The Secret Message of Change

7 of #100DaysToOffload

My brother-in-law took over his childhood property after it lay empty for a year.

Gone were the animals, visitors, and home cooking in the oven. No windows lit at night.

I still remember my first visit to meet Rita's parents. I recall being surprised at how humble the home appeared — a simple kitchen with a stove and decor reminiscent of the 1970s.

a view of the farmhouse

Every time I visited, I received the warmest of welcomes.

The home had been part of my life since I first dated Rita 24 years ago, so you can imagine how Rita felt at it lying empty.

Number 8 had been at the heart of the local farming community and stood for generations.

All lives and homes change — children leave, and parents grow old, but the farm became redundant, and two elderly parents lived on as they always did.

In recent times dementia set in and Sadie deteriorated over several years. She died in October 2017. When Sadie moved to a nursing home, it signified change for number 8.

Not long after Sadie died, Jack moved out to live with his family.

One morning from our gateway, I looked across the countryside to the old farm. I noticed the view had changed. The bulldozers had taken the farmhouse, leaving only a gap between the barns, like a missing tooth.

I'd known for some time John planned to raze the old farmhouse to make way for a new home.

The old house was too expensive to renovate.

A tear came to my eye as a chapter in life closed. I couldn't focus on work, so I decided to visit the site.

When I arrived, nearly everything looked the same — the garden wall, the barns, and the spot where I always parked the car. Except the house was a pile of rubble. Odd how a large house occupied a small footprint.

Twisted copper water pipes lay to one side; an upturned bath lay in the garden. But the front doorway remained. Workers found asbestos which needed careful removal.

From the rubble, the sound of a smoke alarm broke the silence. The batteries still worked.

the farmhouse demolished

Today, a new house stands, built by John and his wife.

Change can be Positive

If it weren't for change we'd remain stuck in the same job, our health wouldn't improve with exercise, and we wouldn't get to try new things.

Knowledge grows with change. Our views on the world and of other people develop because of growth.

Sometimes change can get us down, but our lives need change to grow.

My views on various subjects are like the demise of the farmhouse — positioned one way, disassembled and then rebuilt into a new way of thinking.

Our thoughts can stand in one place for a long time, but a change in circumstances or exposure to new ideas can foster a more thoughtful outlook.

Thank God.

I would regret it if my views stood still.

I value change.

Change can help us become better people.

Jack, my father-in-law, spent 95 years of his life at the farmhouse. He now lives in a nursing home, experiences delusions due to dementia, and remains in his room most of the time.

Not all change is good, but forcing life to stay the same is a battle lost.

Life changes and we need to embrace it, live in the flow and try to steer a positive path.

Enjoy the ride while you can.

I’m publishing this as part of #100DaysToOffload. You can join in by visiting

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