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Posts Tagged ‘Sears kit Homes’

Three Years - and a Request for Your Prayers

April 18th, 2019 Sears Homes 7 comments

Three years ago today, it happened. I still can’t look at pictures of him without bursting into tears and becoming physically unwell.

As my friends know, I bled out, had a heart attack and died on September 5th and everything changed after that. I saw heaven, and I talked with the angels, and I was in the presence of The Holy Spirit.

Upon my return from heaven, I was hospitalized and in those first days, I was swarmed by the angels. They told me that my soul had been restored (Ps. 23) and that The Bad Thing and all its etceteras had been “encapsulated” and couldn’t hurt me anymore. They said, “Yes, it happened and it’s going to be something that changed your life but it can’t cause you any more harm. The pain of this horror has been encapsulated. You’re safe and you’re free. Go enjoy the remnant of your time on earth.”

The repercussions from that heavenly encounter continue to unfold with every passing hour.

Yesterday, I had my first radio interview on this “temporary death experience” and while I was a bit nervous, it felt mighty good to share the good news on the week that includes “Good Friday.”

It’s my own story of resurrection and restoration. And I am profoundly grateful to have visited heaven, and to be able to report back, it’s as beautiful as the poets and mystics and disciples have promised.

Today, I ask for your prayers of protection, and that my thoughts remain on the things of God, and the blessings of divine Love, and not the horrors of one grisly event.

And please leave a comment below! :)

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Many thanks to Sue for sending me this lovely inspirational message. It touched my heart and lifts my spirits every day.

Many thanks to Sue for sending me this lovely inspirational message. It touched my heart and made me smile. It also lifts my spirits every day.

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To listen to Rose’s 90+ minute talk on her near-death experience, click here.

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An Important Anniversary…

March 5th, 2019 Sears Homes 4 comments

Today marks an anniversary for me, and a very important one. Six months ago, on September 5th, 2018, I went into a hospital for a minor medical procedure (a “lady parts” thing). When I stood up (in the recovery room) to get dressed, I was bleeding profusely. Despite my protests, I was sent home. I wasn’t home very long before I asked my friend to summon an ambulance.

I was bleeding to death, and I knew it.

By the time I was transported to a local ER, I’d probably lost 2-3 pints of blood. The ER apparently didn’t believe me, because I was still talking (albeit slowly). Perhaps 30 minutes after admission, I lost consciousness and my blood pressure went to 32/25 (according to Milton, who remained by my side while I was in the ER cubicle).

The next time the automatic bp machine searched for a blood pressure, there was none. I had flat-lined. That’s when the excitement began. The medical staff came running down the hall and shooed Milton out into the hallway.

For more than 10 minutes, I was gone. Fact is, I was having a wonderful time!  :D

I “woke up” when my heart stopped and this experience of “dying” changed me forever. After returning to this world, I was transported by ambulance (really fast!) to a local hospital. Whilst there, I had four days to lie perfectly still and think about my life. I realized that I had been miserable since my husband’s suicide. And, in those four days, I was in the company of “too many angels to count,” who literally swarmed me, sang to me, answered my questions and kept me company.

It was during this time that I realized that I needed to make many changes in my life.

One of those changes was a move to a small town in the Midwest.

I’ve been here for five days, and even though moving long-distance was a herculean effort, it’s the best decision that I ever made. I’m living in a friend’s house and I have an entire floor to myself. It’s bliss. I don’t recall a time in my life when I have ever been happier.

For now, I’m going to focus on enjoying life and appreciating the beauty of nature, the love of friends, and the pure joy of remembering my time in heaven.

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Living in a small town in the Midwest has its advantages. I'm enjoying the snow and the natural beauty that is all around me.

Living in a small town in the Midwest has its advantages. I'm enjoying the snow and the natural beauty that is all around me. I'm still adjusting to the cold. It was 2 degrees yesterday morning!

