For 18 years, I have given directions to my home by saying, “Well, you drive out of town and go past the dump …” Oh, sure, I know the proper name is the transfer station, but I come from a long line of hicks and the place we take our trash will always be the dump. But I digress.
I’m not going to be able to give directions like that anymore because we have decided to move from the home I thought I’d live in forever. In the near future, we’ll take the kids and all our animals and follow a new opportunity just a few miles down the road.
The previous owner cried when she turned over the keys. Like many lessons in life, it seems we never really understand them until we live them ourselves. I want to tell her: I get it now. I understand. In this home, I rocked babies, kissed owies, welcomed friends, prayed for my children. Those images are vivid.
Brian and I used to joke that we wanted to be buried under the big tree in the back yard, next to the family dog. Sometimes it didn’t feel like we were kidding.
Most of the time, I am excited about moving. We are, after all, embarking upon a new adventure. It is the little things that get to me. Cleaning in places that haven’t seen the light of day for years, I found a little note: “I love you, Mom.” Oh, the kids will still love me in the new house (most of the time), but I remember the way the light filtered through the dining room window and fell on the table as my daughter scribbled out that little note.
I assure the children we can pack everything that is important to us. They remind me that the big tree and our neighbors won’t fit on the truck. Still, they are excited at the prospect of new rooms and new trees to climb.
I will miss hanging my clothes on the clothesline Brian hung for me. He didn’t really think I was serious about wanting a clothesline at first, but he went along with my idea, as he usually does. The kids certainly never embraced the idea of hanging out clothes, even though they grudgingly went along with it. I love the fresh smell the clothes acquired when as they dried and even liked being out in the sun hanging the laundry.
I wonder if the new owners will appreciate those worn spots under the swings as much as I did. Brian hung those swings years ago as a birthday gift to me, and watching my kids swing has been one of my favorite presents. The children insist that the swings must go, and I quite agree. For a while now, we’ve been in need of additional swings. Good thing my birthday is coming up. I’ll put new swings on my list.
Many years ago, we bought this house and made it a home. Soon we will leave it behind, and this home will become just a house once more. The new family will need to bring their own love and their own memories because we are packing ours up and taking them with us. We look forward to a new place to play, to laugh and to love. The road to the house is a different one, but just the same, we’re going home.
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