We would not have refused a sale to a single person but are very happy it's a family.

Sandy/Doris: Already bought, thanks and if curious see link I provided to Couture Allure. I'm not sure I'd buy first, then sell again, it's nervewracking.

materfamilias: Already dealing with saying goodbye, a bittersweet experience. But like moving while (relatively) young and able bodied.
laurieann said…
Moving on, both figuratively and literally, is growth; and growth is always a mixture of joy and loss. I well remember the deep emotions of having to leave a home my husband and I had put our heart and soul in to rehabilitating. While I was gestating our son, my husband built custom bookcases for the spare room that would become my personal library and office. We brought our son home from the hospital (twice) to that house. Fortunately we sold it to a young family with two sons. The husband, a master carpenter, appreciated all of our work over the years and the wife, a teacher, was thrilled to now have a home where she could have a 'room of her own' for her books and papers.

In situations like these I remember the (now) old book by Judith Viorst, Necessary Losses. Often, leaving a cherished home is one such loss.
Duchesse said…
laurieann: Your story is most comforting! That your bookcases are treasured, such a lovely acknowledgment. You reminded me that we bought this house from a wonderful man (and his family) who also left us his handiwork, which we never altered. The appreciation of well loved houses is an act of civility. The new owners will do some updating but we hear they will keep the Aga and some of the house's original 1920s features.
Tiffany said…
I'm so happy to hear that your house found itself another family! And that Aga ... I'm jealous. It's funny how much we invest in our bricks and mortar, but I feel exactly the same way - when we left a house we'd lived in for eight years with the kids (just renting), I was so relieved when the people who bought it were a family with young kids.

And now you have the excitement of your wonderful church apartment ahead!
Frugal Scholar said…
I too am hoping to move near my children--or at least one of them--before we're too old. We will be following your adventures with interest. I hope you post on the transition.
Oh Duchesse, je suis ravie!!! For the couple and their children (hope there is at least a dog or cat as well, if not both) and especially people who appreciate not only the bookshelves but the AGA!

Laurie Anne, your words bring to mind a sad house moving story involving friends in Switzerland. He was a master carpenter/cabinetmaker and had built many of the installations, but alas has MS so they had to move to a place more adapted to his needs. But life goes on... She (a colleague) is finding this life challenging.

Here is a picture of the church reflected in the window of a café across the park facing it:
SewingLibrarian said…
Good luck as you embark on a new part of your life and a new city! May you find much to love about Montreal.
Rubiatonta said…
A chapter ends, a chapter opens. I'm happy that your house's new people know how to appreciate it.

I don't think it's at all odd to want to see a beloved space pass into the keeping of those who will also love it -- our homes and our belongings are outward expressions of who we take ourselves to be.
Carol said…
As my father, now deceased, was getting older and more frail, he said he wanted to stay in his house, saying he had a lot of "sweat equity" in the house (insulating the attic, finishing the basement, doing routine maintenance for over 50 years, etc.). Despite the fact that I really didn't understand his feelings, I told him I respected and would respect his wishes, because I respected him.

Thanks to your post, I now see that it was the memories of his family in that house and his two daughters growing up there that he didn't want to leave. For that, I thank you with all my heart.
Mardel said…
Oh how nice, and what a relief to have a young family find your home, a family who appreciates what they have found. It must be a little easier to say goodbye to a place that has been the center of your life knowing that it is in such good hands, also knowing your next place awaits.

I am astounded at not having heard of an Aga, I would consider the acquisition of a house with one a coup.

Glad to know that your quirky house found its next quirky owners. As I contemplate the possibility of leaving our own quirky house, I find it reasuring, even as I struggle with the emotional roller coaster that is "shall we go or shall we stay". But no firm decisions yet on our part, just serious consideration.
Anonymous said…
Congratulations, Duchesse! And how nice that the new owners are kindred spirits. When my friend sold her house, the young wife told her, "I LOVE your stuff!" Makes it easier to let go.

Now we are all looking forward to seeing Montreal through tes yeux...

Rebecca said…
Congratulations! I look forward to hearing of our new quarters. It sounds very, very interesting.
Duchesse said…
Carol: Aging in place is a deep wish of mine, too. A home is the vessel of a family's love, so I am humbled and happy that you came to this understanding of your father's wish. Elders can move successfully, but it is (based on my observation) more difficult in the "old old", which is another reason why we did this now.

Mardel: Reading your comment, I'm reminded of the section of the Scottish Mountain Expedition (WH Murray):
"Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too."

C: Hardest to let go of the relative ease of seeing beloved friends like you.

Rebecca: It will be hard for me, less so for Le Duc- but we did want a new chapter.
Duchesse said…
lagatta: So strange, saw your comment on my e-mail but it's not showing up here. (Maybe it will in a few hours.) Thanks, I don't know if they have any animals.
LPC said…
Oh gosh. I anticipate this moment with so many mixed feelings. Hugs and kisses.
william said…
Duchesse, all best wishes as you start a new phase!

HB said…
Congratulations to you and the young family. Our homes are places crafted with so much love, it's really wonderful to hear that you get to pass on that love to new caretakers. Best of luck to you in your new chapter!
Duchesse said…
LPC: it's profound, all right. But easier b/c we bought first so had a vision of what we would be going to.

william/Francie: Thank you so much!

HB: Sounds like they are planning to stay a long time- we've heard about some updating they've planned. Hope one day I can stop by, as the previous owner used to do with us.
Glennis said…
Congrats - although it's mingled with sadness.

Move on, now, and enjoy the next phase of life, knowing your old home will be loved.

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