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My room is wonderful, and there are some people who might think it odd that a 59-year-old woman is so content in a room with a private bath, but it suits me very well. I love it here.

My room is wonderful, and there are some people who might think it odd that a 59-year-old woman is so content in a room with a private bath, but it suits me very well. I love it here. And I brought my own pillows and comforter!

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Read the prior blog here.

Rose recently gave a talk in Williamsburg, Virginia. Listen to it here.

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My New Life…

March 1st, 2019 Sears Homes 8 comments

As of yesterday, my new life in the Midwest has begun. I’m now living in a bedroom (with a private bath) and there’s even space for Seabiscuit (my Prius C) in the garage. For the first time in a long time, I awakened this morning feeling only a deep settled peace and calm.

Sometimes, I wonder why I waited three years to get the heck out of Hampton Roads (Southeastern Virginia) where my husband ended his life, and now I realize, it took me three years to get the emotional resources and spiritual courage and financial wisdom to make such a draconian move.

After buying my little house in Suffolk 15 months ago, I frequently said that I’d remain there until I died - and I did just that. Subsequent to a “minor” surgical procedure, I died and was resuscitated (or as Dale says, “heaven sent you back!”).

After returning from heaven in September 2018, I sold off or gave away many long-cherished possessions, sold my new car back to the dealership and listed my house for sale. (On September 5, 2018, I died and had no vitals for 10+ minutes.)

Honestly, “dying” was the best thing that ever happened to me, and it gave me a new outlook on life. In fact, it continues to transform my life.

It’s my goal to write a book about the near-death experience.  After that, I’m not sure where life will take me, but I know - it’s going to be wonderful.

To see Rose’s talk on Saturday (in Williamsburg), click here.

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Leaving a rest stop in Virginia, I paused to snap a photo. My little car was loaded down with my worldly possessions.

Leaving a rest stop in Virginia, I paused to snap a photo. My little car was loaded down with my worldly possessions.

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Driving west on I-64, I encountered an ice storm at the Indiana border. Seabiscuit behaved well, but the driver was a little unnerved. And despite my massive organizational efforts - I forgot to pack an ice scraper!

Driving west on I-64, I encountered an ice storm at the Indiana border. Seabiscuit behaved well, but the driver was a little unnerved. And despite my massive organizational efforts - I forgot to pack an ice scraper!

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The Final Touches of a Career…

February 3rd, 2019 Sears Homes 9 comments

When I started the “Sears Kit Homes” group on Facebook in 2009 (thanks to Rachel for remembering!), I dragged 12 friends into the group just so it wouldn’t look so pitiful. As the years passed, the group grew in numbers and I was gobsmacked when we passed the “1,000 members” mark.

In Fall 2018, when Sears started circling the drain, interest in the old kit homes was renewed, and I was doing 3-4 interviews per week (with the media) and that’s when membership in the Facebook group exploded.

As of today, it has 3,234 members and is still growing by leaps and bounds.

Yesterday, I mentioned (within the group) that I didn’t have many books left, and when these went, that was the end of it. Within hours, I sold more than 50 books (several different titles) and stayed up last night until 2:30 getting them packaged and ready for Monday’s mail.

As I said in a prior blog, I’ll always love the old kit homes, and I’ll still spin my head around when a pretty one passes me by, but the days of staying up until the wee hours inscribing, signing and packaging books are behind me.

Soon, I’ll be packing up my house and moving to the Midwest. Perhaps once I’m settled, I’ll revisit the question but for now, I’m done.

There are still 18 books left in my basement. It’d be swell to sell those last few before I head out! (Hint, hint!)

To buy the book, click here.

Join us on Facebook!

And if this book has brought you a blessing, please leave a comment below.

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In 2011, I snapped this photo in Edwardsville, IL and it still takes my breath away. I was there to do an architectural survey, and I stumbled upon this view and it reminded me of why I love the Midwest. I'm seriously considering moving to Edwardsville when I get to the Midwest.

