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

LeAnne said...

Oh, my, so many changes they have made to Freeman House. If you have the finances to buy it back and remove those changes, I would say do it. I have been reading your blog ever since 2005. I, too, had a chance to "buy back my forever house" 25 years later. It had had 3 owners since I sold it. It was in foreclosure at a good price, but I was no longer in a position to spend the money. So I let it pass, but I still drive by it. The new owner fixed it up, removed all the tacky remodeling so I was pleased about that. So buy it if it's the right time in your life or you will always wish you had.

Sue Neitzel said...

Has it really been this long, I followed you through every improvement in awe and I so enjoyed the whole thing. I've gone back to old houses with the same disappointment but I always feel I left it better than I found it, and I'm proud of that. Your full circle could be here!

Sue Neitzel said...

Has it really been this long, I followed you through every improvement in awe and I so enjoyed the whole thing. I've gone back to old houses with the same disappointment but I always feel I left it better than I found it, and I'm proud of that. Your full circle could be here!

LeAnne said...

It's me again. I'm thinking maybe Cathy in Florida has a point. Maybe it is time to keep it as a memory. I've lived a long, long time, experienced many loved houses. I guess the one that means the most to me is my grandparents' big, old, white house with the gabled roof. Growing up, I spent every summer there until I was in high school. They lived in the small town of Lott with a "downtown" that was two blocks long, with one traffic light. I rode a horse all around the outskirts of town. Then there was the house I spent 3 years in Natchez across from the water tower. Then we moved to a nice house in a big city where I spent the rest of my growing up years. There was one more, but I'll stop here. So maybe Cathy makes a point...time to move on. But that's your choice.
Happy Trails.....

Anonymous said...

Nice to see another follower of Brins in the chat. I live in eastern NC and love all things primitive and old. Hope Brin is successful with her decision for Freeman house .I would definitely go for it.

Cindy Brick said...

Brin, please. Did you and Matt buy the house??

I've looked everywhere, and wondered...