Monday, February 6, 2017

A Writing Room & Other Loves

Hello dear friends! It's been a month today since we moved home to Tennessee and I wanted to tell you all how much I love, love, love our new home.

I hardly know where to start so will tell you about one room.

When our youngest son and his wife began looking for a house to buy for us to move back to, they looked at mid-century houses. We were all thinking of 1950s knotty pine paneled den and kitchen, a dream of mine to remind me of the house my parents built in 1956. But heavens to Betsy they were expensive. One contract fell through because of being in a flood zone with costly insurance.

In desperation at the end of a long day's house viewings, our son thought about settling for a newer, updated but characterless house. My daughter-in-law told him, "Your mom's soul would shrivel here." She knows me so well.

At almost the last day before he was to get completely immersed in a new major project at work he found this 1935 cottage with 2.4 acres.

It had plenty of the knotty pine I craved, not in the kitchen but in the big room we use as a living and dining room, a wide hall, and in two of the three bedrooms. Even the ceilings are gorgeous knotty pine, much of it in 11 inch wide boards.

One bedroom has become my office, or my Writing Room as I like to call it, even if little writing has yet been done there. It was the room we filled with boxes to be unpacked, but finally I cleared away enough space to declare myself in business.

See Otis there? He and Milo are always to be found in whatever room I'm in.

Now I have windows by my desk that truly remind me of my signature blog header. You probably noticed that I never changed my snow scene to one showing palm trees while we lived in Florida for nine months, didn't you? I bet some people wondered about snow for Dewena's Window while living at the beach but now we know it was always meant to be snow, don't we?

Here's a picture of that day on January 6th when we first pulled into our driveway back in Nashville, Tennessee.

One window in my Writing Room looks toward the pond--it's our neighbor's pond but he brought us a big pecan pie to welcome us and told us he hoped we would enjoy the view and go fishing anytime we want to.

 And the other window looks out on the front yard by one of many big holly bushes loaded with red berries.

Can you see the cute black and white toile curtains in a chandelier pattern? We bought all the other curtains for this house at Goodwill but I found these on Etsy at a very reasonable price of $10 a panel. Now I'm hoping we'll eventually find a small black iron chandelier for this room to replace the ceiling fan.

I wanted black and white toile fabric in this room to complement the two old 1947 lithographs of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's Au Cirque series that I've had for over 40 years.

Family photographs keep me company on the old green primitive drop leaf table that I use as a desk, because family is what it's all about.

We would never have been able to make two difficult moves in a nine months' period if it had not been for family. One son searched for, found and bought our house so we could move home, another son flew down to Florida and for two days helped RH load everything, and a third son and his wife and her sister worked all day here to make sure the house was spotless for moving day.

The actual move happened because our daughter drove me, Otis and Milo back in my car, our son-in-law drove a big 26 foot truck the whole way, and our son drove RH and his truck, pulling a trailer. We were a convoy leaving at 3 a.m. trying to beat the predicted snow storm in Atlanta and on Monteagle Mountain.

Everyone helped unload trucks in freezing temperatures including my sister's husband who also met the inspector here before the closing for the important house inspection, and RH's brother who helped RH build a bookshelf the other day for this room and is going to help him build pretty open shelving in the kitchen. 

Not only that but our youngest son, our landlord, came and helped his father install a new toilet--the old one was cute and cottagey but it was like sitting on a geyser. He also hung heavy mirrors, helped put shelving up in the laundry room and a closet, and helped his mom unpack box after box. 

Before we moved here he brought his family here to Nashville and installed a new dishwasher for me while our daughter-in-law taught our granddaughters how to pitch in and help too.

Are they not adorable? I feel like they blessed this house for their Mimi and Pawpaw.

My list could go on and on of sacrificial things everyone did for us. They are my heroes-- my main hero being RH who not only let me come home but has worked his butt off in the doing of it, and he didn't have much of a butt to begin with. 

Everyone made sure our homecoming was comfortable and welcoming.

Not the least bit prickly in any way!

God bless and keep them all, and each one of you, my patient sweet visitors here at Dewena's Window!


  1. Welcome home Dewena. I am so happy you are back where you truly want to be. I love the wood throughout your new house. Can't wait till you can post some pictures of the new property surroundings. Blessings to you and , DH, and the family. xoxo, Susie

  2. Oh my goodness! It's absolutely perfect. Not only the house, but the family that pitched in and helped. What true love you have!

  3. So good to see a post from you Dewena. Congrats on your lovely new home and for all of the loving help that went into getting you, RH and critters back home in TN. Bless your hearts.

    Your room is sweet and the pine walls and ceiling warm and inviting.