In 2011, I snapped this photo in Edwardsville, IL and it still takes my breath away. I was there to do an architectural survey, and I stumbled upon this view and it reminded me of why I love the Midwest. Edwardsville has become a beautiful community, filled with shops and history and bucolic beauty. It may be where I land.

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The group now has more than 3,000 members and is still growing.

The group now has more than 3,000 members and is still growing.

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Saturday night, I stayed up until 2:30 am, signing, inscribing and packaging books. I'm still not sure how I'll get these to the post office.

Saturday night, I stayed up until 2:30 am, signing, inscribing and packaging books. I'm still not sure how I'll get these to the post office.

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First printed in 2002, this book has taken me to many wonderful places. It's been a fun run, but for now - for the first time in 17 years - it will be out of print. It would take another book to explain the many blessings of this book but in short, it was published just as my mother died and my marriage of 24 years came to an end. This book (and the grace of God) not only saved me, but it transformed my life and gave me a purpose. Best of all, it introduced me to hundreds of wonderful people, some of whom became lifelong friends.

First printed in 2002, this book has taken me to many wonderful places. It's been a fun run, but for now - for the first time in 17 years - it will be out of print. It would take another book to explain the many blessings of this book but in short, it was published just as my mother died and my marriage of 24 years came to an end. This book (and the grace of God) not only saved me, but transformed my life and gave me a purpose. Best of all, it introduced me to hundreds of wonderful people, some of whom became lifelong friends.

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Want to learn how to identify kit homes? Click here.

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The End of an Era…

January 24th, 2019 Sears Homes 11 comments

Sears appears to be going out of business, and in a few months, my little book business will follow suit.

In 1999, I started working on a book about Sears kit homes. In early 2002, it was self-published, and I used 50% of my net worth to produce 1,000 copies. In 2004, I did a comprehensive revision.

That fun little niche book changed my life in so many ways, and all of them good. Suddenly, I was “The Author” and was treated with much respect and admiration by many lovely people.

By 2004, I’d appeared on PBS History Detectives, A&E’s Biography, CBS Sunday Morning News, and my little book even made it to Jeopardy in the Summer of 2004. In print, the story of my unusual career had been featured in countless newspapers such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Tribune, and the Dallas Morning News (and about 100 others).

Before my lectures, I’d often get invited to join a group of history lovers at a local restaurant, and even though I never could eat a bite before my talk, I enjoyed getting to know folks. At one such dinner, a woman said to me, “We’re in the midst of a celebrity!” Excitedly, I glanced around the table and whispered, “Really? Where are they?”

She laughed and said, “No, I’m talking about YOU!”

In California, a faithful reader took me aside and said, “I’m so excited to meet you. In my world, you’re a rock star!”

At a hotel in Iowa, the clerk that was checking me in extended her hand across the tall granite counter that separated us and said, “Mrs. Thornton, I’d like to shake your hand. I read about you in yesterday’s paper, and I’ve always wanted to shake the hand of a real author.” (I remember thinking, “I hope you meet a real author one day!”)

There are no words to say how much those kind words touched my heart and lifted my spirits. And now it’s time to take a step of progress to The Next Super-Dooper Thing™.

In the last 20 years, I’ve written nine books, hundreds of newspaper articles and thousands of product blurbs. (Writing product blurbs on architectural products was the most difficult writing job I ever had, but it paid the bills.)

In the last 20 years, everything has changed, and now it’s time for a new chapter. I’m not sure where I’m going, but I know it’s time for a seismic shift. I’ll still write blogs on old houses, and I’ll still turn my head when I drive past a pretty Sears House, and I’ll still sign a few books for interested enthusiasts, but the halcyon days of Sears, and Sears kit homes are in my rear-view mirror.

In a few short weeks, I will hit the road in my little red Prius C. If you’d like to meet me, and you’re somewhere between Suffolk, Virginia and St. Louis, Missouri, please leave a comment below.

