What was meant to be...

Have you ever had something enter your life that you felt was just meant to be? Several readers have commented on the new header wondering what the painting was and I thought I might give a little explanation.

Several years ago, the DH and I decided to pack our bags after living on the East coast for many years and move back to my roots. Small town, but the question was...where do we live? In a rather weird turn of events, we found our house. Now the weird part turned out to be something that was meant to be.

The son inherited the house when both parents died over 30 years ago. He lived on the East coast and just couldn't bring himself to sell the place. So he rented it out to a single man who only lived in two rooms..the kitchen and a bedroom...just to keep the house heated. Nothing..and I mean NOTHING had been moved since both parents died. Rooms were full of furniture, clothing, paper, pictures...even down to the flour in the pantry. Nothing had been touched. Kind of eerie.

For some reason, the woman of the house had followed my career in NY and Miami and saved any articles or photos that she could find. I was totally unaware until the son offered the house to us saying that his mother would have wanted it this way. The condition of the sale was that we take it lock, stock and barrel..as is...you clean up the mess.

We bought the house sight unseen although I knew what it looked like on the outside after living in this little town. Very few people entered the front door...the woman was a bit of a recluse coming from the East coast and being transplanted in a very small town. Kind of like a fish out of water. Well educated, an artist and a lover of fine things. The drapes were always pulled.

Close your eyes and think pink. Everything..the walls the trim, the kitchen, the fireplace bricks, the steps...were all painted pink! Then imagine "stuff" everywhere..wall to wall. It took us months of going room to room sifting through possessions and paper. For an antique lover such as myself, it was pure nirvana. To someone else, it was junk. Every nook and cranny and every piece of furniture housed some treasure. While cleaning off a buffet that had only a few papers on top, I came upon an envelope and recognized the writing. It was mine! A graduation announcement from 35 years earlier...the only one and I am sure many announcements had passed through this house before. I started to get goosebumps.

Every treasure, piece of paper, art work that we found, we could appreciate. She was a fastidious labeler..everything had a little note at the bottom saying what it was. Instead of throwing out, we started to use all of these beautiful treasures as they worked so well with ours. We even came across a prominent family members wedding veil from 1840 that we sent to a museum out east. Another goosebump moment came while looking through a paper clipping of the ladies obituary. We lost a daughter at a very young age and while reading the ladies obit...our daughters was right next to hers. Divine intervention? A long term path now being walked?

The banner header was a shadow box minitaure oil on wood from a Canadian Artist named White circa mid 1800's which we found buried amongst papers. To this day, it is one of my favorites. If you enlarge the photo above, you will see the picture of the lady..of which the dress she is wearing was found in a cedar chest in one of the closets! The other pictures are examples of her art work that we found around the house tucked in chests and closests. I like to think that this was her escape into her own world.

Meant to be? I like to think so..


Wow...this certainly sounds like a meant to be event!!! This is a very awesome story and honestly it couldn't happen to a nicer person then yourself..you are truly one of those people that just seem to be beautiful inside and out!!
Rose said…
What an amazing story! Love all the treasures you found in this lovely house.

Thank you for sharing.
Judy said…
Oh wow! What an amazing story! I have to go back and re-read it. Your home is lovely and is so inviting and warm. You have inspired me to share a very personal and "meant to be" story. Come to think of it you also inspired me to write about the horses too.
I think I see a Lifetime movie in the works about your home and life.
briannelee said…
Wow, that is amazing! I don't understand the bit about the graduation announcement. The writing on the envelope was yours?
Alicia: How incredible! Truly seems like it was meant to be - all waiting there for you to come, claim, appreciate and even discover connections you didn't even know existed. Someone else might never have brought the same reverence and appreciation to what accumulated there.

Sorry to hear, as part of the story, that you lost a young child. That must have been devestating. We just never know what people are dealing with or have dealt with.

I have to tell you a little story. My daughter, the one who had a serious cancer operation last year (in her mid-thirties) is a saavy and sophisticated woman. She often checks out my blog. The other day she said: "I love to read the comments left on your blog. There are 3 people whose remarks I particularly look for, as they always seem quite wise and wonderful . . ." And one of the names she named was "Alicia". I couldn't agree more with her assessment. Now with more of your story I understand where all the wisdom and gentleness comes from.

Thanks Alicia.
amyg said…
That is a fantastic story. How nice to have a beautiful, meant-to-be-yours home that is so warm and comfortable. You are one lucky lady!
Kelly Muys Wood said…
What an insanely neat story! I can't believe that happened. Amazing. (By the way, I really like the arrangments of your wall hangings.)

