Friday, July 06, 2007

Another passage

I never would have thought I'd feel this way; I thought I'd be glad to be shet of it, especially since I've been in this new house for two years last month.

But I'm mourning the sale of my old house; I left it only minutes before I had to go sign off the title.

It was the first real estate my spouse and I bought together; we moved in the day after our wedding. Both my babies came home from the hospital to this house. I've scrubbed and painted every inch of this place. I've canned vegetables from its garden, run through the sprinkler with my kids over its lawn, sat in the dark shade of its trees at night listening to crickets, laughed at the squirrels that scampered in its trees, lain in bed listening to blizzard winds whipping snow over the roof and chimney deep in winter.

But I think that is the reason it's so hard to say goodbye. I'm thoroughly enmeshed and entwined in this place, every plant put there by my will or left by my choice, the carpet my colors, the paint my colors even if chosen for neutrality.

This was supposed to be a "five year house"; we were only supposed to be here 5 years and then move on to a bigger home. We were here just shy of 17 years, all but two lived here. Time had its way with us, as did this house. I suppose we learned to go with the flow here in this house, rather than try to force it. We learned to live with its ebb of its own cycle.

Perhaps the problem isn't this house, though; perhaps the problem is that there will be a void that will be filled by something else now that I no longer have to think or worry about this house. What will that something be? Will it be something I can shape and mold as much as I did this house? Or will that something shape me?

Only time will tell.


James from the Lake here.

I got divorced a year and a half ago and moved out of the first house my ex and I bought together two months before the divorce was final.

We had just put a 1000 sq ft kitchen on (which I designed so I'd have a place to cook) and a 600 sq ft playroom for our kids, a sunken retreat where they could play video games, watch TV, practice the drums, whatever.

I feel like a part of me is ripped out every time I visit that house, which is pretty often, and the return to my little house 6 miles away with a kitchen and no counter space, no dishwasher, a living room smaller than the den in my old house.

My point when I started this is that i remember what it was like when my kids came home from the hospital. I'm 57, got married late, and my kids are now 14 and 11 1/2. I was the person who raised them, basically, from the time my youngerst was 2 1/2. I was home all the time, up at night while my ex was out working. I knew all their basic info when we had to go to the ER. The nurses would look at my wife and she'd tell them "Ask him, I don't know that stuff."

Now I'm trying to make this new house a home to make my kids comfortable when they are here. My son is with me four to five days a week, my daughter, three to four. I've got pictures all over the walls of different trips we've taken, Paris, Russia, London. Still doesn't feel like home.

Give it time.

Good luck.
See you at the Lake,

Thanks for sharing that piece of your life, james. Your situation is much more challenging than mine; I needed to hear that just so I can snap out of it. You see, my husband and I built a brand-new home together only a mile away from the old home; it was a lot of arguing and compromise and corner-cutting, painful lessons and mostly hard work, but we have this beautiful new home together. But the new home doesn't yet have all those quirky little memories that the old home had, might just take a few more layers of time before it acquires the patina the old home had. In your case, perhaps the point is that home is where your heart is -- and in my case, my heart has been spread too thin. Time to double-up where it belongs, right here with the lovely maple floors and the stainless steel island we built together, and the wide-open deck with a view of the evening skies that we couldn't see from under the shady trees of the old home.

Wishing you a new home in a new love, or a new love in a new home whenever you are ready.
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