Saturday, February 20, 2010

Selling the old family home

Poignant? Bittersweet?

How do you describe the process of packing up all the old memories of the home where you've lived for 20 odd years and raised four kids and umpteen pets?

Trick or treats and Christmases, birthday parties and baseball, basketball games and croquet - this house has seen it all. We graduated from pushing the strollers down to the neighborhood pool to scooters, skateboards and bicycles.

How do you say goodbye to the little unmarked graveyard where we buried Merlin, Tiger and Fina?

The sadness is there of course, but also the excitement of moving on in our lives. This old house has become an albatross around our neck (Rime of the Ancient Mariner to explain this image). Lots of mowing and roof repairs and electricity, plumbing and gas bills.

Three kids have gone off to college. TJ, the youngest, and Tom have moved to a lovely smaller house in Fishers.

I stay here in the old house during the work week - listening to the echoes in this large 10 room house that cries out for a family to fill its nooks and crannies.

So slowly, gradually I've been emptying the old house - getting it ready for the sale.

The sweet part? I'm an avid recycler. What fun to take all those  dusty old clothes to Goodwill where someone who actually fits them can enjoy them. All the old art supplies - the crayons, colored paper and clay go to the local school. The old magazines and jigsaw puzzles bring joy to the nursing home residents.

I wiped aside a tear as I gave the Humane Society the litter boxes and cat beds from the two old cats who died together last fall.

This old house has never looked better.

The clutter is gradually dissipating. The stacks and stacks of books have found a new home at the public library. The floor is clean. You can see the top of my desk for the first time in probably 20 years.

We have filled this house with noise and clutter and chocolate chip cookies and pets.

And now it is time for another family to find their home here.
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