Moving On With Life

These last few months, I’ve lived in a small rental home in Southeastern Virginia, and most of my possessions are in storage, which is discomfiting. A few weeks ago, I started looking at houses for sale in different cities.

Throughout 2015 and early 2016, I had a recurring nightmare that Wayne had died and I was forced to move into a modest (and dirty) rental house. It was terrifying, and it was one of those dreams that just went on and on and on for what felt like days.

On one occasion, I wrote this in my prayer journal, “Thank God it was just a dream. Wayne is still alive and well. I am so grateful to awaken from that horror, and find myself sleeping in my own bed in my beautiful home, in my soft bed, with my husband asleep beside me.”

In April 2016, that nightmare became my reality. In August 2016, I started looking at rental homes and became physically ill when I viewed my first rental: A dirty, greasy, roach-infested house, with busted asbestos tiles on the floor, bugs scurrying across the broken Formica countertop and a filthy tub outlined in soap scum.

The price was $1,200 a month – the top of my “comfort level.”

I left that house in tears, got in my car and drove around, trying to pray and trying not to cry. Ultimately, I found a sparkling clean rental in a safe area, but it wasn’t cheap.

It’s been nine months since Wayne died and looking at houses to buy has proven to be a tonic for me. Little by little, the lights are starting to come back on in my soul. It’s funny what God can use to breathe life into someone that feels dead and buried deep in the rubble.

Perhaps in my case, it will be nothing fancier than an old house that needs a lot of love and tender care and elbow grease and time (and a little money) to be restored to its former grandeur and original beauty. Maybe saving an old house will be the very thing that saves me.



When I look at a house, I really LOOK at a house. It was a miserable crawl space and way too low, but I had to know if the house was sound and worthy of restoration. The next day, this 57-year-old body felt the challenge of slithering through a dirty crawl space. Of course, someone was there with a camera...


To read more about Rose, click here.



  1. Janet LaMonica

    Good to see this site up again!

  2. Cynthia Ward

    Good for you, girlfriend! Return to your first love, the rehab of a home is the ultimate rehab of one’s soul.

    You come to life bringing these old treasures back to life, and this is a good thing.

    But there is ALWAYS a bedroom and space in the garden for you and Teddy in Anaheim any time you want.

  3. Dale Wolicki

    You will find a MCM fixer upper so just keep looking.

    Might need to widen the search ring and raise your budget.

    I subscribe to your theory of “the worst house in the best neighborhood” and “a house with good bones and homeowner with bad taste”.

    What fun is there in a house that anyone can find and immediately move into and doesn’t need repairs?

  4. Rita Wilson

    Good to see you up and around and ready to tackle life again.

    We all need projects and when the project is the place you are going to be calling home, all the better.

    You will know it when you see it.

    It will speak to you like none of the others have.

  5. Susan Schnittger

    Best of luck with your efforts. We look forward to seeing what you find.

    I am myself finishing up behind a death in the family.

    Keeping busy is the way to do it. You’ll find another home that will be good for your soul.

    Welcome back girlfriend !

  6. Elvis Newton

    The obvious answer – buy a Sears home!

  7. Pamela Jean

    I am new to this blog stuff. We own a Sears Kit house in Panama City Florida.

    I have researched the attic and found that it is the Alamo, Model #2033B.

  8. Pam Jenkins

    I’m a realtor in Norfolk, just found your blog and have been reading it for two days, it is WONDERFUL!

    (I had no idea you were anywhere in the area until I hit entries mentioning Hampton Roads, I couldn’t believe it 😉 )

    I’m showing a 1935 Sears House (in Ocean View) on Tuesday – why I went searching for information and with you, hit the motherlode, your stuff is FABULOUS.

    If the buyer buys this house – we haven’t seen it yet but she is very very very (did I mention very?) interested – I am giving her your book as a housewarming present.

    I just love your writing and all the background color, I’ve been just riveted! Thank you!!!

  9. paula nania

    I think I have a Winona in Charlottesville, Va. Are you ever in the area? Would you like to come see it?

    If you haven’t found a graphic artist, try Sal Ferro in Arlington Va. (very Talented)

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