You can hear Rose on a one-hour podcast (99% Invisible) here.

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Last week, I donated three boxes of Sears House ephemera and materials to the ODU Library (Norfolk, Virginia). This is the view from my windshield, as the archivist wheeled the cart from my car and into the library.

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In a few short weeks, Seabiscuit and I will be hitting the road.

In a few short weeks, Seabiscuit and I will be hitting the road.

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When my current stock of books is gone, there will be no more reprints.

When my current stock of books is gone, there will be no more reprints.

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There they go!

More than 3,000 35mm slides and a whole lot of history - going into ODU.

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Please leave a comment below!

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Road Trip!

January 12th, 2019 Sears Homes 6 comments

I’m thinking about hitting the road, and taking a long trip.

In the last few weeks, I’ve met so many wonderful people (all of whom are history lovers) and each and every one of those people have brought me such a blessing. Each encounter has lifted me up a bit, and helped speed my progress.

These days, I crave beauty and light.

Maybe I need to go looking for beauty and light, and see what I find. It might be great fun to go meet new people and see new sights and look at old kit homes, and just see what happens along the way.

Someone even mentioned, it might make for an interesting series of blogs: Seeking Sears Homes and Finding Peace.

I’ll be leaving my home in Suffolk, Virginia in a few weeks and heading south and then west. If you’ve got a beautiful old soul, a passion for history, a heart full of love for the weary wanderer, and an appreciation for us creative types and you’d like to meet The Author Formerly Known As Rose, please leave a comment below.

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Boo asks, will you come to my party? Maybe the question is, Can I come to YOUR party?

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Perhaps its time to take my love of houses on the road.

Perhaps it's time to take my love of houses on the road.

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My father

My father thought he was posing me for a picture, but I was actually assessing the thermal efficiency of these original wood windows. If only I'd been able to talk, I could have given them an ear full.

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These days, I crave beauty and light. Intensely.

These days, I crave beauty and light. Intensely.

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Built in 1907? It is NOT a Sears House!

December 28th, 2018 Sears Homes 5 comments

Why do all the wrong things go viral?

This 1907-built farm house (shown below) is being promoted online as a Sears Kit Home and there’s so much wrong with that. And that post - with an accompanying photo - has gone viral on Facebook.

Sears didn’t offer their first “Modern Homes” catalog until 1908. And there’s this: There’s nothing about this house that has any resemblance to anything offered by any kit home company.

Ugh.

NOT a Sears House!

NOT a Sears House, and yet this image is spreading far and wide via the internet.

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Dolly and I get exasperated sometimes...

Dolly reacts to the picture above.

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Last Chance to Buy Before Christmas - and Maybe Ever!

December 8th, 2018 Sears Homes 13 comments

“The Houses That Sears Built” was first published in April 2002, and since then, I’ve traveled to more than 25 states, for research, surveys and lectures. It’s been a fun run.

As of today, December 8, 2018, I’ve got 52 copies of this book on hand. After they’re sold, that’s it. There won’t be more reprints.

On the heels of a health-related issue, I had the opportunity to step back and take a long look at my life, and and it’s time for new adventures.

If you’d like to purchase a book, they can be purchased here or at Amazon.

An interesting aside: After the first of the year, I’m going to take a road trip. If you have a splendiferous kit home that you’d like to share, invite me over! ;)

Want to learn more about Sears Homes? Click here.

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Richard Warren Sears would not be pleased.


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Dolly and I get exasperated sometimes...

Sometimes, it feels like Dolly and I are soul mates.

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Picture

Not a lot of books left in my capacious garage!

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Another Picture

Seabiscuit and I are ready to hit the road.

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Want to learn more about Sears Homes? Click here.

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What’s Next?

