Oh boy! Gramps and I are moving! After 23 years, we are selling this house and looking for a smaller pasture. We currently live on 2 acres, which was great when the kids were living here, going to school AND helping with the yard work. But now it has become a full-time job, maybe 2 full-time jobs actually, to take care of. We are no longer interested in spending all summer, every summer, in Texas to keep 2 acres watered and alive. No more riding lawn mower. No more lugging bucket after bucket of water to each tree. No more replanting the flower beds and hedges every single year after it all dies from the drought.
Yessirree, it’s push mower and sprinkler system from now on for us! Okay, where do I sign up?!
Did I mention we have to SELL this house first? Oh, mercy me! What was I thinking? 23 years of dirt to clean! 23 years of clutter to sift through! 23 years of stuff to throw out! AND we have a BARN!
Besides all the work involved, (I haven’t even gotten to the painting and tiling needed in the bathrooms!) there is the mental and emotional upheaval. The entire family, not just Gramps and myself, is attached to this house. It holds so many memories, that each corner is a reminder of an occasion, a celebration, a party, an event or a gathering. Hardly anything has happened to any of us that didn’t involve our house in some way.
Our house has been a home in every sense. It has sheltered us, protected us, inspired us, united us, comforted us, and sent us on our individual ways. At our Christmas party, a friend commented, “This is not just a home. It is a life.” What a lovely observation! A home should, as I believe ours does, live and breathe with the people who abide within its walls. It should be a reflection of the love and care shared inside, and be a symbol to the world of that love expanding out to others.
How I wish our house could tell you all the funny things it has seen over the years, all the secrets it has heard, all the conversations shared. Children have grown up, left and new children have entered. Musical instruments were played, school lessons learned, games enjoyed, sports skills honed. The July 4th dinner and fireworks became legendary with new souvenir T-shirts every year! Holidays at Granny’s dining table put most caterers to shame! Four generations of this family have slept under the roof of this house!
This house has also endured its fair share of ills through the years, surviving hail, rain, snow, flood, lightning, and pestilence (the year of the grasshopper invasion). It has been repaired, shored up, and fortified. But, like us, it still stands, full of life and full of potential. Like us, it just gets better with age and use.
So, now, after 23 years, we will pack up our belongings and our memories, and go to a new house. We will paint the walls of the new house and make curtains to go with the new paint color. We will arrange our furniture in a new way and maybe get some new pieces to fit in. The old memories will go with us, but that’s all they will be–memories. In the new house we will live, maybe in a new way. We will make it a home – a place of laughter, a place to gather, a place of comfort. We will share meals, gifts, ideas, love, hugs – all the things we always did, but in a new place.
And after awhile, it will become our home, just like this house. And we will love it, just like this house. And we will not want to leave it, just like this house. But maybe, unlike this house, we can stay there forever.