As I walk through our home making a decorating list, memories flood back.
Kitchen - walls and ceiling to be painted - the heart of the home where so many meals have been cooked and shared. Images of Xmas and Birthday meals with family around the table, every year the same table, faces getting a little older, new faces joining us, some faces gone forever.
Lounge - touch up the paint where the baby swing was hung in the doorway for the grandchildren - family film nights, Xmas games, dens made for the grandchildren out of the curtains, the sound of baby jackdaws on their nest in the chimney. Our much missed dog lying in front of the fire. The Xmas trees, our cat playing in the piles of wrapping paper.
Our youngest sons old bedroom - carpet to be cleaned - where he spent many hours when he was too ill to go out. The worrying, exhausting hours I spent caring for him. Administrating medical procedures that I learnt so he could be cared for at home and not spend so much time in hospital. The stains on the carpet from upset drinks and dropped food a reminder of his early teenage years when his friends would fill his room, keeping him up to date on the news from school. Helping him pass the many hours until he was well enough to return.
Our bedroom - paint and tile ensuite - kids piling onto the bed on Xmas morning to open their presents. Waiting to hear their cars after they had been out. Listening out for youngest son calling for me when he was ill. The room I was desperate for when lying in a hospital bed. The sleepless painful nights that followed reassured by being able to reach out my hand and touch my love sleeping next to me.
The porch - paint door - now empty of the many huge pairs of trainers that would greet me after work, counting them I would know how many teenage boys would be in the house somewhere. Our house seemed to be the one they all congregated in after school and often stayed for dinner. Reminding them to tell their mums where they were and wouldn't be home for dinner.
My sewing room - walls to paint - where many of the crafts and quilts that fill our home were created, listening to Womens Hour, afternoon dramas and the Book Club on Radio 4 as my sewing machine whirred. The joy of discovering quilting began in this room.
It has been an emotional experience and every now and then I have a moment of doubt. Do I really want to move? Our home holds so many memories, good and bad. When we moved in my mum was in her last year, dad brought her up to see our new home but by then her mind had gone and she didn't understand where she was, or even who we were. In the last years of my dads life he came to our house for Sunday roasts, birthday meals and helped in the garden. This is the last home we shared with our children, it will be strange moving to a new home where they have never lived, that has never been their home. Will our new house be our 'family' home? It is not only leaving our home, but part of our lives that we cannot bring back. Time has flown, I wish I could go back and live it all again, savour every minute, but I have to look forward.
Tell me dear friends, do you still live in the 'family' home or have you moved? What are your experiences, good move or do you regret it? I'm torn at the moment.