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A Forever House {The Tale of a Telescope}

by | Mar 30, 2015 | Decorating Inspiration, my house | 27 comments

A Forever House {The Tale of a Telescope}

I‘ve always had a dream to live in forever house. But that desire was often in conflict with my dreams to find the perfect house first. I’m a crazy house lover, you probably have gathered that by now.

A few months ago, my parents sold our family beach house. It was in our family for most of my kids’ lives and we had the joy of spending nearly every spring, summer and winter vacation we could there in that house on the Oregon coast. We thought it would be our forever family home. Due to various circumstances, the time came for my parents to sell it and move on.

A Forever House {The Tale of a Telescope}

We were very sad to see the beach house go, but one of the little treasures we received from that house is the brass telescope. Our kids used to look for whales with it. They would often see an object way out in the ocean and get so excited because they were certain it was some sort of sea creature! Usually upon looking through the telescope they discovered that the whale shapes were actually rocks, but nevertheless, it was fun to be able to imagine they were WHALES!

I love having that telescope in our family room now. Not only because of the special memories of it in the beach house, but because I think it has a deeper symbolism of where home and happiness is, how we search for it and where we find it.

A Forever House {The Tale of a Telescope}

Moving has been a regular part of our life, for better for worse, it happens! The experience of moving can be anywhere on the spectrum from a joy-filled journey to a sad and exhausting one. So many emotions surrounding finding our homes, right?

It was really hard to leave behind our house and life in Portland six years ago. It was really hard to move here, not know anyone and start a church. Yet, there was a certain amount of excitement about the new home, new beginnings and opportunities.

It was very hard to say goodbye to the beach house a few months ago, yet what a blessing to have had it for so many years! The memories will always be with us, so it served us well.

Transitions and moving to new places can be hard. Letting go of a home we loved and created memories in is never easy, even if moving is a positive step. Yet staying in one place when we wish we could move on to other adventures can be discouraging, too!

Moving to a new place can also be one of the most thrilling times in life. It’s fun to dream and it can be pretty exciting when you start to see new beginnings take shape on the horizon!

But if we only look at our home and life through a long range telescope, either looking back to what used to be, or only looking way out ahead to what could be if or when we have more ideal circumstances, it’s easy to miss out on cherishing what is right here and now.

Things can get a little fuzzy when we are constantly trying to adjust our perspective, but it makes all the difference when you start looking through the appropriate lens for the right point of view. Looking back can help us to learn lessons so we can make better decisions going forward. Dreaming of possibilities can help bring clarity and focus, if we keep our hearts grounded in what really matters right here and now. And if you are like me, you MIGHT keep a pair of binoculars in your car JUST IN CASE you spot your dream house behind a hedge on a drive by in your favorite neighborhood. :)A Forever House {The Tale of a Telescope}

I still think a forever house would be wonderful, even if it is humble, but sometimes life throws you for a loop and before you know it, a new adventure is on the horizon. But that’s the great thing about a home. It’s always a part of you, wherever you go.

Our home will shape and transform our life for the better if we love it well, whether it’s our forever home or it’s a temporary dwelling we will always remember.

I’m SO excited to share my new book with you all tomorrow as it is finally released into the world! (You can preorder and it could even arrive tomorrow!!) I will have fun surprises for you, an opportunity to share your love for your home and some great home inspiration from some of my blogging friends all lined up, so see ya here tomorrow?

A Forever House {The Tale of a Telescope}

Let’s have a virtual book launch party! I’ll bring the cookies and brew the coffee! PS. If you signed up to help with book promotion, I’ll be inviting the team to the FB group today!

Meanwhile, let’s discuss how we feel about moving! The good, the bad, the ugly and the adventure of it all. Tell me your house hunting adventures or moving stories in the comments! <3

(And before you go, have you checked out Home Love Stories yet? It’s like our own personal international house hunters–so many fun stories, homes and people over there from all over the world. Come join us!)


  1. Missie

    Hi Melissa,
    I can’t let this moment pass without thanking you for your ‘tale of the telescope’ today, of all days, when I’ll be soon heading to work to resign from ‘my forever job’ of 14 years. Although I know your story is centered around ‘a forever house’, it certainly holds wisdom that applies in many areas, and touched my heart today.
    Best wishes on your book release!
    Kindest regards,

  2. Ms. Maggie

    Guess nothing is forever, but only temporarily long enough. With our PNW beach house, we hope it will continue in the family too. But we know that circumstances of job and growing family concerns might make that impossible. With interest, I read your 2010 notes on the PNW family compound since that was when we got our place in the wild. I carefully looked over ever inch of those photos and replicated that warm but simple vibe. Tell them thanks for the help and best to them in the future. Now the family will have to make new memories somewhere else even if by Skype!!!

  3. Jennifer

    Congrats on your new book! How exciting! I can’t say I’ve ever dreamed of a forever home, but it’s hard to leave a home you’ve poured your heart and soul into making your own. It took me years to move on from my last house despite knowing our current home fits us so much better. I can finally look back on our small Victorian cottage with good memories similar to the ones from a great vacation. It’s sweet instead of bittersweet now.

