Friday, December 29, 2023

Freeman House


 Hello, you. How are you? We have some catching up to do. Namely, because, let's get right to it:

 I went back to Freeman House.

I went back, y'all.

I hadn't meant to. It wasn't even remotely a thought as I went about my day yesterday, running errands and rushing everywhere. It was a distracted, hurried day, so it's no wonder my frazzled  brain gave the wrong name at the dry cleaners. Brin Wisdom, I told the lady twice, before realizing my over-drive brain mistake and correcting it so she could locate Matt's shirts. And as she handed them over, she studied me closely and said, thoughtfully: Brin Wisdom. You're the girl they almost made the movie about, aren't you? That girl with the house?

I gave it no thought, quickly assuring her there was no movie, and no, that couldn't be me. But as I was tapping the chip of my debit card to the reader, she persisted: Yes you are! Did you know your house is for sale? They're selling it.

And suddenly, it all clicked- the debit card reader... Brin Wisdom... "the girl with the house". My brain quit spinning and stopped with a big arrow on this singular thought. She meant Freeman House. Freeman House was for sale.

Understand: in the almost fifteen years since I bought her, I've driven by Freeman House three times. And one of those times I couldn't even turn my head to look. So I can't say exactly why I ran to the car, abandoned my errand-running, and drove straight to her. But suddenly, there I was, braking hard in front of her much-altered yard, dry cleaning hangers rocking wildly on the hook behind me.

There she was. With a realtor sign in the front yard. I started crying.

 - - - - -

Not as hard as I did when, hours later, Matt and the realtor waited inside Freeman House's front hall as I stood on the porch repeating, I don't know if I can. I don't know if I can go in. But as Matt joked the realtor began pointing out features, I took a deep breath and willed myself inside.

She's changed so much.

I hated it. I hated it all.

The original woodwork and doors? Gone. The enormous, wavy-glass windows? Ripped out. 

The library? Now a dark, odd "primary suite". 

The cozy living room? Chopped up into a bathroom, walk-in closet, and storage area.

The kitchen? Well, the brick fireplace is gone. So is an entire wall and doorway. The upstairs stairs are in a different, crammed place. There are doorways added and doorways missing, rooms altered and rooms missing. And that enormous wavy-glass built-in in the old dining room where I spent my first many nights after I bought her? Astonishingly, it's nowhere to be found. Instead, there's an empty cove in the wall with a wifi router/TV cable outlet.

I wandered the place, trying to be present in the conversation, as memory upon memory flitted just beyond sight. Here's where the break-in happened. There's where the range used to sit. This used to be the dining room. That was my desk area when I got that email about being on the Dr. Phil Show. No, no... this used to be the back porch-turned sitting room where I sat in the mornings and drank up the sun with my coffee.

We tried, as best we could, I guess, to tell the realtor of this house being so much more than just... a house. So much more. But how do you? How do we tell someone, twenty years later, about the time I saved the house and the house saved me?

How could we all possibly tell the story of Freeman House?

So. Here we are. We all have a decision to make. Freeman House is for sale, again. The owner is motivated to sell quickly, so there isn't much time.

Do we see this as God restoring all things and bringing us full circle? Do we buy it and open her for guests as I intended before? 

Do we let her to go the interested family from Kansas looking at her now, trusting that this new life will bring its own new blessings?

 Vote your heart. I'm listening. And somehow, I think she is, too. -Brin


Anonymous said...

Brin I think with all my heart that u should go for it, I can’t think of any better ending.

Amanda said...

This isn't coincidence. You were meant to go to the dry cleaners, giving them the wrong name. Imagine if you had of said your married name, got the dry cleaning and gone about your day. This is nothing less than divine intervention.

Lauri said...

My inclination is to go for it!

Anonymous said...

Caution to the wind dear girl, you’ve never played it safe anyhow. Go For IT!!!!

jtobias said...

We bought my husbands grandparents house that was built in 1840. Before I even met my husband I would drive past the house on my way to work and one day out of the blue, a thought came into my mind that someday I would live there. I was married to another man at that time and lived in a fairly newly built home. Fast forward a “few” years and although the road was rough in some ways, here we are still tearing out old paneling, reglazing old windows and shoving money into her like a slot machine at the casino. You have lived there before and know what to expect but this time you have Matthew beside you. Think about it and pray about it, God will show you the way.

Anonymous said...

Brin! Hey! I followed your blog for years. And reread it from the beginning a couple of times when you were taking an *understandable* break and just *living* your messy, thrilling life. A while back I stumbled on Balm + Honey on Instagram. I spent the entire work day sneaking and catching up! Every. Single. Post. Every. Story. (Don’t tell my boss.) And although we don’t truly know each other it felt like bumping into an old friend. A kindred spirit. Your love of Jesus and simple days is a breath of virtual fresh air around here. I say DO IT! Bring her back! Bring her back to us all. Thanks for sharing your days with me from here in Small Town, NC. -Amy B

Sharon said...

I am thinking the same about it being divine intervention. I believe There are no coincidences
I too have followed you back in the day of freeman house and then I thought I’d never see your blog again, so I was surprised to find that you were back again. Best wishes on your decision I will be waiting to see how it all turns out ❤️

Cathy In Florida said...

I often think of Freeman House and finding your blog so long ago.

I think you have your answer. You and the house have changed and grown. I think She just wanted you to come and see her! A Visit from a Dear Old Friend/Soul.

Hope your well. Looking forward to your update!

Cathy in Florida