Today is bittersweet: we closed the sale of our first family home, the little yellow house on Surrey Road. The first house I ever bought. The house we brought Dexter into when he was just 7 weeks old. The house in which Justin proposed and where we slept on the night of our wedding.
It was a great little house, the perfect starter home. Built in 1951, it still had so much of its original charms like hardwoods, beautiful moldings, French-inspired wainscoting. The age of the house and the fact that a previous owner added on to it explained the quirks that annoyed us some days: the tiny bathroom, the small closets and rooms, the zigzag layout that gave us a nice quiet bedroom but that made airflow nearly nonexistent.
There was room for both Justin and me to have our own offices; the 1.5 bathrooms were tiny, lacking but adequate; even the cats had their own domain in the sunroom. We took parts of the house that didn’t quite suit us and made them ours: adding tons of shelves to the laundry room turning it into a huge closet; and knocking down a wall to open up and modernize the kitchen.
Though the proximity to the airport made for some noise now and then, the location was super convenient making it just as quick to go downtown or head out to my parents’. It was also cool living adjacent to the McCampbell House, the second oldest home in Nashville. It wasn’t a perfect house but it was perfect for us when we needed it. We threw tons of parties, probably annoyed our neighbors, figured out our co-habitating roles and learned how much we both hate yard work.
On our first night in the house, nearly two months after I bought it, we hadn’t moved much furniture yet and didn’t have a bed or TV. But we did have an old combo TV/VCR and my Disney tapes so we got as cozy as we could with our sweet kitty Cosmo and some wine, and watched Aladdin.
The yellow house on Surrey will always be fondly remembered.
But we always knew it was just our first home, and that we’d want to find something else in Donelson, our favorite part of town. We figured we had another year or two before we needed to find a house with more room, but then our dream home came on the market and we had to move fast, which includes saying goodbye to Surrey and saying hello to Knobview.
Our new home is bigger, newer (by 8 years! ha!), freshly remodeled and will be the perfect place for us to work and for our family to grow over the next decades. When we walked in it for the first time we knew this was it. It felt like home, and any pain we’d been feeling about leaving Surrey faded away.
This isn’t my first time living on Knobview, either, which makes it that much more special. I lived just a few streets away for three years when I was a kid, but when I was in the first grade my dad decided he wanted to be near the beach. So my parents sold our (awesome) house on Blue Hills Court and rented a (less awesome) house at the north end of Knobview so I could finish out the school year before we moved to Florida.
The boys next door were kind of mean but the only kids on the street; we had a swing-set and a big scary tree in the backyard that dropped some kind of fruit or nut that reminded me of a scary movie I’d see where kids got put into pods hanging off a tree. Now, we live on the south end of the same street, and we have the same kind of (scary) trees, and I am happy to pass our Surrey Road home on to another young, recently married couple as they begin their lives together.
So here’s to you, Surrey Road, our first home together, the place that made us fall in love with Donelson. May you bring as much love and joy to the owners as you did for us.