Ten Years and Counting

Our house.  It's celery green, two stories and one room wide.
I love the color of our house.
It’s called “Celery Green.”

How long have you been in your current home? As of next Tuesday, Dan and I will have been in our home for ten years. We moved into our house on November 9, 2011. I have always felt like we were blessed from above when we got this house. It’s just the right size for us. It’s in a beautiful community. It’s right across from a lake. And now it’s paid for. That’s a pretty good place to be, especially since we are both retired.

We live in New Town at St. Charles. The community is about 17 years old and still growing like crazy. We can walk to a small store, restaurants, an ice cream shop and another little shop which sells snow cones. We have a pool, an amphitheater with concerts and movies, and events throughout the year – like the Christmas House Tour or the Cardboard Boat Regatta in July.

On Tuesday mornings, Dan plays Euchre with, what I call, “the old guys group.” This has led to high stakes sports betting ($5 weekly football pool) and some guy leaving tomatoes on our porch.

On the weekends, we can walk to a coffee shop and get donuts, but we’ve had to stop that – at least for awhile. It’s a beautiful place to take our daily walks. And we are blessed to have so many nice, friendly, and kind neighbors.

It’s sounds perfect, doesn’t it? Of course, it’s not. But it’s about as close as it can be, I think. Our house is pretty close to perfect, too, for Dan and I. The only grass we have to cut is the strip between the sidewalk and the street. Our neighbor does that for us, and he started doing that without us even asking. Last year, he shoveled our sidewalk on a really cold day. After that, I just had to make him cupcakes. Besides the grass and the snow duties, we go around and trim our shrubs in the Fall and Spring. Not having much yard work works out great since we have a travel trailer.

Nobody does Halloween like New Town. Trust me on this. People here decorate as if they are putting on a Broadway production. The star of the show actually rents a U-Haul and has three storage units for his decorations. The kids and the neighbors really appreciate his passion and his efforts which bring smiles and joy to so many.

Halloween decorations from "The Nightmare Before Christmas."
Halloween Decorations
New Town Mermaids
Halloween decorations - lighted up pumpkin man.

The Christmas season is a step back in time but with all the modern decorations on display. We have another resident who travels the neighborhood at night taking beautiful photos of the houses all lit up. Then he puts a collage with music on our neighborhood Facebook page. Try to watch it without getting a lump in your throat. We are truly blessed.

Row of houses with holiday lights reflecting in the lake.
Our Lake View

Yes, I do love our home even more than the day we moved in. Now, there are some “opportunities”, as I like to put it, with our home. First on the list, I guess, is that the downstairs bathroom is right by the eating area. I’ve thought many times about how to reconfigure, but we’d have to talk to a contractor to see if it could be done. For now, we keep the door closed and have wired the fan to the light switch.

Our upstairs bathroom has a separate tub and shower. The only thing I do with the tub is dust it. I’d like to turn that into a closet for Dan. Right now, he uses a closet in another bedroom. I have the walk-in closet which is how it should be. Right, ladies?

Messy kitchen table.
Projects in Progress

Our home does have three bedrooms. So, we have two guest bedrooms. But considering none of our four kids (and their partners) live here, it’s not quite enough. They all come home at the same time. We make it work (some stay elsewhere), but it’d be nice to have a finished basement with another area for accommodations. I’d also like a dedicated craft area someday, but given I like to work at the kitchen table, while Dan watches sports nearby, it’s not an urgent want.

Will any of that get done? Who knows? Right now, we’re spending our money on travel. Plus, what if we move? Now, I’m not one to worry about resale, but why spend the money if we think we are leaving? We don’t plan to move, but with none of our kids here, it could happen. Dan doesn’t like the cold winter. However, I don’t like the heat of the south in the summer, so who knows? Time will answer those questions for us. For now, we are very grateful for our home.

What about you? Do you think about moving? Do you have plans to update your home? What do you like best about your place? As I’m sure you can tell, I really love our home. Everybody’s favorite home should be their own, and I hope that’s true for you.

Betty and Dan standing in front of the lake.
The very best part about our home is that we share it together.

