Saying Goodbye

The village

The village

I am going to England.

I am going to see my beautiful daughter and 3 of her beautiful children.

I am going to help my daughter move out of the house she has lived in for 25 years.  We will clean and sort and pack.  She will make painful decisions about what things to eliminate from her life.

I first came to that house a couple of months after she moved in.  I was there for the first visit of the village vicar.  I saw my son-in-law install carpet.  My now grown-up granddaughter was a nursing infant.  

Over the years I have watched the house and the village change.  The kitchen has been redone, the dining room reconfigured, windows replaced, heating system modernized, bathrooms added.  The house next door used to be the village shop and post office.  Now it is a private home and the village has no shop and no post office.  A new street has been added with pleasant modern houses that blend well with the thatched roofs and rose covered stone walls.  People I knew and liked in the village have died and children have grown up.  But much remains the same.  This is most likely the last time I will see it.

I have helped with many changes to the garden, from planting flower beds to creating a rock garden and laying a walk. I have weeded, planted, pruned and admired as trees, shrubs and flowers grew.  My daughter and I have shopped at the Garden Center for plants, lanterns, candles, and a chiminea for evening warmth.  We have taken car loads of leaves, weeds and clippings to the tip.  There are so many memories, and I will say goodbye.

My daughter and I will talk a lot.  We will drink wine together.  She will help me shed a few pounds.  She is entirely disciplined about eating.  A little less so about wine, but then, we drink red, and it makes you live longer.  I’m sticking to that position. 

I will leave my dogs, my cat, my tomatoes and my flowers in Jerry’s care.  I know he will watch over them diligently.  He will keep the animals’ routines conscientiously and do the watering right.  Every morning when I wake up I think about how lucky I am.  In my old age I have married a man who is always sweet, and extra nice to me when I am going away because he knows he will miss me.  And he will be nice to me when I get home because he will be glad to see me.  

I am looking forward to seeing that pretty house and village one last time.  I will be sad to let it recede into the past.  And then I will be happy to greet my husband and my dogs and my cat and my tomatoes and flowers.  

I am a lucky woman.

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26 Responses to Saying Goodbye

  1. Natalie says:

    Anne, the village looks lovely. Unfortunately the “no post office, no shop” fate has befallen so many other villages, and not only in the UK. I hope your daughter is moving to some place that she and her family will love.
    Looking forward to our meeting when you come to London!

  2. Friko says:

    Your post is sad and a little nostalgic and a little hopeful, all at the same time. I hope you have a lovely time in England and that helping your daughter at the start of a new beginning will bring you happiness. Saying Goodbye also means Saying Hello.

    I am very glad to have found you.

  3. Marja-Leena says:

    Such a sad and sweet post. it’s hard to say goodbye to a home of 25 years, full of memories, a life of a child grown to womanhood, a mature garden…. Hope your daughter is moving to another wonderful place. Enjoy this time together! And please say ‘hi’ to Natalie when you see her. I so enjoyed my meeting with her a couple of months ago. And how wonderful to come home again…

  4. Darlene says:

    Success. You are now on my blog roll and I will follow your posts daily. I am so glad we reconnected.

    Now I know why you are going to England. What a charming house. It is a bittersweet experience to leave a house that holds so many memories. I know your daughter will be happy to have you and the help you offer. Shared memories over a glass of wine will help the transition to her new home. That’s how my daughter and I enjoy evenings together (although we usually drink white wine).

    Have a safe flight and a wonderful stay in one of my favorite countries.

  5. Jan says:

    This is a very sad and sweet post. I’m glad you’re going to help; she seemed to be a bit flustered when she mentioned it.

    Please, give her a hug from me. When do you leave and how long will you be gone?

  6. Annie says:

    Whew! Glad you’re not saying goodbye as in, goodbye to blogging! Your trip to the UK sounds very poignant, I hope you have great fun with your daughter and all that red wine! It looks very pretty there, and what a lot of memories for you! Have a great trip

  7. Mage Bailey says:

    I’m so sorry they are moving, but what a gift they gave to you and yours by living there so very many years. We look forward to seeing notes from the village, and we will cheer your arrival home again.

  8. dale says:

    Oh, how wonderful! I would love to see England again.