  4. Stephanie

    We too had a family beach house. Ours was down the Jersey Shore. It was the home of my husband’s parents. When they passed the house had to be sold, just last spring. We spent summer vacations there, a house overflowing with cousins; first toddlers then teenagers and finally adults.
    We don’t have a telescope but I do have my father-in-law’s binoculars. I sometimes use them to spy on the deer in the backyard here in Buffalo. Some days when I close my eyes I can even see the ocean.

  5. Shelly

    No stranger to moving here! My dad was in the marines while I was growing up so my family moved a lot! Funny while most of the homes we lived in were on base and certainly not our choice, every single place still felt like home and lives on in my heart with the memories of the times we had there. Now that I’m grown, with three young children of my own we’re living in my husband’s mother’so childhood home and have been here for seven years! It’s the longest I’ve ever lived in a single place and I love it. It’s been fun turning this old farmhouse into a place for our family to grow. Every time I change something around here I worry my mother in law will be upset I’m changing her childhood home but she loves everything I do and has enjoyed seeing her old house get all the love it deserves again. In so many ways I hope we stay here forever, it’s such a special place and we’ve poured so much love and hard work into it….on the other hand I’m a house lover too and find myself dreaming of a new place to love! The struggles of being a house lover!!!

  6. Lisa

    I just love your style! We sold our family home last year (and are currently renting) to begin a journey of exploring places for our next chapter. Our son has one more year of college, then he plans to move west. Our daughter is already out west attending medical school. We are thinking of being nomads for a while (Arizona for a while, then maybe Florida?), but I’m already missing having a home base. Did you ever feel that way while renting, or did you always plan on buying that rental?

  7. Tina

    This is very timely for me! We close on a new house TODAY!!! Moving from a house we have lived in for 23 years and watched our children grow up in is not easy, but I know downsizing is the best thing for us and I’m looking forward to a new adventure.

  8. Heather Bivins

    I just got the notification from Amazon that your book shipped! Yay! I love this post. We just listed our current house and are on the hunt for our forever (hopefully!) house. I’m looking forward to the adventure!

  9. Marsha

    Your post reminded me of our family farm in Mississippi. It was where my father’s parents lived and raised 7 children. We would travel there for summer vacation. I will never forget the excitement or the sound of driving down that dirt road and seeing the old farmhouse with it’s well for water, the tree swing, my grandmothers garden, the cotton fields and the barns.
    My favorite place in the house was the front porch where all kinds of mismatched rocking chairs lined up just waiting for us to take a seat and share our family stories. We would shell peas, husk corn and sip sweet tea. When my grandparents passed away my uncle bought it to keep it in the family. We would have family reunions there. Although I only spent a few weeks there over the years I felt such a strong connection to that farm Sadly after he passed on the farm was sold. But I kept the butter churn and it sits in a corner of my kitchen.
    That butter churn reminds me everyday of how hard work can produce a wonderful result. Not only did she make delicious butter but my grandmother would sell the butter during the depression to bring in a little money for the family.
    Thanks for bring back those memories. I am looking at the butter churn right now.

  10. Anne B

    This is a timely post. My husband and I have been contemplating a relocation to FL from MI. Moving that far right now doesn’t seem like it will be good so I have dug into your website and will concentrate on making our home the dream home for NOW. I am excited to declutter and make our house work better for us. FL will still be there in the future. Will your book be available in local stores tomorrow? We are leaving Wed & I would love to pick up a copy to enjoy on our relaxing get away.

    • Ann C

      I think most of us Michiganders dream of moving to Florida, if not forever, atleast for the winters! But family and friends are here and I just can’t imagine life without them near. Good luck with whatever decision you make.

  11. Jann from Newton Custom Interiors

    Melissa, I love this post too. My dad’s side of the family has owned a lake cottage together that was my grandparent’s. There are a lot of changes going on in the family, and I’m afraid that soon the cottage will have to be sold. It will be very sad, but the whole family has so many wonderful memories of spending summer days there. I’m in the middle of reading your book, and I’m really enjoying it!

  12. Diva Kreszl

    So excite to have pre ordered my copy…can’t wait it dig in!

  13. Wendy

    Your post today was very timely. My husband and I are preparing our home to put it up for sale. We are downsizing now that our youngest is finishing high school. We are also planning a move that is closer to family but is in an area where we will get MUCH less house for our money than where we presently live. I have found myself having so many emotions – I go from feeling excitement at the new possibilities to fear that I am making the wrong decision. Your words have helped me look at my new home (whatever it may be) in a different light. I will try to keep the perspective of “loving it well” and making it my own, even if it doesn’t meet all my wishes for my dream “forever” home. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  14. karen on Bainbridge Island

    I am currently living in my dream home, but it will not be my last home. It’s big, by design and intent, but as we get just a wee bit older we know a smaller, single story house is practical.