64 comments

  1. We’ve been in our house for 17 years. Now that the kids are grown and out of the house I would love to move into a condo to get rid of yard work and reduce the cleaning time. My wife will never go for it. I do like that we are at the end of a cul de sac so there is little traffic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such an enjoyable post, Betty. Both your home and your town sound lovely. Great photos too! We sold our house and bought a condo almost eleven years ago. Although I was hesitant at first at the thought of selling our house and moving “back home” from the community I had grown to love, I appreciate everything about where we live now. Our condo has as many square feet as our house had, so we have plenty of space. We may make one more move, but not too far. We’ve been eyeing up the seniors apartments across the street. They’re under new ownership and as soon as one is vacated, the entire apartment is gutted and redone from scratch. My Aunt and Uncle live in one and they’re gorgeous! Because we travel a lot, we’re never completely comfortable leaving our condo empty because, for example, if the hot water heater sprung a leak and did damage to the unit below us, that would be a big vacation headache. What I like about renting is that, unlike owning, if anything goes wrong, it’s the landlord’s problem A huge plus is that the landlord is my cousin’s husband and a long-time hockey buddy of my hubs😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! The apartment sounds like it could be perfect for you and hubs! Sometimes everything falls in place, and you just know it’s the right decision. Since the apartment is close, it sounds like you’ll be able to still power walk all your favorite routes. Best of all, you can travel without worry! That’s huge! I always feel like if the time is right for a change, I’ll know. Hope you have a great Saturday!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed reading about your home sweet home, Betty. You and Dan live in a beautiful neighborhood, and your celery colored house looks great. For some reason, I thought it was sunflower yellow. Anyway, we moved into our current home in 2003, and it’s paid for too! It’s almost 30 years old now, so things like light
    switches and garage door springs are wearing out. We are replacing these things—upgrading when we can—as they break. Our latest upgrade is a belt-drive garage door opener. This thing is so quiet you can carry on a normal conversation while the door goes down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, David. Our house is definitely celery green, but I can easily see how it could look yellow in online pictures. It’s kind of like a tennis ball – some say yellow; some say green. 🙂 It is fortunate for you – being so young – that your home is paid off. You’ll have all kinds of options going forward. Now, I never heard of a belt-driven garage door opener – especially one that is so quiet you can carry on a conversation when it is working. That is fancy! Hope you have a great Saturday!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s a bittersweet story, but when my mom died in 2011, my three brothers and I each received an inheritance. My wife and I decided to put half of my share toward our mortgage. This allowed us to pay our house off in 15 years (2018) instead of 30.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. We’ve lived in our home for 10 years. We absolutely love it and our sweet little neighborhood. My favorite part of our home is the private deck that overlooks the large wooded backyard. It’s my outdoor sanctuary and place to read. Since my favorite part of our home is the outdoors one night conclude we should just sell our home and live in our RV. But we take enough really long camping trips to fulfill that desire. Plus home is a very good place. I love your post and it makes me want to do a trip to see St Charles over Christmas again! Have a glorious Saturday, Betty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A private deck overlooking the woods sounds wonderful. We feel the same as you – we love to travel and be outdoors, and we do that in our travel trailer. But we sure don’t want to give up our home. If you do visit St. Charles again, be sure to come to New Town. It’s close to Main St – six miles on our ebikes. Your comment gave me an idea. Perhaps we’ll visit Main Street this Christmas season (which we usually do), but this year, I might write a post about it. 🙂 I have written about the ice carving festival in January. I enjoy that, too! I’d like to read about your sweet little neighborhood. What makes it so special? Thanks for reading and your comment. I hope you have a glorious Saturday, too.

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  5. Your development sounds lovely and wonderful. We have been in the house where we live now for 2 years. We came here to take care of my mom, now finally we are going to buy it (long story). It is too big and has a big yard and it is not really in our budget. But my mom designed it, it is on the lake where our extended family cabin is located. It is big enough for our kids and my sister and her family to all be here at the same time. We’ll do this for maybe up to 5 years, or maybe less depending on what happens. Then we’ll see!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The house where you live now sounds very special with it being on a lake and with your mom having designed it, and located where a family cabin is located. Enjoying it for 5 years – give or take – sounds like a good plan!

