Rebecca and I decided a few weeks ago, that perhaps the time was right that we should try to sell our house that we have lived in for many years…  almost 40 years for me, as we moved in with Rebecca’s Mother in the late 70’s, and nearly 65 years for Rebecca, as she literally grew up in this house from about age 4 or 5 on, and to try to move away from the burdensome taxation of our lifelong hometown of Greenwood, and “up the hill” to the East, out of our beloved Mississippi Delta, to a place with a quieter and slower pace, Carrollton, MS, and to build a small retirement cottage, where we could enjoy a downsized home, more energy efficient, and hopefully no more house payment!  She will likely be retiring in another year or so from the Leflore County Court House, where she works as a tax clerk in the Tax Collectors office, and I already retired in 2011, after nearly 28 years with Baldwin Piano and Organ Co., as their Director of Product Design.

This has been a big decision for us, one that we have been contemplating for a year or two, and now we have taken the plunge, in a leap of faith from the end of the high board.  We hope that someone thought to put water in the pool for us.  It has not been an easy decision, especially for Rebecca, who obviously has known only this house as her home for virtually her entire life. To say that she loves this house does not even come close. I jokingly tell people that she loves this house WAY more than she loves me, and I am not always sure that it is a joke.  This home is her soul, and for those of you that know her well, you know that is true, and every inch of it reflects her personality and love for every thing in it. Go easy on her until this deal is done!

I try to remain more practical about it, passing myself off as not such a romantic, more of a logical realist, but I have to admit that it is certainly more than a collection of boards, shingles, paint, wallpaper, floors and carpets, and assorted furniture and appliances, and all the other things that make it a home…   the personal furnishings, photographs, portraits of the kids, books, all of that. But it is even more, of course… the memories of 40 years of raising a family, not just our kids, but the other family members that shared this home, her Mother and Dad, brother, sister, aunt, Grandmother, and of course the neighbors and friends that were in and out through the years.   It is hard to just walk away from all that. But we have reached that point where we must move to another phase, and prepare for a smaller, quieter place, to better deal with the onset of old age. I’ll be 72 next month, and while I have had some health problems, I am still able to get around pretty well, and want to begin to prepare for the days when that may no longer be the case.  Rebecca is 3 years behind me, so we need to lose things like the 2nd story and the stairs, a big yard, fat electric and gas bills, etc., etc. You know the story. Did I already mention DOWNSIZE ???

And as Rebecca has already mentioned somewhere,  none of this STUFF will be going with us, to our heavenly home (if we get there).  Once the house is sold, we will decide what we plan to take with us to the new cottage we will build, and then call the 3 kids to come “get what you want”, and hope that a 3-way fist fight doesn’t break out.  After that, let the estate sale begin.

As we have no idea where or when we will find a lot, it is likely that if the house sells before we have a place, we will have to rent a travel trailer, or move in with some VERY lucky friends for a few months, or who knows what ???   We trust in the Lord to lead us in the right path, to accomplish our goal.

Rebecca has a house plan in mind, one that she spotted in the June 2017 issue of Southern Living magazine.  It was featured as an 800 sq. ft. cottage, very southern and stylish, but also a VERY SMALL 800 sq. ft..  I reworked the plans a bit to come up with 1145 sq/ ft., and hopefully it will be just perfect for us, if we can find a place to put it.  Stay tuned…

All of this is going to be hard for us over the next 12 to 18 months, but we are confident that it is the right choice for us, and this point in our lives.  We want to be centrally located in the middle of our three kids’ families, so that we can still see all three sets of grand kids on a regular basis, and also have a place they can come visit us as well, albeit smaller than before.  We will trust in God to guide us, and we want to remain close to our new church, Westminster Presbyterian, where we landed a couple of years ago, and are SO HAPPY there.

There will be difficult times I’m sure, but we will, as William Faulkner once said in Stockholm, we will “not only endure, we will prevail”.

If you are looking for a really good deal on a house, here’s the link to that….


and here’s a picture of the retirement cottage we want to build:


New House 01


And if you have a lot in Carrollton you want to sell CHEAP, contact me RIGHT NOW !  LOL

I have though about this a good bit in the last several days, since we took the plunge, and listed the house with a realtor, and “made it official”. I know I should feel sad, or melancholy, and I do to a certain extent, but I always try to have a positive outlook. It’s something I have tried to teach my three kids. Sometimes it’s hard to maintain that outlook, when troubles pile up, like losing your mainstream income you had back in the day, when you had a great job with a great company, or starting to feel your age, I mean REALLY feel it, and knowing it’s not likely to get better as time goes by.  But I still try to be an optimist, and look for the good in every situation. Might as well, no sense in courting troubles.

This for me, and I’m sure Rebecca as well, is what moving on is about for us now. We have done the best we could in our primary purpose on this Earth, to raise and nurture these three children, from infants to small children to teenagers to young adults, and seen them fall in love and get married, and have children of their own…. our grand children., 9 of them (so far), and in doing so, opening yet another door for us into perhaps the best chapter yet of our lives, grand parents. On the downside of the hill for sure, but still fortunate to be able to enjoy it all, and savor it

The rest of my life can be without a doubt the best part of all, if I will just let it in, and really enjoy it. Rebecca and I have been SO RICHLY BLESSED, no question about that, and I intend to embrace what future we have on this old Earth, and to prepare for the next step beyond, if we are that fortunate. In closing, I want to share something I have thought about a few times in my life, as my kids have been growing up. I think it says something about how we should look at life, and how we can see the good in all things and all people…

James Taylor, one of my very favorite singers and songwriters, once wrote a tune called “NEVER DIE YOUNG”, back in the late 80’s after he had courageously conquered a heroin addiction that nearly killed him, and went on to build a fantastic musical career.  In it, he talked about a young couple, growing up in a small town, who seemed destined to excel and succeed, and rise to far greater heights than could be expected in such a small town environment, and in spite of everyone’s jealousy that they would obviously do so.  This song always reminded me of our three kids as they grew up, and Rebecca and my hopes and dreams for them, that they too would far exceed our expectations (which they did, I should add, much to our delight and satisfaction – I know every parent hopes their children will far surpass what they as parents could ever attain). Anyway, these words comes to mind from that song, and I always think of our 3, both individually and also collectively, when I hear this part, towards the end of the song, when it has become obvious that this couple, who JT refers to as “our golden ones” are destined to move on from their small town beginnings, and on to who knows what heights of greatness, and what lofty places in this world…..

“I guess it had to happen someday soon, wasn’t nothing to hold them down,

They would rise from among us like a big balloon, take the sky, forsake the ground.

Oh yes, other hearts were broken, yeah, other dreams ran dry,

But our golden ones, sail on, sail on, to another land beneath another sky.

(yes, other hearts were broken, yeah, other dreams ran dry

Let our golden ones sail on, sail on, to another land beneath another sky”.


Here’s a YouTube link, if you want to listen… it’s a really sweet song about life and living it.




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  1. Judy Juchheim Smith says:

    Good Luck Joe and Rebecca! My husband Mike and I are contemplating the same thing though we have only been in this house for 25 years. its a hard decision to make and I understand the “pull” a house can have on you. We’ll be in Greenwood and Carrollton in October and hope to see y’all in one or the other places!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Joe…so enjoyed seeing you and Rebecca in September. Keep us informed as your plans progress.

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