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?