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  6. Oh, I forgot to say, before we moved here, we lived in the same house in the western suburbs of Minneapolis for 33 years. It was not my dream house, but it had some very good qualities. We considered moving several times, but could never find anything else that seemed worth the bother of moving without uprooting the kids and changing communities.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 33 years is a very long time! I don’t know that there is ever a perfect house. Even when people build something and specify every thing, once they live there a bit, some changes come to mind. Moving is a huge deal. Sometimes staying put in the best option! Hope you have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Your little piece of the world looks lovely and seems to be perfect for Dan and you. I do envy having no yard to mow. We’ve lived in our home for 35 years and have seen quite a change in that time. No need to move to the city, the city has moved to us. Families have grown and people have moved away. New families are beginning to populate the neighborhood once again. We are on a lake, so there is fishing, waterskiing, and swimming in the backyard. I don’t believe we will ever sell the place, my children want it. In fact, we bought the house next door so I could move my mother close by. That has not stopped us from traveling though and with God’s blessing we will continue to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We have lived in our home in Florida for 19 years. We have a great garden, an up and coming location, good neighbors. It wasn’t always true but we stayed long enough to see the changes and reap the benefits with much toil for our garden and home. Will we move to a smaller place one day? Perhaps but for now we love our home.

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    • Thank you, Marty! Our house is cozy, just the right size for us. But I have to say, it seems really big when we arrive home after we’ve been out in our travel trailer for weeks! Hope you have a great Sunday!

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  9. We have been in our house, together, since 1998. My husband has lived in our house since he was a baby, with the exception of about 17 years. So he has lived in our house for about 45 years. Since 1998 we have had new windows installed, the house and garage resided, replaced the roof on the house and garage, replaced our furnace and installed central A/C. Our newest upgrade was a kitchen renovation. There is always something that needs to be done, when you own a house 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my! You have done a lot of upgrades! And yes, you are right about owning a house. Just in our 10 years, we have done the following – painting entire inside , paint outside (last year), put on new roof (last year), and refreshed the landscaping with some edging, etc. We try to take care of what we have as best as we can. I think of it as “pay me now or pay me later.” Even so a home is a blessing, and I am grateful for ours. Your husband has lived in your home for a long time, and your time together there – 23 years – is pretty long, too! Hope you have a good Sunday!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, this guy, Emmett, posts on our Facebook group that he will be out and about. His pictures are stunning. He is very kind and captures the neighborhood decor with an artist eye. I did not know this man except for his Facebook posts. Then one night last December, I saw a man with a camera on our street. Of course, I asked him, “Are you Emmett?” And I introduced myself and thanked him for his posts. I believe he is some kind of engineer by trade. And yes, we are lucky that he shares his talents with the community. Hope you have a great Sunday!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post. Love the celery green!
    We have lived in our current house for only about a month!
    I’m still settling in and deciding on my favorite part. The neighbors are absolutely amazing and they all descended upon us to help unload the moving truck. There were so many helpers it was done in 30 minutes flat! We’ve never had so much help moving and we had never even met any of these people. Just incredibly kind folks.
    The street is super quiet, I like that a lot. The yard needs more trees you can never have enough trees! There’s a gas fireplace in the basement and it’s really cozy to sit in front of it and read books or watch movies. There are large windows and window wells in the basement that let in a lot of light. So being in the basement doesn’t really feel like being in the basement!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Congratulations on being in your home for about a month! It sounds like you have wonderful and kind neighbors. What a great start! Your basement sounds nice, too. Our basement feels like a basement which is why I hesitate to think about finishing it. I wouldn’t want to spend all that money and still not want to go down there! Good luck in your new home! I hope you and your family are very happy there!

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  11. Dorothy was right … “There’s no place like home.” I look forward to coming home at the end of every day. It’s comfortable and comforting. Small, cozy, and full of love. My husband lets the chickens out of their run a few hours before sunset, and it’s my favorite time of day. Simple pleasures of home. Thanks for a lovely post. Your writing inspired me to feel all the gratitude of home this Sunday morning!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Your comment that the post inspired you to feel gratitude for your home was exactly what I was hoping to do when I wrote this post! I wanted to share a bit about our home. I wanted to note our 10 year anniversary in it, but I also wanted folks to think about their own home and ponder all the things they love about it. And it’s always fun (to me) to think about possible projects (improvements) to one’s nest. Dorothy was right, wasn’t she? 🙂 Thank you again, and enjoy your Sunday!

