You run through the rooms not thinking twice most of the time, knowing that the walls will still be in the same place, the dust bunnies always hide underneath the chair in the corner, and that you will eventually get the tape on the ceiling that hung decorations for Christmas at some point. A house that has become a home for over 15 years is the equivalent to a second skin, it just is. The carpet is squishy and soft beneath your feet, you know exactly which floor boards squeak when walking through the kitchen; the smell of Murphy’s Oil on the maple counters is a welcome home sigh. Each tiny noise of the house as it settles around its inhabitants a contented sigh. Its home.
After living in the century ranch house it became home to my family growing up. The ghosts of memories can be seen in each room, carved and marked the walls and floors.Its doors banged open as my younger brother and I, along with our friends, slammed through the house each summer to play in the sunshine. The kitchen held witness to each family dinner, lecture, or family discussion of my entire childhood. It watched silently as I snuck out its windows at night in high school, and stood by when my family would curl up for a movie in front of its fireplace. Each year it took on nicks in the wood and scuff’s on the walls, dents too from the shifting furniture and the changing decor styles over the years. The 12+ acres provided such a wonderful world to grow up in. From the two lakes, to the woods we got to be Indian tribesman, cowboys and indians, aliens in a strange forest; we pretended that the woods was a vast jungle, the small garden was a lost oasis. Lakes turned into oceans and places of magical wonder. Fishing and boating were the past times of my childhood, and endless world of imagination that seems lost with the younger generation.
Going through all the stuff that I have collected in the last year or so and making the decision to keep or toss has struck something within me. I knew that the house was for sale and that one day it would be someone else’s family living in this house, but I suppose that a part of me never really believed it. Sitting among piles of “stuff” looking around, it dawns on me that things really are going to change. This house, this life, will never be the same. Michael and I will be married in June, the house will have a new family come the end of April, and as Spring comes to wake up the Earth, a new chapter will begin. As sad as it is to never sleep in my childhood home again, it is also exciting to move on to new paths.
So I say goodbye again. Goodbye to the multiple pets that crawled through the halls, goodbye attic that held dusty boxes of forgotten nick knacks. Goodbye to the kitchen, that was always the place to hang out with family, friends, and homework. Goodbye to the creaking pipes, the view of the lake out the living room window. I will carry these memories with me forever, but goodbye to my childhood home, the house that built me, goodbye.
Goodbye with Love