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Tuesday, 7 September 2010

A Bungalow Near The Beach

We are downsizing: selling our charming, spacious home that is surrounded by green rolling hills on the outskirts of town and moving to a city approximately three hours away into a much smaller bungalow within walking distance of the ocean. (All to fulfill my dream of being a beach bum you see, I stop at nothing...;)

For four years, this house has been a home to us. It's been exactly what we needed and for the most part we have loved it here. It's a good house, a home in which I've felt secure and safe and at ease. It was a wreck when we bought it and we've made it lovely and inviting, colorful and peaceful. I've lovingly planted every single flower in the garden.

At first it offered us a haven from pain and the privacy we needed to work through our hurt and disbelief at how different God's plans were for us than our own. It became a home we poured our energy, excitement, sadness, and love into. A place of privacy and of healing. I admit to an overactive imagination, but I always have felt that houses have their own life, apart from us. And this one seemed to be like a gentle grandmother, wrapping soft loving arms around me. A place to curl up and hide when I needed to. There have been several times when I've caught myself saying "Don't worry, we'll take care of you..." to this house. :) It's been a good home and we have had many very happy times here with friends and family but I suppose when all is said and done, it is just a home and it's time for us to move on now and live and laugh within other walls.

We are happy and excited to move as well! There is a wonderful sense of newness and fresh beginnings in a move and we are excited to see what this one has in store for us. Perhaps less privacy than we have out here in the boonies, that's ok, we're ready for that and welcome it. A smaller space but that's also ok, there's something in me that finds it a bit funny and fantastic to be downsizing before we turn 30!:) The excitement of renovating the new house to suit us and the pleasure in meeting new friends to add to the old.

We have a perfect mix of convenience and privacy where we are's right in town, near the town center and in a peaceful and child friendly neighborhood and yet directly across from our home is a forest filled with beautiful walking paths that almost all lead right to the ocean. It will be good.

I know though too that it is always slightly bittersweet. I've lived in Rogaland since I came to Norway six years ago and there are many people I love and care for here. I've been blessed with a job for the past five years that has suited me perfectly in an English kindergarten with staff from all over the world and I have had fun there. We have also been able to attend an English mass in Stavanger each Sunday which is also a very international environment which I love. I can't help it, I'm's just in me to love multiculturalism. ;)

But it's all good. I think the blessing is to be able to recognize and appreciate how good we actually have always had it here but also to anticipate and realize that life is full of goodness, good things and good people are everywhere.

We are very adaptable. And since life and circumstance are constantly changing, I thank God for that.

So please, wish us well and if you're ever in Mandal, do come by and we can drink tea from my huge stash and look for shells on the beach. :)


Mariannes blogg said...

Lykke til med flytting!
Du skriver så vakkert <3, så jeg
får nesten lyst til å pakke sakene våre her og flytte på oss. Og så lurer jeg på hvem huset vårt er;))
Jeg kommer gjerne på en kopp te, så jeg skal rope ut hvis jeg noen gang er i Manndal:))
Alle gode ønsker:)

Mats said...

Lykke til med flyttingen - godt at ditt hjem på internett holder seg der det er .. fint å stikke innom deg med jevne mellomrom.. :)

Haircutgirl said...

How exciting! Good luck with your move. Even when there's nothing wrong with my life, I do love a fresh start.

Life with Kaishon said...

I am excited for you. You are so right. Very bittersweet.

Will keep you in my prayers. I know you will excel wherever you go.

Janet said...

Cool! I'm so happy for you guys :o) ...although, I must say, I think it's a bit of an odd thing to downsize since your family is growing.

I do understand the need to move though. With new beginnings you want, and often need, a fresh place to start out of.

I absolutely agree with you! Houses do have their own life. It's like the older they are the more they have to give. I often stop and wonder what these walls have seen and experienced before me and what they will after I'm gone.

Well congratulations and I truly hope you find your heart's content in this new place :D

Love you guys!

Ine said...

Congrats on your new home! I have family in Kristiansand, next time we visit them we will definitely make a trip to see you guys, although I drink coffee, not tea. ;)

Colleen: said...

