Having to Move From Our Dream House


We built our dream house in the peace and serenity of Old Snowmass, designing it to perfectly fit our family and it is sad that we will have to let go.

I got a chill the other evening when I drove into our driveway and noticed that the barn doors were open wide and that the lights had been left on.

Thumper voiced his concern that Baddy was nowhere to be seen even though his car was parked in front of the house looking ominous with its removed hubcaps, Baddy’s mode of pimping out his Subaru.

It was getting dark and the skies opened up to the heavens, yet again, and fear began to set in. I couldn’t stop the cold, dark and deadly images from flashing into my head. What if what I thought I knew of Baddy was really just all a facade and he was not handling all of this pressure as well as I thought he was?

Suddenly he appeared, walking toward us from the field behind our house as if straight out of an English painting. He had been checking on the ditch water. Muki, who was in the middle of eating her dinner, began her territorial barking. The food that she didn’t gag on sprayed across the kitchen floor and the boys and I stared at her in disbelief. Her puppyness is constantly a source of amusement to us.

Tears came to my eyes as Baddy approached in his raincoat and wellies. He came right up to me enveloping me in one of his great big bear hugs, Its so beautiful here, he said and I thought about how sad it is to let go.


The next day I came home to a big, shiny For Sale sign that had been put up by our Realtor and I felt physically ill. I slumped down onto the floor of my favorite porch with Muki on my lap and let loose some tears into her fur as Realtors drove by to check out the new listing. They’ll be no denying, we love this property and cant get ourselves to embrace this change that we must make.

Theres something to be said about living in a basin with snow capped mountains all around and a Monastery up the road radiating peace and good harmony amongst the bears and mountain lions.


The morning after we moved into this house, in March of 2008, eight coyotes played in the sun outside our windows as we ate breakfast.



As the days get warmer, we have noticed a bird that comes out at dusk and dawn. We cant see it but we hear its warlike song and I tease the boys that there is a tribe of Indians still living out in the fields, wearing nothing but loin clothes and a bow and arrow.


Living here in the country we have gone back to our roots just a bit where we drink raw milk from Maisy who grazes in the pasture behind our house and where Hootie-Hoo visits the neighboring chicken coop to coddle a freshly laid egg in his little excited hands.


Many of our neighbors are closely connected to nature and the land. It is a community that somewhat reminds me of my youth spent in Massachusetts where neighbors mostly kept to themselves but when the door was opened it radiated warmth.

Baddy?will miss calling our neighbor Ross to come over late night to gaze with him into the inferno of one of his infamous bonfires and I will miss his wife Michelle who feeds Tucker her deliciously organic food when he runs away from home and ends up in her kitchen.

We will miss Beth and Kent, a wonderful couple who are always traveling or working or playing in their yard together showing us what life can be like when the children are gone. They keep their trampoline up so that they still can hear the sound of children playing in their backyard.


And we will miss Renee, our Swiss neighbor, who delivers to us delicious loaves of chewy European bread from his brothers bakery.

Baddy and I will miss the enormous window in our master bedroom designed to evoke the feeling that we are sleeping outside and Ill miss the long walks and bike rides up the dirt ranch roads where the bucolic fields eliminate my insanity and bring me to a far more peaceful place.

PICT0380(Riding to the Monastery)



Ill miss watching the boys ski in our backyard on Baddy’s gap jump while the mountain range changes scenes with the weather.




Ill miss drinking coffee on the front porch swing as the sun rises and the rooster crows, the one that replaced the unfortunate ones we were responsible for losing.

Baddy and I worked so hard on this house, designing it to perfectly fit our family and it is sad that we will have to let go of our Stage II dreams of landscaping rocky paths, flower beds, lilac trees and vegetable gardens and turning the barn into a super cool boys place with a pool table and an old red sign saying, Cap & Cork Liquors, Wine and Beer.

Our house warming party. Architect, Mike Doyle, in the center


This and so much more is what we will miss. If only we didn’t have to let go.









33 thoughts on “Having to Move From Our Dream House

  1. I Tried to click on The LOVE hearth sign below but it linked me to some other blog to register… SO I am just sending you LOVE LOVE LOVE.
    I wish life would not hurt so much some times.
    Thank you for letting us see you.


  2. Just remember No matter where you go you will have these moments there as well. Your family is so gorgeous! Everyone will be happy and healthy Together wherever you live! Love you! Xo


  3. The pictures tell a great story and Jo Rafferty is right, no matter where you go there will be moments like these. Thank you for reaching out to me a month or so back – it has been awhile and I have not been a faithful friend. I am in a better place and will be around more often ­čśë
    .-= Fiona┬┤s last blog ..Running Blonde Weekly Wrapup ~ 5/10/10 =-.


  4. How sad, Jillian. I know exactly how you feel, as Mike and I have been considering selling our beloved property. I think the hardest part is letting go of all those “stage 2” plans, the landscaping, the swimming pond etc.
    I hope all goes smoothly and you find another home in the valley.(?)


    1. Thank you Monica.

      I have never visited your place but I hear it is beautiful.

      The recurring thought that keeps sending me into a deep sadness is that we have let go of houses from our past before and I hate the way that all I have left are the memories. I don’t want all of this to just become I memory. I want to still live it.

      I guess it is all about letting go graciously and moving forward.


