This is the house that I moved into when I was eleven years old with my mom and dad and brother a one of my sisters. (The other sister had graduated from high school.) It was painted white, had black and white striped awnings over the windows and had a single car garage with a flat roof and a deck on the roof. The first night we were there in June of 1972, us kids slept in the dining room because it was the only other room in the house besides my mom and dad's that had a window air conditioner.
This is the house where I grew up. This is the house where I celebrated around forty Christmases, probably ten birthdays, a high school graduation, a marriage (a dinner for out of town family and friends after the church reception) not to mention the celebrations of my other family members. Mom called it the party house. She hosted a LOT of parties there. This is where I learned how to be hospitable. My mom was very good at having friends over and throwing parties.
This is the house where my son celebrated his second birthday where my daughter learned to use a fork and where she hid her peas in a glass of milk. This is the house where my nieces and nephews and my kids put on their epic Christmas play. (We still watch the video and laugh our heads off.)
In other words, this is the house where I have an abundance of memories.
After almost 44 years, my parents have packed up the majority of their stuff and moved to North Carolina to live with my sister and brother-in-law. Huge move for them. Big good-bye for me. As the youngest of four, I lived in that house longer than any other of my siblings.
This past New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, Hubby and I spent several hours walking through the house and going through the things that my parents left behind. I even got my dad on Skype and walked through the house for an hour looking over the things that Dad wanted me to set aside for him. I found several things I wanted to take home.
I also spent a lot of time just remembering.
In one room hung two pictures that my parents have had on their walls for longer than I've been alive. I wished I could have put them in my suitcase. I contemplated leaving them at my daughter's house to get at some later time.
|This is the Matterhorn in Switzerland. Hubby and I traveled to Switzerland twenty years ago and this was on my list of places to see because I had seen this picture in my parents house for my whole life.|
This is my room. I had a trundle bed that sometimes got pulled out, but mostly the room was too small and after I got a desk in there there wasn't room for the trundle to be pulled out. I have sooo many memories in this room. So many talks with God, so many dreams, so many books read, so many letters written, so many tears cried. (I was/am a dramatic person and tears come easily to me.) As I stood in that room for the very last time I had a very vivid memory of my last night slept there as a single woman. One of my best girlfriends (Laura) from college slept on the floor and we talked late. I don't remember everything we talked about, I just remember the excitement and anticipation. It's a sweet memory to me.
Can you see the hooks hanging on the fireplace? These were up year-round. They held our Christmas stockings for forty-ish years. The stockings that increased in number from four to six and eventually to twenty-nine. (If I counted right.)
Good-bye number 2531. The memories will always be with me.