We bought this house in 1999. The man who sold it to us was very straightforward with us. It needed work but was a good house. A very good house.

Over the years we have torn down canning sheds, built new sheds, renovated the maids’ quarters…lived life here. Survived hurricanes here.

There is a sycamore tree in the backyard that blew down in a storm ten years ago. A beautiful old pecan came down in that storm as well.

We had to hire a backhoe to get the roots of the pecan up. But the sycamore grew back. You would never know what happened to it. My children’s favorite climbing tree.

The years we lived here were busy, messy, sometimes tragic years. This was our home. My babies lived here.

And for years I told myself that their growth and happiness and the investment in children’s lives mattered more than the beat up old house.

A house is just the case you keep your treasures in.

But I admit I am grateful that tonight this house is pretty. Clean. Shiny and polished in places. But still old, graceful, lovely.

A house with a big heart.