My Burke Drive Memoir

I was always the kid who wanted to be at home. “Sleepovers” involved midnight pick-ups or they had to be held at home. Prom pictures, homecoming pictures, end of year BBQs, birthday parties, half birthday parties, sports banquets, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my wedding all were held at home. It was the place I felt most happy and a place everyone was always welcome.

Growing up our friends had second homes or vacation houses, but my parents poured their money and energy into our primary residence, and so our home was a vacation. Mom and dad were big believers in an open door policy — literally the door was never locked — and we lived by a “the more, the merrier” mentality. My parents loved having all of us kids and our friends at home with them. They got to know our friends, had peace of mind knowing we were safe, and, most importantly to them, they got to hang out with us! To our friends, my parents were Phyllis and Ken (don’t you dare call him Mr. Patterson, he’s not that old…) or if your Southern mother would not allow for a first name basis, they were “Mr. Ken and Mrs. Phyllis.”

Overseeing construction

My parents’ home provided a space for endless fun and adventure that was meant to be enjoyed by many. They created a safe and fun environment for us kids to be kids…and had a blast right alongside us. Saturdays were spent driving on the boat, tanning on the dock, grilling on the deck, and watching our sweet dogs swim in the pool. My brothers would wake up early in the morning and head out to the duck blinds or to catch fish. They even had a “dingy boat” they painted camo themselves. 

My parents have sold the house. They move out July 8th and everyone keeps asking me how I feel about it all. Well truth be told, I am sad. I am sad because it is a beautiful home filled to the brim with awesome memories. I am sad we no longer have a place to host 206 people for a “backyard BBQ.” I am sad because for the first time in my life I will have to attend a public pool on the weekends (yep, I know, you cannot believe I just said that). But mostly I am sad to no longer have our little oasis right here in Alexandria, where the hustle and bustle of life gets put on hold and you can escape for just a little.

But another part of me is happy. I am happy that my parents who spent the last 35 and a half years raising kids are finally doing something for themselves. I am happy for new beginnings, and I am incredibly happy I got to spend the last 20 years enjoying such an amazing home.

The Patterson kids, on move-in day.

I have not met the new buyers. Ken and Phyllis say they are lovely, but I honestly do not want to. I want to remember this house as it was, with Ken and Phyllis and my three siblings all at home laughing, together.

If you need me on July 8th, I’ll be crying on the dock…


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Born, raised, and bred in Alexandria, VA, Britt Patterson is a true product of the great state of Virginia. Britt attended Waynewood Elementary (Class of ’96), Carl Sandburg Middle School (Class of ’98) , and West Potomac High School (Class of ’02), she then went on to attend Virginia Tech (go Hokies!) where she majored in Business Marketing and Minored in Real Estate. Britt “officially” joined the family business as a licensed Realtor in 2008 after two years of working the political fundraising field and prides herself on her Alexandria real estate knowledge, alongside her integrity, loyalty, and professionalism as an agent and Vice President for the family business.

The Patterson Group is one of the most experienced and trusted real estate teams in the area, serving Alexandria, VA for over thirty years. We offer professional, hardworking, detailed and friendly service and a large network of contacts and resources accrued over our many years in Alexandria real estate. Comprised of seven Alexandria locals, six of whom are licensed realtors and three of whom are accredited staging professionals, The Patterson Group is passionate and knowledgeable about Alexandria, VA and here for all of your Northern VA real estate needs. Allow us to help you find your home here and discover all that the Alexandria lifestyle has to offer.

400 South Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314



  1. Avatar Aey Needham says:

    What a wonderful warm piece! I teared up at the end!
    I am a fan of your writing and have met your lovely mother and Paige. Your mother helped us sell our historical home recently and I can easily relate although we did not have a 20- year+ history like you did.

    I always look forward to your next blog. All the best to you all.

  2. Avatar Sophia Axson says:

    Brittany well said..this article is the Sweetest and Saddest all in one .😪 This was always my favorite place to go to spend time with all my family. I will definitely miss it here but will always cherish those Precious Memories ❤️. Not only that … I am Soo Proud of all of you and your genuine hard dedicated work.. Yep it takes a village .. and y’all are the Best! Love you all 🥰

  3. Avatar Elizabeth Gaston Barsoum says:

    Dear, DEAR Brittany, Remember me? “Aunt” Betsy? You were 11 when we moved away, and I’m still missing you all. Please tell your Mom and Dad I said hello, and that I hope they’re well and happy going into this new stage of their lives. Much, MUCH love, “Aunt” Betsy

  4. Avatar Susi Bowers says:

    We miss you guys in the neighborhood, your parents are the best!

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