Today when we scanned the Daily Herald for estate sales I saw an ad for a moving sale at my old house. It is going to be torn down next week to make way for a local church expansion. It is a house that has not been loved in a long time...
That is the first house I ever lived in, ever. Prior to moving to Chicago I was what they call a cliff dweller..an apartment renter. When I moved here I was lucky enough to live in that cozy Cape Cod house with Bill for just under a month, when Christopher made an appearance, three weeks before his due date. We lived together in that great little house for four years before moving for a short time to Appleton, Wisconsin.
I loved that house for many reasons. It was my home...not an apartment..but my home. It was exciting. I felt complete there. It was just enough space for the three of us. My life with Bill was brand new and everything seemed possible.
It was the place where I brought my first baby home. Becoming a mother was a dream come true. I was in love, I had a new delicious new baby, I lived in a house that felt like me....what could have been better.
I love the house I live in now. It is wonderful and beautiful and cool and comfortable. But I will always love that sweet Cape Cod. So given the chance to visit it one more time, I knew that I had no choice but to go.
I think that somewhere in the back of my mind, I had always hoped somehow to have one of my children live there. It was a good house, with a good, loving history, so I suppose I wished that my children might live there and experience that history too. But it's not meant to be.
We all drove over to visit the house. Even Max, Mollie and Tess, who never lived there, came along. They have heard stories about the three of us living there, and as it is only a few blocks from our present home, they have driven past on a regular basis.
It was strange stepping over the threshold of a place that I haven't seen in 18 years, and still feeling like it was home. Things had changed of course. The beautiful hardwood floors were hidden away with carpeting, the lovely painted woodwork covered with a faux wood stain, the lightness and charm that is inherent to Cape Cod houses was nearly gone....yet something calm, quiet and serene remained.
It was hard being there. It was wonderful being there. I missed the sense of beginning a new life that only a first house, a first baby and a new marriage can bring. But I was surrounded by my husband and my children, that which means the most to me, and so why should I mourn this loss? I don't know yet. I don't know what this meant to me. I think I will have to take some time to discover what it all means. It's something I have to know.
So then, after all is said and done....this is a photo of Christopher taken when he was just a little guy, all dressed and ready to walk with me to the library, to enjoy the summer reading program...such a happy guy on such a happy day....
And here he is today, at our old house, still looking ready for anything that comes his way....
One last note...we were able to take with us the trellis from the side of the house. It once held beautiful blue Morning Glories, and hopefully now will do the same at our home. It's hard to believe that this little wooden trellis, that we put up over twenty years ago is still strong and in one piece. I suppose too, so are we.