Barely September, I wrap myself in a warm zebra print blanket and turn the heat up. This is me I’m talking about: constantly overheated and embracing coolness. But the first smell of furnace permeates the house like smoke. Autumn is here, too early.
Usually it comes in small whispers. The first hint of cool in an August breeze prepares me for autumnal grace. This time the whisper was a loud rush of wind, rain, gray and cold. I’m not ready to say goodbye to a summer I’ve hardly held on to.
Yet it must be time. Not only for goodbyes to summer, but goodbye to this house. If all goes according to plan, in two weeks from now, I’ll be cleaning out the remnants of nearly twenty-five years as we leave for good.
This house has never been loved by me, yet the memories contained here have filled it with a better kind of love. My children have grown up here. Rode the big yellow school bus until they got licenses. Jana had giggly sleepovers, while Tim’s friends had more rambunctious nights. They went to proms. Each launched from this house to venture out into their own worlds, to create new memories.
A view from where I sit outside in front of our home
I say goodbye slowly to this house that has been more than four sides. In the yard, we had barbecues, volleyball games, fireworks and golf putting contests. The kids slid down the snowy slope in sleds and a silver scoop until the teenage years when they navigated with their snow boards. We all sat on the swing that’s tied to one of the big cedar trees. Now, the new people’s little girl has already found her joy on that same swing. It’s time to pass the torch.
I’m ready for the move. The new place will be bigger to allow for gatherings during holidays or card games. I’ll have a pantry and — wait for it — a dishwasher!!! Our kitchen was too set to allow for a dishwasher, and I’ve missed out all these years on something most people take for granted. Maybe I should have put my foot down long ago, but I didn’t push.
As my husband Jim mowed the lawn a few times ago, I stood at the kitchen window and waved. He won’t have to mow again. I will miss the cute smile as he rides by. I will miss the patterns on the bathroom tiles in our shower. There’s a horse, a buffalo, a terrier, and rabbit to name a few. I will miss all the good times, but these I can wrap up and take with me wherever I go. Perhaps I’ll visit this house in my dreams as I do my old childhood home in Little Neck, NY or our first home together in Gresham, OR by the high school.
I hope the new family has as many wonderful memories as we had here. I wish them well. It’s time for us to make new memories in a new home. And I am so ready to load up the dishwasher!