November 26th, 2018 Sears Homes 6 comments

Teddy the Dog turned 10 in late October. I turned an age “greater than 10 years old” this summer. We’re both feeling like it’s time for a change, but not sure what that change is going to look like.

In late August, I had a health issue that consumed three months of my life. I have a new understanding of how every single priority in your life can be reshuffled in a moment when two doctors (in two separate opinions) tell you something scary.

I’m happy to report that now, three months later, it’s resolved - thanks be to God. Prayer brought about a dramatic change in my physical condition that left medical professionals scratching their heads and saying, “I don’t know what happened here and I can’t explain it, but you’re well now.”

Prayer also brought about a dramatic change in my spiritual and emotional state, and that’s the bigger miracle.

To God be the glory.

The spiritual transformation put the whole “Wayne Mess™” in razor sharp focus. Again, thanks to the infinite grace of God, I was gifted the spiritual energy to forgive him, and also given the spiritual stamina to forgive him every day.

He made his choices and he has the whole of eternity to ponder the consequences. That’s all between Wayne and his Creator now. I’m out of the loop.

Throughout our marriage and even after his death, I felt spiritually responsible for him. My “encounter with the divine” helped me see clearly that this is a devilish trick. As adults, we’re spiritually responsible for ourselves and for no one else.

I still think about him a lot, but these thoughts no longer eviscerate me. That’s the grace of God showing up in my heart, mind and soul. I’m sure of it.

And what’s next?

A dear friend suggested that I become a home inspector. I’m seriously considering that. I’m also contemplating a move out of this area (southeastern Virginia) and into the Midwest. There are just too many memories here in Hampton Roads.

This I know: It’s time for some new scenery and some “unexpected delights”!

For those of you who have prayerfully supported me, I am immensely grateful. Now, I hope to discern God’s wisdom in moving forward.

TTE

Teddy asked for a golf cart so that she can enjoy her "walkies" in a comfy ride.

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Id like to enjoy however many years of the remainder of my life.

I yearn to see more of the beauty in this world. I hope my next home has views like this. There's something about the quietude of nature that soothes my soul. (This photo was taken during an early morning bike ride in Northern Suffolk, about a mile from my home.)

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Fifteen

In 2002, I posed with my dear friend Donna at her bookstore in Carlinville. That was 16 years ago. Thus began a friendship that endured through three husbands (one of hers and two of mine), nine books, and a lot of good times. Donna passed on shortly before Thanksgiving, but the memory of her unconditional love will last forever.

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Want to read about Sears Homes? Click here.

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Teddy’s “Evening Constitutional”!

August 28th, 2018 Sears Homes 4 comments

A few people have asked me why I bought a golf cart. The truth is, it’s something I’ve always wanted, and more importantly, it’s something that Teddy wants and needs.

Her arthritis is slowing her down quite a bit these days. On our walkies, she’s good for about a 1/4 mile and then she wants to go home. There have been times when she simply sits down in the grass, and then I have to wait with her, or call a friend to come get us.

It seemed like a golf cart might be just the thing. And it is.

Now she rides in style around our neighborhood, snuggled up next to me with her nose in the air, taking in all the unique smells on our drive - from the 500-acre nursery to the horse farm down the road and out to the 200-acre cotton field just around the corner. We drive out to the marina at the western edge of the neighborhood and sometimes we just watch the sun set over the Nansemond River.

In a few short nights, it seems as though it’s become her favorite part of the day. As soon as I reach for the keys, she gets quite excited as if to say, “oh boy, let’s GO!”

This little red electric cart is a way for Teddy to enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of her world, even when her little legs won’t carry her as far as they once did.

Tonight, Teddy and I were driving around on a pleasant summer evening, she leaned against me and nuzzled me as if to say, “Thanks, Mom.”

In the last two years, we’ve been through hell and we’re both ready for a little ease and quiet.

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FTR

Teddy on Tuesday evening, ready for her evening ride.

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To read about Sears Homes, click here.

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