Saturday, April 23, 2011

Violetta Terhune from Lila Dare's Southern Beauty Shop Series

I had an offer to buy my house today, and you could have knocked me over with a feather. I've lived in this house since Eugene brought me here as a bride more years ago than I can count, and the thought of selling it has never crossed my mind. Grace and Alice Rose were conceived here and my Eugene died here one fine spring morning well before his time. I started my salon in this very kitchen with Althea Jenkins after he died and I managed to hold onto the house, even during the lean years when we subsisted on grits and black-eyed peas.




So, when a gentleman came inside this morning and made me an offer, it plumb took me aback. He and his wife fell in love with St. Elizabeth when they came down for a vacation, he said, and they've decided to move here from Michigan. Well, who could blame them for wanting to leave those brutal Michigan winters? They'd looked at all the houses for sale and hadn't found one to suit them. Then, walking through the neighborhood they spotted my place and knew it was their dream home.





When I told the gentleman I had no thought of selling, he upped his offer by a considerable margin. I never imagined having so much money. I could take what he's offering, buy myself a smaller place, maybe in Althea's neighborhood or down by the college, and retire if I were frugal which, Lord knows, I am. But I don't know if I'm ready to be retired; I'm only sixty--I've got plenty of good years left! And what about Grace? I know she's looking for her own house to buy, and lives in Mrs. Jones's converted garage, but she works here with me in the salon . . . what would she do if I sold up? I suppose I could continue to operate Violetta's and just let folks know we've moved . . .




I'm truly torn about this decision. So many of my most precious memories are tied up in this house, but am I being a sentimental old fool for turning down the opportunity to get financial security for me and the girls? Eugene used to say, "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth." What would you do?

10 comments:

  1. Hmm... I'd say be guided by your heart, or you won't be happy with the outcome. I've done things my head said were logical even as my heart protested, and it just doesn't work out. Happy is better than rich.

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  2. Violetta, I would stay put. You love that home, and I suspect it's worth much more than this couple is offering. Your business may not do as well somewhere else.

    When and if you ever do decide to sell the house, give other potential buyers a chance to bid on it. This couple sounds like they're bargain-hunting real estate speculators and hoping you'll fall for their story. Don't do it!

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  3. Tough one, Violette. But as you say, you're only 60 & going strong. Why not stay put! This won't be the last offer you get and maybe when you're ready, it will be an ever better one. If not, you will at least have enjoyed the time.

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  4. I know now memories are tied to a home. Stay put and keep on doing what you love!

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  5. It's a charming house. Is there another house you've had your eye on through the years? Stay put unless his offer is too good to refuse and you have an equally wonderful place for for the salon.

    ~ Krista

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  6. Sell the house to Grace and use the money for something smaller. You would both then still have your workplace.

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  7. Ladies, thank you so much for your advice. You're mostly telling me to do what I know I ought to: stay put! Liz, selling it to Grace is a peach of an idea, but she can't afford it. If I hold onto it, it'll be hers some day anyway . . .

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  8. I would stay put, especially since you're not ready to let it go.

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  9. The idea of moving is so emotional. We're thinking about it now, and our would only be a move to the next town. Staying put keeps you grounded in memories, but moving could be a fresh start and energizing. Tough decision.

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  10. Violetta, stay, stay, stay! I miss our old family homes, but the families thought they needed the money, and we couldn't afford to buy them at the time. I know my parents missed them, too, but they couldn't go back. You and Grace are so blessed. Also, I think Janet has something in her analysis od the buyer's motive!

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