Takk for kommentar Marianne! Jeg håper at dere få besøker Mandal (og meg:)... en kopp te venter! Takk for gode ønsker! :)
Takk Mats! Vi ser frem til det!:)
I'm the same Carmody, fresh starts are just so invigorating!
Thanks very much Becky, that means a lot and I appreciate it!
Thank you my dear Janet! I too hope that we find contentment here and I think we will! As for the downsizing business, we are just kind of odd. *shrugs shoulders* ;) Love you too.
Ine that is SO cool that you have family near there!! Please, please do call me if you ever are down for a visit! And don't worry, I drink a lot of coffee too...tea is just so fun to collect!;)

Michael Khatcherian said...

Thanks for sharing that with us Colleen. It is beautiful and I have already painted a house in my flow of thoughts. I hope you will be able to post some photos and we are all sure that St Svithun's parish will always stay your family home

Anonymous said...

I actually guessed from your description before you mentioned the name that your destination would be Mandal. My father was from Mandal, so we were there a lot during my childhood to visit relatives. It's a good few years since my last visit, though.

Mandal is, as you know, very idyllic, so if you are going to live right in town, it's not a bad town to be living in. Sjøsanden should suit you well. And it's not that far to Mass in Kristiansand. :-)

Felisol said...

Dear Colleen,
Good luck with moving to pretty Mandal. It will be a good place for William to settle down and make friends. I guess it's less windy, warmer in Mandal, even though its situated by the sea as well as was Stavanger.
I'm writing this from the wild, roaring sea of South Jaeren. We are here just for a couple of days. Its my mother's birth town and I feel partly rooted here.
Just had to grab the day before the rain and the darkness come.
September is definitely lat days of summer.
God bless your coming and going from now and always.
From Felisol

Lori said...

I am really excited for you! I know it means downsizing but I am all for simplifying our lives...and as far as following our dreams..such as yours to live my the a beautiful thing.

Sometimes, I think we hang on to tightly to things that have served their time. They have served their perfect purpose and for one reason or another(and sometimes we may never understand or know the reasons)it is time for us to move on. Sadly, most of us cling to what is familiar out of fear or not knowing how to let go.

Many of us hang on to a house that we've made a home because of the memories we have made there. Yes, having a place to call home is wonderful but really any place that we are with those we love is home.

I agree with you about houses having their own lives. I also believe that when it's our time to move on, we need to listen to that.

I believe that goodness awaits you and yours. I think it is awesome that you and yours are open to it. There are beautiful people and experiences awaiting you. I am excited to hear about all of these.

Blessings to you and yours as you make this move. XX

PS I may just be a little bit jealous as it has always been a dream of mine to live near the ocean. :)

Angela said...

I will be over as soon as I

How absolutely wonderful...a dream of mine also for most of my life. To live close to the water...I've been reading a few of your posts and have to share with you that I LOVE your writings, love how you pour out your heart, for it truly does minister to mine. Your such a blessing little sis...((hugs)) Thank you for sharing with us, and for being so open and honest.

Anonymous said...

Hey, that`s cool, Colleen. I`m looking forward to you guys. It`s so exciting to make a brand new beginning and sometimes you need it. It´s the right time then.
Love and good luck,
PS: When do you move?

Colleen: said...

Thank you very much Michael, it has been such a blessing to have such a good parish home and I am so grateful for the generous-hearted people I have met there. The Church is always home and those in it family. God bless.
Kirsten if you are ever there visiting your relatives, please let me know! And yes, mass in Kristiansand it shall be for us. I will just have to learn the Norwegian mass. Wish me luck.:)
Thank you Felisol. Yes I can feel the cooler breath of fall in the air as well...have a wonderful stay in South Jæren.
Lori, thank you Sweetie! I so appreciate your comment and all the thought and encouragement you poured into it! It really lifted my spirits and made me smile and nod in agreement in several places.:)
Angela, just come on by whenever you like.:) Thank you for the compliments, they are so encouraging.
Hi Marlies, we arenæt exactly sure when we'll move yet...we take the house over on the 25th of Sept. but we still have to sort things out with this one so please wish us luck!:) Yes, it is a good time to move and make changes! Hope to see you there one day!:)

Crown of Beauty said...

Dear Colleen,
I have just gotten back to my home city and beginning to visit my blog friends again.

Your move sounds so exciting, although there will be pain in the leaving. But you used the right word, bittersweet.

A forest and a beach, what better combination could there be? And a new parish that welcomes you already, you surely are in good hands.

Appreciate reading this post, as I also appreciate getting to know you more with every post I read.