Home is where the heart is

This past weekend really set in a reality for me. My parents are putting their house on the market and in just a few weeks it will no longer by our home. After over 33 years, this is hard. Really hard. I knew this day would come and I knew that I would have to kind of put the thought in the back of my brain where my subconscious will only be able to find it in dreams that I will forget that second I wake up.

I can’t imagine another family living in my house. The house I’ve known since I was 7. The house that has all kinds of memories. In a way I always thought I would buy the house and live their with my family. When I realized I probably wasn’t going to do that, I thought for sure that my kids would be able to go visit grandma and grandpa in the house and I could show them all the areas where I grew up and experiences I had.

But now, all I will have are my memories and any photos that I take. Years ago, the house was fully renovated so it’s not like I am saying goodbye to the way it used to be. More, I am saying goodbye to the place that has always been my place of comfort. The place where I could swear there was a pipe with triptophen being pumped throughout because every time I would come home, I would instantly take a nap.

It’s hard to list the memories I have but when my kids do ask me, here are some of the things I will show them in pictures:

The basement where I played school with my teacher edition books filled with red type. Where I would spend countless hours talking to myself and pretending to be the student and the teacher. Where we would do math and science and gym class. The place where I once heard the buzzing of a bumble bee and I ran upstairs to ask my mom if there was a bee on me and screamed louder than I ever heard her. The place where the handsaw was kept that A once used as a joke when I got my finger stuck in my sister’s toy trumpet. He pretended he was going to saw my finger off and I ran away. The place our cat, Julie would hide for hours because she was afraid of the dog.

The top of the staircase where I would listen to parents talk about me after a fight or a temper tantrum that I had. Where they would discuss my father or the fact that I needed therapy or what they were going to do with me. I would be as quiet as I could so they didn’t know I was listening but I am sure they did anyway.

The front door where we would call our dog Chumley after he ran away and get him back by peeling off the plastic on a piece of American cheese. Worked like a charm each time.

The driveway where our cars would always get stuck in the snow in the winter. We had to drive to the top of the driveway across the street and slam on the gas to make it to the top of ours. Or the countless number of hours it took us to shovel after each storm and how the snowplow would come by just as we were finished. But how fun it was to go back into the house and have hot chocolate to warm up.

The backyard where I buried my goldfish blackey, whitey, spot and goldie (I bet you can’t guess their colors) near the shed which I was always afraid to open. Or where the wooden swing set was that I swung on for hours or the white hammock we would play on. Or where my parroquet Larry was thrown into the woods after my cat gave him a heart attack.

Or the place I would keep the hidden key in the garage because for 33 years I have never had an actual key to the house. Where my mom drove through the garage door not once, but twice because she was distracted and it took everything for me not to laugh my ass off (which didn’t work because I did anyway).

My bedroom where I would cry for hours when my junior high and high school friends ditched me on New Year’s Eve and I had to sit alone. Part of the reason to this day I still don’t really love that holiday and it reminds me of loneliness.

The front yard where I used to climb the big tree and practice my fancy gymnastic moves on the front yard to impress the neighbors. Or where I was found by my parents locked out of the house when my older sister and her friend were playing hide and seek with me and they never came out so I couldn’t find them. And how my mom was so mad that my sister was grounded.

Or the kitchen where we would eat dinner every night as a family believe it or not. Without TV! In fact, the TV was turned off if it was on which made us all talk to each other and where I think I developed my complete and udder revolting sound of listening to chewing. Where we would either be laughing or yelling. Where A. once put my head in a plate of spaghetti after I told him to shut up. I love spaghetti so that really isn’t a punishment. Where we would have dessert each night and it was usually always ice cream and I would whip it up and call it witch’s stew.

I won’t be able to actually show my kids these things and the hundreds of more memories that I have but I can show them photos and give them the three thousand pounds of letters and cards that I have saved over the years. And they can put those bins in my basement so in 20 years, I can say to them “Are you ever going to take your bins out of my basement??”


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