Saturday, December 30, 2017

Remembering North Street

Last month we sold our house on North Street. We bought it 20 years ago when we were just 3 years into our marriage. It was December 7th, to be exact. We left the closing and went straight to the Christmas tree farm in Shaun's old beat-up pick-up truck. We left with the biggest, fat-est tree we could find and set it up in the turret of our new house. We worked day and night to get the house presentable enough to host Christmas Day that year. Both sets of our parents had recently gotten separated/divorced, leaving no place for our family to gather together. 

That first year we invited everyone to our neutral home. It would be the first of countless holidays and events we hosted there and the first baby step of healing in our families that is ongoing, though we've come so far.

Together, Amy and I figured out how to host gatherings and make meals big enough for a crowd. Our collection of serving dishes slowly grew, as did our knowledge of coordinating people and politics. We were partners in crime and developed a fondness for the planning and blessing. I found I loved it when my house was full of people. Shaun and I cultivated an "open door" policy that is still in existence. People stop by regularly, announced or not and no one ever knocks.

Over the years Shaun lovingly restored the 1895 house, doing his best to stay true to the Victorian Era. My dad custom-built the cherry cabinets in the kitchen and so many friends and family spent hours and days helping out with major projects.

On the day we closed, my sister sent me this and I felt like it was my thoughts exactly, though it sounds better coming from her.

Have one last dance together for all of us. All the memories.  All the reasons why you bought it, the forgiveness that flowed, the glue that pulled us together, the healing done inside those walls, the laughter, the tears, the endless games played, the baby showers, holidays, birthdays, the murder mysteries, the babies you brought home, the blood sweat and tears you guys (and so many others) poured in to make it a home- not just for you, but for all of us. The original revolving door that dozens and dozens and dozens of people would find a safe haven there, a place of hospitality, generosity, and Christ's love demonstrated. 😒😒 but 🍾🍾. Love you. Proud of you for all you did there and all that that house represented.

We are so, so grateful for the years we had there. I pulled just a few pictures that represented some of the sweet memories from our time years and didn't take the time to put them in any kind of order.

Our last night in the house...very emotional.

Unless the Lord builds the house,
    those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
    the watchman stays awake in vain.

Psalm 127:1


Amy Joy said...

What a special house - made special by the people who worked, loved, and lived in it. So many great memories and wonderful captures of all of it! Your legacy will carry into your next home and for all the years to come. xo

Megan Albano said...

Such a beautiful tribute, Lis! And all I can think after reading that is how God has been glorified through all the living (and loving and caring and raising and teaching and...) you have done there. You stewarded the gift so wonderfully! P.S. I don't think I will ever be able to picture you guys anywhere else! :)

Melody said...

So many wonderful memories in that home. Thank you for your generous and loving hospitality to so many.

Amy said...

Oh, man....all the feels. You couldn't have posted this better. All the pictures captured it all. Really good job! I love the memories those walls hold even for me. A lot of life happened there. I love you, my sweet partner in crime.

Ashley Beth said...

I love this post. It is amazing how God can bring healing to our families through community in homes. That is a reminder I needed as we work through our own needed healing in our family. What a gift that house obviously was to so many of you. Thanks for sharing.