    Happy February ~ FlowerLady

  4. Oh Dewena!! I'm so glad to read this! Were your ears ringing today? I asked Poppy about you :).

    I have to admit I cracked up about R.H.'s butt. I joke with fisherman that we have the same butts now that we're older lol.

    You've made your cottage your own, and it's so 'you'. You are indeed blessed to have so many people who are willing and able to pitch in to help you. I know you appreciate having them in your life, and the photo of your grandchildren is precious!


  5. I'm so delighted for you, sweet Dewena!! I know you were not happy in FL, and now you have your wonderful family nearby and that sweet cottage to call your home - how perfect! Looking forward to watching the changes as you settle in!

  6. So happy for you, Dewena! It looks like the perfect place for you. Your children are a great blessing. It's good to hear from you again-looking forward to more posts!

  7. I can see that you are back and fully in your element! Love that house too!

  8. How is it possible that in exactly one month you have made this blessing of an abode your absolute haven of a home?! Well, your thoughtful and loving family obviously had A LOT to do with it; their generosity and devotion to making sure that you and R.H. make the smoothest transition possible to your charming, new cottage proved to be a success in so many ways. New friends bearing pies and ponds (!), certainly is the cherry on the cake - how perfectly sweet!

    It is not even necessary that every room is furnished and decorated yet, for the one that is, your pretty and precious writing room, so precisely represents your personality, your love of family, your love of pets, your passion for the written word, your appreciation for art and design and your need for peace and quiet. You have brought to life all the wonder and whimsy and delight of your OWN beautiful header and materialized it in your new residence. But then again, that snowy scene followed you around wherever you wandered, for it could not do otherwise, as it is the essence of your soul.

    Welcome home, Dewena! May you create new, magical memories to be remembered and cherished forever!

    Love you lots!
    P.S.: Your observation about your hubby's butt had me in stitches!:D)

  9. oh.
    I am just speechless at the joy in this post.
    the thanksgivingness of it.
    the writing room with your soul in it as poppy so eloquently said. the coziness that is you and the beauty that is you. it's already there in what you've done.
    this cottage is YOU. perhaps even more you than your beloved valley view. for this is all on one floor. and the love that moved you into it from your sons and daughter and their own loves ... and those darling little angels polishing the warmth back into the wooden walls. those jeans!!! how adorable are they!
    and RH's butt. my own has disappeared too! now if I could just get my belly to follow suit! LOLOL!
    welcome home darling sister mine. welcome home. XOXO♥

  10. YAY you are settling in ...I have kept checking in here and there looking for a new post.
    LOVE that it is what you wanted and that the room is perfect for you
    Granddaughters photo is just precious and priceless :)

  11. I adore Tennessee and what a delightful home.

  12. A very deep breath of contentment, Dewena. So very happy for you and the Mr. This was such an enjoyable catch up...lovely to see the two of you re-settled and happy.

  13. Congratulations! Your home is beautiful and I just love that it's been a family affair. Those babies are just precious! Enjoy them and you're new home!!

  14. This is so sweet. Love your new place and love that sweet family of yours. How adorable are those grands helping out 😘
    Happy for you 💕

  15. It's nice to see your post and catch up a bit. You've gotten a lot done in a month! But of course you've had help! heehee! Love that bookcase filled with books! Hugs!

  16. Welcome home, Dewena. Your writing room is so charming, and the little ones are darling cleaning those walls for you. I like those black and white curtains. Wow, you have such a big driveway going up to your house. How nice of your neighbor to bring you a pecan pie. You have lots to do, but I'm glad you're back home where it makes you happy.

    love, ~Sheri

  17. I have tears in my eyes reading about how your whole family helped you two get settled in. Your new home is such a blessing---you are truly HOME!

    You have a great writing really does resemble the picture on your header. I look forward to reading a lot of posts from you once you are really settled, my friend!

    Jane x

  18. I am just thrilled for y'all! Home at last! Sound like the hard part is y'all can relax, and unpack and settle in and decorate as quickly or as slowly as you feel like. Love those pretty curtains! Enjoy your new home and please show us lots of pictures when you can okay? Looking forward to all your adventures at your new place!

