We Found It!

By Rose Ann Sinay

We did it! After only a week of searching for a house in Connecticut halfway between my daughter and her family and my son and his, we found the place we could call home, where we could make wonderful memories with our granddaughters.

The 1940s Adirondack style house, on three acres of land, boasted a big pond and plenty of wildlife to go with it. As I listened to the realtor list the assets of the property, I looked out the window imagining a paddleboat and fishing poles lined up at the water’s edge in the summer; and ice skates, sleds and snowmen during the winter. I would have to stock up on hats, gloves and big black buttons.

Of course, we’d have to make changes. I already had a to-do list: take out the wall between the kitchen and living room, buy new doors, paint cabinets, paint the walls – make it ours. A mere forty minutes from family in one direction, and an hour ten minutes in the other direction. Could it be any more perfect?

Yes! We checked out the area–the restaurants (wonderful), grocery stores (pricey), bookstores (love!), lakes, horse farms, flea markets – quaint and charmingly New England. We were smitten.

“Where are you coming from?” the sales clerk asked when we revealed we were hoping to move to the area.

“North Carolina,” we replied.

“And you’re moving up here?” She pointed to the snow outside. “Are you crazy?”

“I’ve wondered that myself,” my husband said. He was dressed in a wool hat, coat and thick gloves instead of his usual winter uniform of a lined golf jacket, cap and a single white golf glove. “I could be on the golf course right now,” he said looking at the plowed mounds of snow we had maneuvered around to get to the stores.

He saw the look on my face. “We have grandchildren here,” he said continuing his conversation with the clerk. Another look. “Really adorable grandchildren. My granddaughters and I will be fishing together this summer.” He pulled out his wallet with pictures of the girls.

Redeemed.

“I understand,” everyone says. But they really don’t. Our granddaughters had been difficult to come by, and we couldn’t miss any more of their lives. My daughter and daughter-in-law (and their husbands) are my heroes for all they’ve been through.

In the bookstore, my husband perused the sports section. I saw him set his stance in the center of the aisle, concentrate on an imaginary point and take a swing.

“Fore,” I said laughing. But, inside I winced. Changing your life late-stream is not for the weak hearted. Now, he will be swinging a shovel in the winter instead of a golf club, but it wasn’t about golf. It was about building a new life, with no soccer parents to become life-long friends, no built-in community of people with the same interests and abundance of time. I vacillated between sheer joy that we would be within driving distance of our kids, and sadness at what we were leaving behind. We had made an important decision, and we would stay the course. We delivered our offer that afternoon.

After the holidays, we returned to our interim home excited to plan our next trip. I spent a lot of time on the computer gathering decorating ideas. Did we want to conform to New England traditional or shake things up with southwestern turquoise and cowhide; blue and yellow or gray and white?

Back at the house, things were moving along – inspections completed, the water and septic evaluations were scheduled to be done – we were on our way. The doubts were dissolving.

Then came the call from the water testing company. “I hate to tell you this,” the representative began, “but this house is frozen.” The pipes, the water in the toilet – it was an iceberg. Though the house was empty, the heat had been set at 65 degrees. Unfortunately, the oil had run out during the longest cold stretch of the year.

The damage could be repaired, but was it the same? What does one do in a case like this? Doubts began to climb back in. Do we look further, or hang in there?

Recently, I had become a believer in signs. Fate had been hitting me over the head with quirky little clues for the past year. Things like passing a town’s name plaque just as an old song with the same name (Clarksville) played on the car radio, or finding a book with the signature of a friend in a pile of used books for sale in another state.

On a previous trip to Connecticut, we had found an antique store with my granddaughter’s unusual middle name – Tillie. As it turned out a relative of the store had her first name, as well. And, the shop just happened to have my mother’s china pattern. The mugs I had been unsuccessfully searching for sat in the display case. The shop was on the way to this house.

Ah, I’ve left the best sign for last; the one that saw us through the “crisis.” Before our trip to spend Christmas, I had written a story for Sasee chronicling our decision to relocate and be near our kids, the adventures/misadventures of moving, and the fear of not being able to find the perfect abode that would be accessible to both of our children. I named that essay, “Where the Heart Resides.” I changed it several times, but the title stuck.

When we walked into the living room of this home with its own pond and unspoken promises, a sign confirmed it was the one. There, in one corner of the fireplace mantle was an inlaid arrow pointing the way. In the other corner was the heart of the house, inlaid and polished to a sunny shine. It has resided here for all these years . . . waiting for us to share with our family. We just had to find it.

About this writer

  • Rose Ann Sinay

    Rose Ann Sinay

    Rose Ann Sinay is a freelance writer newly relocated to Connecticut. She continues to write about moments worth remembering, graciously provided by family and friends.

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11 Responses to “We Found It!”

  1. Erika Hoffman says:

    I very much enjoyed your tale and admire your spunk. Like you, we have kids and grandkids in the Northeast and we live here in sunny NC. But we do have a grandson here too. I understand your move.

  2. Mary Ann Miller says:

    You’ve done it again Ro! My sentiments exactly…..Only I keep driving back and forth to the Hudson Valley! All my children and grandchildren are within a half hours time of each other. I can certainly relate! I give you and Terry alot of credit for taking the plunge……your feelings so accurately expressed! Maybe some day……Please continue your written journal. Love and enjoy following your adventures!

  3. Mary Russell says:

    Just beautiful.

  4. Mary says:

    Just beautiful.

  5. Diane Q says:

    Well, you have done it again!!!!! I should know better than to read one of your stories before I have a meeting…..now I have to redo makeup! This of course, as you know, is very close to my heart and life also. You once again wrote a heartfelt, real story with so much meaning. Congrats again and I know you and Terry will love your next chapter.

  6. Tammy Rohlf says:

    Through all the doubts and challenges you have found your home of the heart – quite literally!
    You made me laugh and cry taking this journey with you. I know this home will have many years of fun filled times. Enjoy!

  7. Linda O'Connell says:

    This essay made me smile and nod so many times. I would be living at a beach were it not for my grandchildren. I understand your move.

  8. Mary Ann Crimi says:

    Gosh, Rose Ann. Your signs make me have faith in in Karma. Thank you for a beautiful essay and a reason to believe. And hope.

  9. pam martin says:

    As always I loved this essay too! You have such a way with words my friend. If we ever move to VA we will have to check you out in Lynchburg!
    Pam

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