  9. Grannymar says:

    It may be your last visit and the end of your daughter’s life in that home and village, but you both carry the memories with you and nobody can take them away!

    Memories are easy luggage. Bon Voyage!

  10. Old Woman says:

    Thank you all for your good wishes. If you would like to know as much as my daughter knows about what she is going to do next, take a look at Duchess Omnium, on my blog roll. It will lead you to her blog.

  11. Darlene says:

    Anne, I don’t know if you are still reading your comments, but if you are I want you to know that I successfully linked your post on the cooperatives to my post today. I hope people will write their representatives. Thank you for your post on the subject.

  12. rosie says:

    you are a lucky woman… to be happy in the present… I can never quite manage it

  13. Celeste Maia says:

    A very good post, as always. I loved reading about the passing of time and the tenderness towards your daughter’s family and house. How lucky you are indeed to have such a nice husband who appreciates you and shows it.
    Have a wonderful trip. Where is your daughter moving to?

  14. hhb says:

    Say hallo to the UK for me.
    To know that your beloved will take care of all at home, is comfort indeed.
    Wishing you a safe and happy trip.

  15. Alan G says:

    Wow….what a quaint and beautiful place. I don’t envy you having to say goodbye but surely seeing your daughter and grandkids will help ease the pain. Have a wonderful trip.

  16. Dick says:

    I believe you’re going to be only just up the road – well, 25 miles or thereabouts – from where I am. When you’re settled, let me know and hopefully we might manage a meet-up. My email is: patteran(at)

  17. wisewebwoman says:

    Good luck Anne, bitter sweet and all as it is, sometimes moving on is painful, but you have the internal scrapbook of lovely memories. the village looks out of the last century!

  18. Natalie says:

    Beautiful post, beautiful village. Have a good journey!

  19. Natalie says:

    Anne, I looked up your daughter’s blog – she’s such a wonderful writer and obviously an interesting person too. My best wishes to her. What is the title of her novel?

  20. What a beautiful essay, Anne. I’ll be thinking about both of you, hoping you have a wonderful time.

  21. Manley Resident says:

    Anne, you arrived in Manley with Jerry Hook, who is well liked and respected. Upon meeting you we had some reservations but since you were Jerry’s gal, looked past your whiney and bossy way of being. Now after reading your blog it is hard to believe that Jerry married such petty and critical person. Some of the comments in your blog are mean and disgusting and should not be shared. One of the beauties of living in Manley is that you are accepted for who you are. It doesn’t matter how much money you have in the bank, nor what your appearance is, but rather what lies in your heart. Your incessant commentary about the food that people eat and their weight shows your own obsession with food and your shallow nature. Anyone with a heart and brain is accepted in Manley. Manley is better off without people like you! I feel sorry for Jerry. Hope not to see you in Manley again. But give Jerry my best. Jerry has been a long-time friend and will continue to be, so I decline to submit my name.

  22. Manley Resident says:

    Have a good trip to England while Jerry watches YOUR animals….how nice of him, even though he has none of his own……

  23. Duchess says:

    I cannot imagine what in this post prompted the ugliness of “Manley Resident’s” comments.

    She ought to be ashamed. Of the comments and of the cowardice and dishonesty in trying to hide her name.

  24. Jerry says:

    Manley resident, I deeply resent your comments on my wife’s blog. You, whoever you are, use the word “we” but do not identify yourself or yourselves. Your comment says “it’s hard to believe that Jerry married such …”. I love my wife and we have a very good marriage.

    The comment goes on: “One of the beauties of living in Manley is that you are accepted for who you are.” and on and on about Utopian nonsense. Although Manley is small and isolated, it has all the usual conflicts that exist almost everywhere. The comment has other juvenile statements that need not be mentioned.

    You claim to be my long-time friends, but if you were my friends you are not any more.

  25. Maggie, living in Bliss says:

    I’d bet the ranch the troll is the same person who showed up before. If you can ban them by IP address, do it. And, if you can find out who their provider is, make a complaint. Most providers won’t put up with trolls using their service to harrass people.

  26. Bittersweet trip but hopefully more sweet. The D is definitely my kind of woman if she is disciplined in her eating but not in her wine. I love it. Please give hugs from SMB too. 🙂 Enjoy your trip and toast to new beginnings.

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