As moving day draws closer and I prepare to say goodbye to this house, the place I’ve lived longer than any other, the years play like a flickering slide show.
March of 2000, moving in during a raging snowstorm. I remember asking myself why we’d want to live in a place where it snows in March. Over the years, we saw many March snowfalls, and I would repeat that question.
In 2005, the big remodel. Three months of tearing out walls, sharing my home with a parade of contractors and washing dishes in the bathtub. For the first few weeks, I made sure to be dressed and have makeup on each morning when the contractors arrived but after a month of daily visits they were family, and I didn’t care if they saw my ratty bathrobe and unmade face. Thinking back, I’m pretty sure the ratty bathrobe and scary face are why it only took them three months, not four…
This house has seen so much living.
In this house, my heart broke and healed. Here, I found my voice and my strength.
This house has seen beloved pets arrive and then, sadly, leave us. Little five pound Sadie, Chase the Chessie, and Jock, the dog of my heart all knew this as home. Out by the pond, there is a painted rock with Sadies name on it, given to me by the children of our wonderful pet sitter.
While I didn’t raise my children in this house, it has heard the laughter of grandchildren and seen them grow. Precious memories were made here.
This place is where Jock the Dog became a writer and where I began to believe I might be a writer.
We made some major life decisions in the arms of this house. There were health scares which caused us to reevaluate what is important to us. Here, we celebrated births and mourned death. The house has sheltered us through real storms and the storms of life for all of these years.
Sometime in those years, I stopped thinking of it as just a house and it became a home. It became my safe harbor, the place where I could return, relax and just breathe.
For the first time in my life, I put down roots, and because having roots is such an unfamiliar feeling for me, I didn’t realize how deep they were until I began to contemplate pulling them up.
I know the memories and the lessons will go with me. I know that home will be where my heart is, where Dave and I are together, where there is family, where our dogs are.
But this home, this place, will always have a little piece of my heart. A part of me will stay here.
I hope the new owners won’t mind.