We have hammered out all the details; the house is sold. Sold-ish, I suppose, but we close on the 25th and then it will be a done deal. Yes, the 25th of October. It was the date that worked best for the buyer and, in case you hadn’t heard, it is a buyer’s market. But it was also like pulling the band-aid off fast. Better to get it over with.
A couple of readers have asked why we are moving and it was the convergence of a few different factors. The economy, certainly, decades of white flight and Mr. Blandings’s homing instincts. Missouri’s public schools are in a horrible state, and our children have attended private school. As we are selecting a high school for our oldest, it suddenly seemed significant that there is an outstanding public high school just across the state line in Kansas. Requiring us to move approximately five blocks. The school also happens to be Mr. Blandings’s alma mater. The younger boys will stay where they are and, assuming it is a good fit, the oldest will walk the halls his father walked, which is often how things work around here.
We’d planned to put the house on the market a little later in the fall, but these lovely people sort of landed at our doorstep. We have been looking, though we do not have a house. We are, momentarily, homeless. (“Not really ‘homeless,’ says the oldest, ‘yet.’) Surprisingly, the middle boy, the one who feels everything first and fiercest, thinks it is so “exciting.” I am following his lead.
As it turns out, it wasn’t the house that was the dream, it was the family, and they are coming with me. Along with the curtains.
Spotty posts and pictures to follow.
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69 thoughts on “Sold.

  1. Oh you have really done it! This means we have the pleasure of watching you make the new house into a dream home!

    Art by Karena

  2. Congratulations on selling your home. I love your attitude about thing. The family really is the most important thing! How amazing that you have the best of both world with the school situation.
    Happy house hunting.

  3. "it wasn't the house that was the dream, it was the family"

    (that's why you're our girl, mrs. b.; nobody says it better)

  4. Congratulations on selling so quickly. Now, to find your next dream home. But, you're right it's the family that's the dream anyway. You always have such a wonderful outlook. Happy hunting!

  5. "As it turns out, it wasn't the house that was the dream, it was the family, and they are coming with me. Along with the curtains." May you never, ever, lose this.

  6. Totally agree with little augury. and it's actually a blessing that you sold so quickly – i do not recommend the slow lingering death that I experienced. and how exciting to now think of your next step – those middle children are very perceptive.

  7. * CONGRATS, my friend, ESPECIALLY in THIS economy… (HOWEVVVVER, me thinketh it's so charming that it WOULD sell VERY QUICKLY!!!)…

    We moved 28 times in 38 years (Yes, that's NOT a typo!) & when finally "settling" here, I thought I'd NEVER want to move again……. ODDLY ENOUGH, as much as I ADORE this home, I COULD, quite easily, be convinced to buy another & make yet ANOTHER new NEW!!! (Eeks! Did I really SAY that? I think tho, it's because, actually, MOVING meant CLOSETS always got cleaned out & organized~~~ FREQUENTLY! Not so NOW, after 5 1/2 years here… I'm DROWWWWNING in muck!!! ~Smiles!~)…

    Linda in AZ *

  8. * P.S. I could just look at the exterior alone, of your home, all day long… sooooo pretty, charming and welcoming!!! Again, best! Linda *

  9. Congratulations!

    What does the term "white flight" mean? I have never heard it before.

    best regards, Alan Dailey

  10. Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing what you guys end up with and how you transform it! Good luck!

  11. Oh Mrs. Blandings. I so enjoy your writing: the wry penultimate line made me laugh out loud.

    Congrats on the sale and fingers crossed in anticipation of soft landing.

  12. Congratulations! I think selling a house in this market is quite a feat. Nothing is moving down here in Atlanta. I'm with your middle one too- exciting. There is so much possibility. With a touch of sadness.

    My oldest is having quite the happy time in his first year of high school. Calls it "the best place on earth." Finding a good fit is worth some trouble. Strap in for high school – it's something. Different than when we were there…yet the same.

  13. Oooh I know how this feels dear Mrs. B, wistful excitement probably best describes it. Your house will be in your dreams for a long time. Nearly 5 years on, at least one night a week, I dream I am back in our old house. But the boys are never, ever there with me, which is the strange part.
    Millie ^_^
    P.S. I was thinking of you recently when I read this wonderful description by a mother of 3 sons. 'The eldest is the boss, the middle the ideas man & the youngest gets the job done!' Fits my tribe to a tee!

