Multitudinous Blessings

It’s amazing how something as pedestrian as an old-house website can turn out to be such a catalyst for multitudinous blessings.

Through this website (and its accompanying page on Facebook), I have met so many people. With few exceptions, old house people are the finest people around.

Two years ago, after my husband’s death, I decided to shut down this website – as soon as I had the emotional wherewithal to do so. I put my Sears House ephemera in cardboard boxes and told my friend to give all of it to the local college library. I was done. I never wanted to see another Sears House again. Ever.

Fortunately, my friend didn’t listen to me, and stashed the boxes in a storage unit.

More than a year later, I asked him what became of all my catalogs. I couldn’t find them in my rental house, and I had no memory of telling him to dispose of the collection. He said, “You told me to get rid of them.”

With more than a little trepidation, I asked, “Did you?”

He said, “No, I kept them. They’re in storage.”

In short order, he retrieved them from a nearby storage unit, and my ephemera and I were re-united.

That’s something for which I’m also very grateful.

Rediscovering those almost lost catalogs stirred something in me, and gently pulled me back toward my first love: Old houses.

And through writing blogs on a host of topics (including grief and pain), I was surprised (and delighted) to find that I felt nurtured and buoyed by the kind words of long-time readers. I still re-read those supportive comments again and again and again.

As Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

When visitors to this site leave comments, openly sharing their own stories of tragedy and loss, I feel so very comforted. I feel less alone in my tragedy and pain. I feel less alone in the world. It’s as though those people – people struggling under the heavy weight of their own pain and suffering – have opened up the circle around their heart and invited me in. It’s a sacred sharing, and I treasure every insight, every kind word, and every loving thought.

I will always remember how that made me feel, so thank you for that.

And if you’ve been a faithful reader of this blog but have never left a comment, I hope you’ll do so now. And if you’re one of my faithful commenters, I hope you’ll leave a comment today!


Learn how to identify Sears Homes by clicking here.

Read about one of my favorite Sears Homes in Hampton Roads here.





Yesterday, I celebrated my 59th birthday with a group of faithful, loving and supportive friends. It truly was one of the loveliest events in my lifetime. Despite having such a wonderful day, I suffered from horrible nightmares last night (July 5th). By 6:00 am this morning, I was dressed and on my bike, pedaling as fast as I could to stave off the anxiety. I’m happy to say that it worked. On the ride home, I saw this image and captured it with my fancy phone. This is less than one mile from my home in a suburban area in Suffolk.


Learn how to identify Sears Homes by clicking here.

Read about one of my favorite Sears Homes in Hampton Roads here.



  1. Melissa

    Thank goodness for that wonderful friend who stored all of your decades worth of catalogs and notes.

    The magnitude of your knowledge is unmatched and the world thanks you for sharing with us. We love you!

  2. Krista

    As a fellow SOS widow, I can relate to the thought process you had early in your grief.

    I made similar assertions and a few people actually used that as an opportunity to get rid of some things and pocket the money.

    You have a wise and supportive friend, there. That is PURE GOLD.

  3. Trish Burton

    Rosemary, I am delighted that you friend did not listen to you!

    Blessings come in many forms from near and far. Even from friends who don’t follow your wishes. Thank goodness for you that he knew in his heart that you would want them one day.❤

    I am overjoyed that you have found comfort in the words and prayers of your MANY faithful followers.

    As always my prayers are with you. Now…onward..lets find some houses!

  4. Gemma

    Our dear Rosie, so happy to hear all of this — even if plagued with nightmares. Two million+ hits is something of a miracle, considering the previous numbers.

    I have to admit, I’m floored.

    I found out the way to get the full message hidden behind the comment boxes — click on it.

    Oh, surely a cup of tea AND a little drive around the “Sears” neighborhoods! Possible Berwyn, Walton, and Roanoke within a few blocks of each other.

  5. Jenny

    That is a beautiful picture! It seems like you were in the midst of rural mid-west farmland, not a mile from suburbia.

    Hold onto this picture, should you have another rough night, there will be a reminder that a beautiful dawn is coming.

    I’m glad Milton had the foresight to store your catalogs. As long as they bring you a smile or spark of joy, they are worth hanging onto.

    Old houses are neat. Since I was a kid, I’ve enjoyed watching “This Old House”.

    I also loved looking at books of home plans. I don’t remember exactly how I became interested in Sears houses, but they seem to be the perfect combo of old houses and floor plans.

    (I do remember my delight and fascination as I read “The Houses that Sears Built”).

    2.5 Million hits is an amazing milestone. Have a treat to celebrate!

  6. Sears Homes


    Did you send me a birthday card? If that was you, thank you so very much!

    And thanks for the kind words. Sometimes, I get anxious just seeing the sun go down. And it’s too hot here right now to even take the dog out for a walk, so exercise is not an option at night. :/

  7. Dale Wolicki

    The person that ignored your instructions to dispose of your mail order housing catalogs has my eternal gratitude!

    No one will ever know how many times I held off out bidding you on Ebay because you sent me a sappy email.

    Is that a cell phone tower in the picture?

    Every outdoor picture should have a beautiful cell phone tower in the background. They are like clouds and angels.

  8. Sears Homes

    @Dale Wolicki
    You always know what to say to crack me up.

    “…Like clouds and angels…”

    You’re so funny!!

    It was Milton who ignored my request to donate boxes full of materials to Old Dominion University Library.

    People (like you) who were around in those first days know that I was in shock and not in my right mind.

    Glad those days are behind me. And I still have the catalogs!

  9. Dale Wolicki

    Hey those cell phone towers paid for a lot of our mail-order house catalogs and research trips.

    Few things are better than driving along some lonely Midwestern road and finding a perfect Aladdin Marsden or a 300′ self-standing communication tower.

    A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

    And remember I get first dibs on your catalogs before they go back to Ebay!

  10. Linda G

    At the time that your Bad Thing happened, I had been a widow for less than two years myself.

    I admit to having compared my situation to yours, but only to realize how much worse it would have been to be blamed for my husband’s death.

    His death was very sudden and shocking, but still “natural” despite his relatively young age.

    I felt enough guilt over all the “what ifs” without being outright blamed.

    I remember thinking I couldn’t imagine being blamed for my beloved husband’s death when I know, without a doubt, that I would have given my own life for his that day.

    I also remember wondering if I would have survived that added guilt.

    My heart totally went out to you and I have prayed many prayers for you.

    One of my most frequent prayers is that you will come to know (if you haven’t already) that, at least in the case of his death, you were your husband’s victim and not the other way around.

    I cannot tell you enough how much I admire your resilience and I continue to pray that it will lead you to that place of peace that you so deserve.

  11. Jenny

    @Sears Homes
    Yes, that was me. I figured that mail that is not junk or bills would brighten a birthday.

    It has been super hot here this week, I can only imagine the heat gets more miserable further south.

    I’m sure Teddy with her beautiful coat, appreciates skipping a walk and staying in the A/C.

  12. Beverley Pinkerman

    Stopping by to say I hope you are doing well, and remind you that you are a beautiful person. I am proud to call you my friend. xxx