As we continue to sort, toss, donate and pack our belongings, the reality of moving out of our house looms large.
For twelve years, this has been our secure, quiet, reliable, comforting base. Whatever insanity or stress was going on outside, it stopped at our front door. We’ve been through a lot while we’ve lived in this house and we associate an incredible number of memories with it. Almost all are good. A couple, not so great.
Of course, some of it is just funny. As we’ve watched residents move in and out of our neighborhood, we’ve noted that the average age of our neighbors has remained pretty young. This has provided a near constant stream of entertainment.
And no, I don’t typically look into our neighbors’ houses, but as I walked the dog one night, this ready-at-a-moment’s-notice funnel, conveniently hung from a kitchen cabinet, caught my eye. Lord knows you might need to funnel some beer on a Wednesday afternoon. You don’t want to have to go searching for that thing! Keep it handy!!
Our home has weathered all manner of memorable storms, from hurricanes to derechos to Snowmageddon, Snowpocolypse and Snowzilla. Wandering around in the aftermath of the various snowstorms was incredibly cool – the silence that comes along with all that snow was otherworldly – and being able to walk right down the middle of streets that are usually filled with cars and buses was awesome. Well, we thought it was awesome. The dog, on the other hand, had to figure out where to pee.
More than the neighborhood or the various crazy storms though, it is the house itself that holds so many memories for us.
For years, we would host various gatherings – Thanksgiving and New Years in the cold months, barbecues in the warm months, and all manner of random Saturday nights in between. Our friends elevated the Bloody Mary and egg nog to high art, Kevin developed his BBQ skills, Rock Band rocked out, and we spent hours sitting around the dining room table playing games and talking.
Common to almost all of our get togethers was the presence of our fur-babies. Our friends would usually bring their dogs over and the next thing you knew, it seemed there were almost as many dogs as there were people.
With the addition of Dixie and her overwhelming desire to protect the homeland, and with several friends having children, we’ve had far fewer get togethers at our house over the past couple years. Things change; it’s just the way it goes. But we’ll hold these memories close as we pack up and head off.
Speaking of which, citizens who successfully navigated Dixie’s “moat of drama” were allowed into her “tree of trust,” where they were rewarded with the opportunity to be climbed on, shed on, and drooled on.
Of course, along with all the great memories we’ll take with us, there are some we’d rather forget.
Shasta was our first furry roommate and my first pet ever. She was the sweetest, gentlest, easiest dog in the world. We adopted her when she was about 7 and she passed away just shy of 14. Watching her age and struggle was painful, but we thought she was doing alright and we’d have more time. In the end, things went south in a matter of hours and we never got to say goodbye. I’m not sure it would have made a difference. Probably not. All I know is, returning to this house from the vet with just her collar and leash was crushing.
There are other images from our time here that are seared in our minds. Though not public-blog-worthy, they cross our consciousness as we move from room to room packing and sorting.
So cleaning the house out has been saddening in some ways and therapeutic in others. Other times though, it’s just been confusing.
In the midst of sorting through Kevin’s enormous book collection, we came across this:
Apparently, the ENTIRE time I’ve been living here, I could have been working on my ninja mind control skills. What the hell, Kevin? Could you tell me you have these things????
More importantly, is this the reason you always seem to convince me your way is the right way???
In either case, while I ponder what tricks Kevin’s been using on me for the last 16 years, we’ll continue emptying this house and moving toward the next part of our lives. There is no question though that when we walk out that door for the last time, it will be bittersweet.