  14. I hope the new family needs an illustration of the dream house and the one I did for you will go to hang in the halls! I will look forward to illustrating your new dream home.

  15. Wow, you really are moving! It will be an exciting adventure with great new stories featuring everyone you love.

  16. Wow . . . I can hardly believe it. But on the other hand . . . getting to be a part of Lancer Day Parade is one of the most amazing experiences of life 🙂

  17. Isn't that so true! A house is just a residence, your family make it a home. Can't wait to see your new spot when you find it. Glad everything is working out. Have a great week.

  18. I always knew the family was the dream. Glad those curtains hitched a ride. I was worried about them. I would have hated to have the NEW ONES rip them down in a fit of different taste and toss them in a heap. I think there is a metaphor crawling around in there someplace. And great kudos to the middle son for seeing the excitement in the middle of the chaos and a bit of terror. Speaks well for him, and you.

  19. You are right; it is always the family. Our very old house is my "dream house" but when my husband was unemployed, and for 6 months no sign of a job on the horizon, I told him that moving to downsize the budget might be wise. He thought I'd be devastated leaving our home; no, I'd be happy taking some burden off him.

    Luckily it all worked out, and it will for you, too. You will find just the right house; it's out there. Remember, it's a buyers market, and now it's your turn to be the buyers.

  20. Congrats, P. I know it is bittersweet leaving your little slice of heaven. We have many a fond memories of St. Paul's parties at the Shacks. On to the Sunflower state. Your palettes awaits. Can't wait to see what you create in your new home.

  21. You are correct. It is the mood inside the house and not the house itself that is important! You will instantly recreate a wonderful mood inside your new home, I'm sure!
    Love your blog and the header with your title! So clever and so chic! Just what we love at
    Stop by and say hello!

  22. How wonderful and exciting, to move your home to a new house! All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well. Congratulations to y'all!

  23. Wishing you all the best with this exciting new adventure. I am soooo looking ofrward to those spotty posts and pictures as you hunt for your new home. The economy has put a crimp in our budget as well….and we have considered a move….but I get the shakes every time I think of it. Overwhelming is what it is. Sending all good wishes your way!

  24. Packing is the worse part of moving, but it is best way to give to those in need of a few things. Take the curtains and enjoy the new surroundings. How exciting!! xx

  25. Good tidings and happy hunting; I have full and complete confidence that you will choose wisely and a new era will prevail!
    Of course the curtains will be coming, and just in time to deck the new halls as well!
    Best of luck,

  26. The picture of your home (that just sold) is so great…I can understand a little sadness over this change. Sometimes the whole "door shuts, window opens" bit just doesn't cut it, right?, even when you know it's true.

    Good luck on the "new" home search, I'm sure it will be amazing (once you've put your touches on it).

  27. Yay! A new "dream" house to decorate!!!! You said it best, it's the family that's the dream, the house is just icing on the cake. Best of luck, Patricia!!!!!!!
    -linda, ny
    p.s. what is white flight? I've never heard of that expression.

  28. pps
    please post a full photo spread of your house now that it's about to be sold. Also, what a lucky family to move into such a darling and well loved ( and famous!) house.

  29. "it wasn't the house that was the dream, it was the family."

    I sincerely hope my coworkers don't walk by to discover me teary-eyed in my cubicle. Your posts are always wonderful: entertaining at the least, and touchingly beautiful at their very best.

  30. Thank you, all, so much for your well wishes. In response to a couple of questions:

    Yes, Lancers, Lancers we will be. I think. Most likely.

    "White flight" is, I thought, a pretty common term, but I must have been wrong as a few people have asked. It refers to the moving out of white folks when minorities start to move in. Kansas City enacted a massive desegregation program in their public schools in the 70s. The intent was right; the reality turned out to be a mess. Gorgeous, expensive renovations were completed on several schools and hundreds of kids were bussed out of their neighborhoods. Many families pulled their children from the public schools and sent them either to private schools or moved to Kansas. (Like I'm doing, yes, I know, and the bleeding heart liberal in me cringes to know it.)

    There was a lot of money in the system and a fair amount of incompetence. A revolving door of superintendents, parents dealing with schools outside their neighborhoods and declining enrollment have not helped, either. The schools, at this point, are not even accredited. We currently have a new superintendent who looks as if he could make some effective change. Still, I have a friend who was in a fourth grade classroom the other day in KCMO and they were working on vowel sounds.