    But practicality will not be sacrificed to design, beauty, comfort. I loved building our current home from the foundation up, and hope to do it again with the next (and most likely, last) home. It’s a labor of love, emphasis on the labor, but it’s also such a sight to behold…your vision and dream come true.

    You are so right about home being where the heart is. Life is really all about change…..reimagining, rearranging, redirecting, replacing, realigning. Your book is all about loving where you are and if your loved ones are near, you really are in the home where you should be.

  15. Clever Girl Reviews

    I had to move from Portland after choosing it for my forever home. My husband joined the military when the economy was bad. I miss it so much!

  16. Jan

    What an inspiring, thought-provoking article. Thanks so much for putting our past, present, and future into graceful perspective. I’m reminded of the Bible verse that says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” It’s humbling to admit that I’ve wasted countless hours longing for the past, plotting the future, or otherwise day dreaming of how to change my circumstances. I’m thankful God didn’t give up on me, but is patiently teaching me about gratitude, serving others, and making each day count for good, even if only sharing a smile or offering a word of encouragement. Thanks again for your post!

  17. Kay

    I am enjoying this series of Love your Home. I will be moving very soon, and this excites me to think I can create a home of joy and peace. I think you live not far from me and would like to know the name of your church. I will be moving to Silverdale from Poulsbo.

  18. SimpLeigh Organized

    We are currently living in a home I thought would be our forever home. We have created so many wonderful memories here, but I know we will have to downsize once the kids leave. That will be very hard for me because I am a very sentimental person. Your post allowed me to realize that I must cherish the memories, enjoy the present, and embrace a new beginning when it comes. Much success with your new book!

  19. Ann C

    I so enjoyed the story about the telescope. Houses, loves, friends, they all come into our lives to serve a purpose, or to teach us something. Am anxiously awaiting your book.

  20. Seng

    First off, congrats on the new book. How exciting!!!

    My dreams are made of finding a “forever home” that I’ve dolled up and made my own. All the work I put in to finding the perfect chair, the perfect wall paint….it really doesn’t matter…its the people who live and visit with you. This is what my husband tells me all the time – when he’s trying to tell me he wants in the future to downsize during retirement :-)


  21. Carol B

    I loved reading your story about the telescope and all the memories. We have a cottage on a lake that holds lots of memories for us, too. But taking care of the cottage and a huge house got to be too much. Rather than sell the cottage, we sold our house, of 40+ years, 2 years ago and downsized to a condo. My husband really dislikes change and he had a hard time with the move. Bottom line, he’s told me this is it for him, so it could be our forever home. I’m looking forward to reading your book because this is the house that we will love! I’m still in the process of turning this new house into our home.

  22. Meghan

    What a sweet share! Moving is bittersweet and one of the hardest things to do; letting go of a home you put your heart and soul into. Just like everything in life, it makes us realize that nothing is actually ours and that every gift we have is worth cherishing while its in our life. Love this post :)

  23. Abbi

    I too like the idea of a forever house (and don’t care much for moving). I thought we had one though I knew it had it’s faults but my husband did really desire something else so last year we sold that house and then built a new one. The plan is that this will be our forever house but we will see what God has in store for us. :-) Though I hated to leave the old one I do feel incredibly blessed in our new one. We are enjoying life on the shore of the Mississippi and we have more room (inside and out) than we did before.

  24. Vicky

    This is very timely. My mom is very strongly considering selling her winter home in Florida. My sister and I and families have enjoyed many vacations there and hoped to spend more time there some day. I have already accepted the idea and know that there will be other opportunities for family in the future. I know that you have certainly arrived at the same conclusion.

  25. Susan Wagner

    Hello, We are at the Oregon Coast right now on a mini vacation! Came across your blog in life:beautiful magazine sitting on the coffee table. As a child I moved about 20 times and never had a forever home. We were homeless at times living in campers, friends yards and everywhere in between.My husband and I moved our blended family to Oregon 10 years ago and into our forever log home on 5 acre complete with horses and abundant deer. Kids have grown up there, tons of memories and thoughts of grandkids running around. And then God started stirring my husbands heart to move and simplify life..A small cabin in the woods to be specific.I was so grieved and resistant. But God has been patient with me, helping me to trust and surrender. After 1 & 1/2 years my heart has fully let go and I am trusting God and my husband’s guidance. A few weeks ago my husband came across 40 acres of land we have fallen in love with. Never would I have believed there would be something we loved better than our log home and our family memories. All the while the scripture “Dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness” kept appearing in my time with God. It taught me to love my home no matter where or what it is. And to surrender and trust God with everything. He has a perfect love for me. Thank you!

  26. Melyssa R

    Your book just came in the mail today! I can’t wait to sit down this evening and flip through it. Through unforeseen circumstances we have had to move 3 times in 4 years, and have bought 3 homes during that time. My current home will not hopefully be our forever home, or at least until retirement years. I’ve been here a year but it still doesn’t feel settled so maybe your book will get me inspired. It’s just that all that moving and setting up house multiple times burned me out!


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