  5. I am crying real tear with you! I love that house and have great memories playing there with you! snif snif. But, when one door closes another opens and you will again build another magical house for yourselves. An even better house because you have great practice designing/building. Sending you love & light my friend. Marilyn


    1. Hi Marilyn,

      One of my favorite photos is of you waving from the window with Rich Carr at our house warming party.

      We’ll take all of the light and prayers that anyone has to give us. Thank you!


    1. Jody,

      Who knows where we will end up but it will probably be in Basalt, unless we buy a complete dump in Aspen and fix it up later. Anyway, many people are telling us that the house will not sell at the price we have it listed at.

      We’ll just have to wait and see.


  6. My heart goes out to you! Change is sometimes so difficult isn’t it? But as beautiful as your home is and its surrounding area, you know what I see in your gorgeous pictures and hear within your luscious prose?

    Love, Love, Love. The love in your family shines through it all. Home is where the heart is. (forgive my cliche but it is so perfect!) Where you go, it shall follow, and be home. It will be BETTER! Best wishes.


  7. Oh Jillian….My heart breaks for you. Your wonderful description has me in tears and brought back the sad memories of me selling Nantucket, as I had the same love for my house there. Nantucket is heaven on earth for me.
    I never even saw this house of yours. You just have to remember everything about it and just know that one day, you will build a better house on nicer land with even more incredible memories to come.
    I was in such depression over selling nantucket that i didn’t even want to get out of bed. Was more of a reminder as to how much my life has changed and can not give my children the island life our parents gave us.
    I had to make myself go into tunnel vision and just keep moving forward.
    Except, when the cleaning people came in to do the last cleaning before the new owners moved in……the cleaners could not speak english. I had a complete, all out melt down. Sobbing in the middle of an empty living room amongst complete strangers…..the living room where my children learned to crawl, then walk. The house Peter and I built with such love…..sold to stangers who had not a clue of the love that went into the house. Of what each tile meant, or that the magic marker drawing (in indelible ink) on the walls were my childs master piece (well…at the time!)
    The cleaning people just looked at me in horror…did not know what to do with me…and then I had to leave. (I am sobbing now at the horrible memory)
    Well……..here is to know beginnings…and who knows, maybe I will win the lottery and save us all
    Love you
    Keep your chin up


    1. Melanie-Mouse, your house in Nantucket was a little jewel only because of what you put into it. Your bathroom was my inspiration for my house.

      We need to market your style! When I used to shop, I couldn’t buy anything without wondering if you would like it and usually I put half of it back knowing that you would not approve.

      You know that Mommy had that same melt down, in front of the movers, when she was moving out of her place in CT. I was not there and think that I was partially responsible for it, after just having reprimanded her about something. If only I could keep my mouth shut!

      I really wanted to have the children grow up in one house, like we did, but seeing that we have already moved four times since Brevitt was a baby, I guess that is not happening.

      I love you, Jillian


  8. I’ve so many friend who lost everything but their lives in Katrina. And an elderly relative who didn’t last long after the storm. It took too much out of her. It’s never easy to lose a home. And nothing I say can make it easier. But know that you’ve got lots of company. People who share and intimately know your pain. It feels lonely, but you’re not alone. Love to you and your beautiful family.
    .-= Darrelyn Saloom┬┤s last blog ..101 Best Websites for Writers (My Favorites) =-.


    1. Hi Darrelyn,

      It is so difficult sometimes to put everything into perspective.

      If only I could help myself and everyone else. Sometimes I feel so small.


  9. Jillian, what beautiful pictures! I am so sorry to hear about your move… You have such a wonderful family, and I know you guys will weather this together, but I can really feel the sadness. You also have a ton of friends, and we’ll be here if you need any support!!


  10. Hi Jillian, Magical photos!! Wish I could have played with you at this awesome place. Next place? Basalt you say? See you there…xoxoK


  11. Hi Jillian! I’m moved to tears! I know I will feel the same way when we sell this house when hubs retires. It’s home, it’s the family nest, even though the kids are gone now, my heart is here! I’m reminded of the saying “Bloom where you are planted!” and that’s the best I can offer you. Oh wait, no, there’s a bit more. Be joyful that your beautiful house was not destroyed by fire or tornado or whatever – someone else will come alone to love it just the way you do! You and Wade created an awesome gift to give somebody.
    (I know, I know – but it’s the best I can do right now)
    Big hugs, and much love!


  12. Hi Jillian, The most important thing is keeping your family together….Mike has been working out of town since Dec., returning home every 2 weeks or so for a visit. At first I wasn’t going to give up our property (our dreams, our future) for anything, but I have come to the realization that having the family together is SO much more important. I have decided I’d rather sell than be apart.
    Stay strong and this too shall pass.


  13. Jillian: Remembering Wade singing Frank Sinatra, your children being
    born, you dream house being designed, all the love your family has
    amongst them, fills me with nostalgia. Gut bomb in my tummy with
    the magical images of your homestead. your eternal friend, DeDe


  14. Yes, leaving all that beauty is hard, I understand that you would love your kids in particular to keep that beauty. And they will, they will love their time here and their hearts will be where your love will take them next. Jillian, you hang in there, it will hurt, you will grieve and it will pass, it always does if and when you can let go. Much love, much peace, Wilma
    .-= Wilma Ham┬┤s last blog ..Money and water, you can think shortage or abundance. =-.


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