  31. I've been swamped at work, and had to actually hit the back button today (Rabbit Stew was the last I checked in). Selling! Where have I been. Well, I do hope you are able to get another charming old house in your new, public-school neighborhood.

    And I always ask my husband to fill out a profile to see if we are matched up, and he ridiculously refuses.

  32. Mrs. B, Seven years ago my husband changed jobs and I was forced to sell what I thought was my dream house. Emotionally attached, I priced it too high and held on too long, leading to a YEAR of agony. Now, we are back, a block away from our old "dream home" and I am finally over it. I have my family, my "stuff" new curtains, and a new dream. You are a wise woman.

  33. Congrats on the house selling so quickly (you should be happy you don't live in the N.E.)! All the anguish will soon be forgotten as you and your family settle into your NEW dream house! Just think of all the fun you'll having decorating it and trying out new ideas. Looking forward to hearing all about your new place. Good luck with the closing! All the best.

  34. I have to agree with Gaye — thrilled that the curtains are coming along 🙂 And 'middle Blandings, too. It is exciting. Mostly I'm anxious to read your future essays that will grow out of the adventure but I'm also curious to see how your flirtation with white walls plays out.

    Forgot to comment the other day on your pink 'Mary picks'. Very nice.

  35. When I left Charlotte, I left a home (make that, house) that I truly loved. I'd put so much effort into making it into a beautiful home. And then my husband announced a job opportunity in NYC. Really? OK. Well….my new house isn't the size of the other and I brought some of the curtains – shortening them to fit the 8 foot ceilings.

    You're embracing a new adventure – and without a doubt you will make some changes. Keep some of what you loved. Purge what you don't. And, be able to share the journey.

    Good luck finding that new home!!

  36. Congrats! I am in the same boat! We sold last Tuesday and bought Saturday! It makes your head spin! We move Dec 10th (I thought that was quick until I read your posting!) and I can't wait. I was panicked about where we'd live in 2 months, but the price came down on the house we wanted and the rest is history. I will look forward to reading about your adventure. I'll be right there along with you on my blog.
    PS My house sold is a yellow cape cod!

  37. Mrs. Blandings,
    Congratulations to you and your family as you move on. I enjoy your writing, views and outlook.
    You write, therefore, I read.
    Best of luck to all,

  38. I am so happy for you and relieved too. Once one decides to part with a house it is helpful to have that over with. Additionally, now you won't have to deal with that dining room.

    I grew up near 75th and Mission Road and graduated from Shawnee Mission High School in 1954. My heart fills with warmth at the memories of those times. When I go back for a visit now, less is there to kick up my memories. Three years ago I drove by my old house and the 100 year old Maple trees were gone, cut down down by the owner. In my secret heart I always held onto the idea that I would return to Kansas City, buy one of the Mission Hills estate houses, join the country club, shop at the Plaza and at last feel that I "belonged".

    Silly me. I didn't belong then and I don't belong now. I went on to get a doctorate and become a cancer scientist in Washington DC, while my giggling classmates got pregnant. The desire to belong never did go away though. I just could never pay the price.

    I am certain that your children will find their way through the maelstrom of growing up educated with you as their moral source.


  39. Well, congratulations! And now the fun starts of decorating the NEW House -can't wait to follow along 🙂

  40. We, your loyal readership, will only agree to this as long as we get copious and detailed posts on the existing house as it looks now, your search for a new house, the acquisition of said house, and how you will change it to make it your new dream house. We stop short of wanting to achieve consensus on which will be the right house for you, but hope you have numerous and desirable options from which to choose.

  41. I've been thinking of selling my apartment and renting – forcing me to cull my junk and keep to the basics. The basics are of course the things I couldn't bear to part with.

    Your last sentence brought a little tear to the eye.

  42. Congratulations on your upcoming adventure. Your children will always know what it's like to have parents who put them first – and be likely to pass it on.

  43. right when i'm moving in around the corner from you.

    the current KCMO school system with the now fallen once strong school right around the corner is tragic. as for integration, a woman once told me that many grandmothers have to now care for their grandchildren and they don't like having them bussed so far away that they can't walk them to school and keep and eye on them.

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