Thanks for sharing this incredible story! WOW!

Renee Khan said…
Meant to be? I would definitely say so.

Love Renee xoxo
Snap said…
Wow! Goosebumps is right!
Barbara said…
Alicia, It's an eerie story for sure, but wonderful, too. You seem to have been the right person to inherit that house with all its memories. Almost as if it couldn't bear to give up its secrets to anyone but you.
I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter. Truly.
Hugs, Barbara
drollgirl said…
what an incredible story! things like this make you think about concept of fate. amazing!

and i am sorry to hear that you lost a daughter. i am so sorry about that and am at a loss for words.
Hello Lindello said…
Wow. Cool story! Your house looks so charming and inviting. Just how I imagined it to be!
Sarah said…
Alicia, that is just amazing beyond words! Talk about sychronicity! Wow I am speechless!! That never happens.....wow!! I just love this hon!! Wonderful amazing post!!! So glad you are there!!
Hugs, Sarah
VictorianCobweb said…
Oh my gosh you brought tears to my eyes! What a beautiful, amazing, story! I am speechless! The door opened and you walked thru.................you could have passed but you didn't! Thank you for sharing.
How fortunate are you to be able to live in this wonderful house..with so much of it's history...all around you. I love it!
What an incredible, inspiring, story. Your blog is always so meaningful . . . you really have somthing to say and you say it so eloquently and with such understanding. I am curious as to why she had your graduation invitation. That part kind is kind of eerie unless she knew your family.
littlebyrd said…
This was just the coolest and most interesting story. Wow! Thanks so much for sharing it.
Such a lovely+touching story...I also got some goosebump moments just by reading it, can't imagine how you had them... So sorry you lost your baby, my sister went through a similar experience as well... ps: you've made your home so full of lovely details & new memories I'm sure!

Oh my goodness, what a wonderful matching of people to a place. How fun to walk into someone else's treasure box & get to pick & choose what goes & what stays. Lucky, lucky.

(love the header)
Wanda said…
Wow! Unbelievable -- and yes, absolutely meant to be. What a treasure trove, too. I've always wanted to buy an old house with all the stuff still in there, but never allowed myself to dream *that* far. Heck, that much and finding thing related to me never even crossed my mind. You've set an impossible bar now. LOL

Just found your blog through another Twitter-er. I'll be following your blog and you on Twitter.
Liss said…
What a beautiful story that gave me goosebumps. I think this lady is smiling down from heaven at you.

You must really feel at home here.
Alisa said…
I am just stunned! What a crazy and amazing story. Definitely meant to be.
Sandra said…
One of those twilight zone moments! I too would have been in my element with this. How eerie and yet wonderful that this has happened in your life.
what a truly marvelous and touching story. it would have been pure nirvana for me too, to go through all those treasures! life takes us so many interesting places, doesn't it? :)
Delwyn said…
Hi Alicia

this is a wonderful story...I hope that you have written it all down so that when you pass the house on the record will pass on too...

your home looks very comfortable and tranquil...

Happy days
Delena said…

Wow what a beautiful heritage home. I love the archways and all the decor. My dad is an antique collector and someday I want to photograph some of his treasures. Your story is a very good example of how things are meant to be. It is amazing!
Des said…
Whoa, this is such a cool story. Thank you for sharing this.
Relyn said…
My goodness! This is the kind of thing that happens in books and movies. I loved hearing this. And knowing that it happens to real people. That it happened for you.
What an amazing story! Yes, this home was meant to be your home. Imagine how happy she is, wherever she is, knowing that her home is now your home. And no one would have cared so much for the things she found to be special as much as you have. I'd say it's definitely providence. (But I'm so very sorry to hear you lost a daughter years ago)
I forgot to tell you how beautiful your home is!
What an amazing story - you definitely were meant to live there....beautiful home.
Yolanda said…
What a wonderful story and such a beautiful home.
amy said…
what a great, beautiful story. and what a spectacular home!!!! i absolutely love it. has such an open feel, warm, inviting, creative. :)
Lexi Lewis said…
Wow Alicia! Thank you for sharing this with me! You are a very talented writer! I felt a little envious reading about all the treasures in your awesome house! I would have been in heaven as I too love to sort through old effects and imagine all the love and stories and history associated with each! I would love to move to the Midwest or back to my hometown in upstate New York and find a house like this to call my home.
You are such an amazing person! You inspire me :)

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