In 1973 my parents bought this house for around $27,000. Recently my parents sold it for 10 times that much and are now preparing for the buyers to move in.
The house reflected the early 1970's with it's rust orange carpet and wood paneled walls. It was a single story rambler with no yard to speak of and not a lot of character. It begged for an owner to love it, nurture it and grow it into the home it became for us. In the 36 years my parents lived here they made major changes which included digging out a basement beneath the house, they put in an underground pool, planted copius amounts of flowers, grass and trees, painted the interior, gutted and remodeled the kitchen, tore out the orange carpet and replaced it with a lush cream shag. There are really too many changes to list here but suffice it to say the only thing that is really the same about this house 36 years later is the interior framework, everything else has been changed.
As I helped my Mom clean for the new owners a cacophony of memories, not unlike the echo of voices that reverberate across an open space, tumbled through my mind as I wandered the empty rooms. Memories of sleepovers, late nights with fevers, Christmas mornings, swimming parties, birthday parties, dinners as a family and so many more...every single memory I have is somehow connected to this place where I grew up. And now I have to say goodbye.
I know that I'm not the same little girl I was when I lived here, but the integral part of who I am and who I was meant to be are still the same. These things in me have grown and been enhanced by time and my life experience. I think houses are a lot like people, we both have a core internal framework that doesn't really change but is molded and shaped according to time and the natural courses of our environment. Sometimes a house needs a new coat of paint like a woman needs a new hairdo, or a man needs a shave. And sometimes a house gets sick and needs repairs just like a person who needs a surgery or a few days of rest.
This house was my home. It is still, even though I don't live here anymore. This is the place I will think of when I think of my parents and my siblings and all the great memories we have of our life together within these four walls. This house was a haven, a safe place that changed and adjusted according to the needs of it's inhabitants, just like a mother who provides a haven for her young. This house will always be my home and I will miss it, but am thankful for the memories that I will be taking with me.