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  12. Your house sounds so perfect and your neighborhood also sounds so great. Finding that one special place that you truly love is so rewarding. We’ve only been in our house since this past April. We’ve made some improvements and have one more scheduled – remodel our bathroom. After that we’re holding off to see if we are really going to stay here. It’s a great house, large, open and airy. And of course it has what was a must for us, an RV port. The house is just the right size for us. Everything is on one floor. The neighborhood is great. In terms of stores everything we need is just minutes away. For now it will be our home base during the winter as we will continue to travel during the summer months. As for the future?

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    • Yes, we do feel lucky to call this home. Your home sounds and looks great, too. Now forgive me if I overstep, but I sense you would just so much rather be on the road. Your wanderlust is yearning to be set free. I say that will all my respect and admiration for both you and Barb. I know life is a balance, a discernment for which we pray to make the right choices. And I know we have to keep those we love in mind when making those choices, too. But I just have to say it Bill, if not now, when?

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  13. A lovely home and the lake view at night is gorgeous! Your questions are ones my wife and I have pondered as well but postponed since 1/3 of our kids/their spouses/our grandkids live just 5 miles away.

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  14. You are so right the best part is sharing it. I have been in my flat for 29 years now and I will be moving soon, finally sharing our own house together, living properly together. I can’t wait!

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  15. Oops I pressed send too quick. I wanted to say your home sounds perfect and what a view. I can see you love it and that is the most important. A perfect place in hte right location, what more can you ask for!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Awwww! I love your house and your community sounds perfect for enjoying time together and with others. It is nice to read a refreshing and uplifting take. I think if you move or stay, you’ve got the right attitude about being together!

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  17. We have lived in our home for 26 years. Like any home things need repairing, and the repairs will be completed in due time. I love my home for all four children were brought home from the hospital. They frequently share their memories of home. Thank you for this lovely post. It’s great to read stories regarding one’s appreciation for what makes a home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are very welcome! The family makes the home. How wonderful to have been there for so long and to have so many nice memories. It seems there are always repairs, but that’s okay. It’s just part of being so lucky as to have a home! Hope you have a good day tomorrow!

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  18. Mid-April 2021 my husband and I left everyone and sold everything in Florida to follow our dream! Living on the beach on a remote Caribbean island is becoming our reality. We bought a half-acre piece of the beach and are working with our architect to design three basic pods (cooking, living, and sleeping) in a natural setting. We are thrilled with this opportunity to spend the last leg of our earthly journey here, living quite simply and peacefully. I love your piece and the way you opened the door for discussion. It really is wonderful to read about people loving where they live, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Your new home sounds like an exciting adventure – in a peaceful, low stress kind of way. We have been to Roatan twice on a Carnival cruise ship. I know that the Carnival port isn’t really what the island is typically like, but … we did love the port! I have wondered how it has fared through Covid. We loved the ski lift ride, swimming in the beach, kayaking and shopping. I would love to take that cruise again one day. I have followed your blog, and I very much look forward to reading about your life and the process of your new home in Roatan. Blessings to you in your new, loved home!

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  19. Congratulations on 10 years in your home AND having it paid off. That’s no small accomplishment. We’ve been in our current home for a little over 4 years. Kenn and I both grew up in the country and then spent the next 30 years living in the downtown area of a nearby town. It was hardly a sprawling metropolis, but once our eldercare journey had ended, we were happy to move back to the country. Our house is rustic, which is perfect for us; we call it The Cabin. For now, it’s perfect. We’re in the country but not as isolated as we were in our younger days. We have neighbors, but we’re not on top of each other. Even though I’m a Georgia native, I no longer deal well with the Southern summer heat. We (probably me) talk about moving to the mountains but talking is probably as far as it will ever go. Last year we remodeled our master bath; it’s so much better than it was. We have several projects in mind, mainly replacing the el cheapo carpet the previous owners put in all of the bedrooms with waterproof vinyl laminate. We also need to make some updates to the remaining bathrooms. Slowly but surely, we’ll get there.

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    • It sounds like you are exactly where you want to be. That is great! I understand about the southern heat; it’s hard on me but doesn’t bother Dan. There is always something to do on a house. If we can’t update something right now (which is always), I think of it as getting more of our money’s worth out of what we have. Then when updates are made, they are so appreciated and enjoyed! Thank you for your congratulations and your comments!

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