  19. This makes me cry tears of joy. Such a beautiful story of love. Your family is amazing... usually happens with amazing parents. ;) So. much. love! And, my very favorite part was: "In desperation at the end of a long day's house viewings, our son thought about settling for a newer, updated but characterless house. My daughter-in-law told him, 'Your mom's soul would shrivel here.' She knows me so well." Be still my heart. SOOOOO happy for you, Deweena! blessings ~ tanna

  20. Oh Dewena! I am absolutely thrilled for you that it all worked out so wonderfully. I love what you've done so far--it's so homey and sweet and looks as though you've lived there a long time. I can't wait to see more and again, I'm so happy for you! Blessings, Debra

  21. It is so good to hear from you again...and your happiness just flows from the page! I am so happy for you that you all found THE perfect home, and on lots of land, to boot. I also love that your family came together and was such a huge help. Your Writing Room is just perfect, especially with the desk by the window. Can't wait to see the new open shelving in your kitchen - lucky you! That's what I've been wanting. Someday. :-)

  22. I am so happy you are moved and loving your new can feel your happiness and love for your family and they for you. Love the curtains and can't believe you got them for $10 a panel...gosh the material would cost that. Love you writing spot and I just created one for myself.

  23. So happy you're back where your heart longed to be. Your granddaughters are so precious. No wonder you couldn't stand being away from them. I love the knotty pine and I'm glad you're keeping it as it is. It's so warm and homey; in beautiful condition. The black and white decor is lovely. I had a black and white lamp that I sold a while back that would have looked perfect in your room. The fabric shade was very similar to the pattern in your curtains. Looking forward to many more heartwarming posts from you, Dewena. Hugs.

  24. Oh Dewena, I too have joyful tears in my eyes for you.
    It was so lovely to read your post and see all of your photographs.
    Your two grand-daughters - just so sweet and adorable.

    I'm wishing you, and RH, every happiness in your new home.

    All the best Jan

    PS If I were nearer I would have baked you a welcome to your new home cake ...

  25. This is THE BEST posting!! I am so happy for you - for your beautiful new home, and for your wonderful family. You are all so lucky to have each other. I look forward to many of your writings, and am pleased to be able to picture you at your lovely desk.

  26. Oh Dewena, this sounds just wonderful. I'm so happy for you. I'm so glad your son listened to his wife about the modern character-less house. And what a blessing to get all that help from your family. And a writing room, too! Just perfect. Oh, so much better that your home fits your header! xo Deborah

  27. I've been dropping by to see if you were back 'home in Nashville'! You don't find adult children like yours everyday. You make 'em, raise 'em, nourish and love 'em. You got it back in spades and it's a story your grandchildren will tell!

  28. SO happy for you, Dewena. Your new writing room looks absolutely lovely. Every bit of it says HOME to me. LOVE the black and white. How special to have such caring children and yes, family makes all the difference. Many blessings to you and your new home, dear friend.

  29. I'm so happy for you, dear Dewena. It must be nice to be at home after all your adventures.

  30. Dewena, I know you are so happy to be back home in TN! How exciting for you and how wonderful that the entire family pitched in to help. You are so right, family IS what it is all about! I love your writing space and those curtains are so pretty! I'm so glad you are happy and seeing your photos make me miss TN that much more! Love and hugs to you sweet friend! So looking forward to more pics!

  31. Welcome home, Dewena! Your heart must be full to have such wonderful children! From one toile lover to another, I love those touches in your cozy writing room. It looks like a wonderful space to help those words flow. Wishing you and RH many happy years in your new home!

  32. Wow! The lithographs are lovely. I've seen some of his works in the Musee d'Orsay. Your writing room is amazingly beautiful! How lucky to have family help you move into your new home. xoxo Su

  33. What a joyful post! Your cottage looks so comfortable and pretty. I like your decorating touches. I am amazed at how quickly you were able to move, of course thanks to your family. Because of my husband’s Alzheimer our younger daughter who lives in Brentwood, TN, wished for us to move closer. We already bought a bungalow in Nashville (about 1 mile from Vanderbilt U) several months ago, but have not moved yet. Being a caregiver for my husband 24/7 and having no help here it is slow clearing out 40 years of accumulation in our house here in GA, but I have hope we might move in the spring or summer. What part of Nashville did you move to? Nashville is considered a top city to move to I just read. All my best wishes to y’all in your new home.

  34. Hello my friend.
    It looks lovely. And I love the photos of the sweethearts helping.
    xx oo
    Home Sweet Home prayers to you,

  35. Wow! I have missed a lot. To Florida and back to Tennessee? I'm glad you are back in God's country and glad I found the right thread again. Happy Valentine's Day!!

  36. You've certainly been through a lot since I've been gone, my sweet friend. I read up on every detail and the minute I saw pictures of you in Florida, I knew it wasn't the place for you. I'm so thrilled you're going to be living in your sweet 1930s cottage, back in Tennessee, where you belong! I love that room of yours and it makes me want to see more.

    I've missed you!

  37. I am so glad for you, and very much enjoyed seeing your new place with the knotty pine and the lovely landscape. Your Writing Room looks so inviting and I hope you find it very conducive to your craft. God bless you!