Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Selling the Family Homestead

A couple months ago, my parents listed their home for sale.

The piece of property I lived on from age two until I married and moved away at age twenty-two has changed so completely in that time. The first house they built with its original combination living room/master bedroom, kitchen, single bath and loft shared by me and my sister, was torn down about ten years ago. Ponds have been dug and filled. Trees cleared and planted. Barns have moved. A flower shop opened, closed and then converted to a guest house.

It is land that has been the center of my family for twenty-seven years.

The future being uncertain, it is time for a change, a downsizing. The universe seems more than willing to accommodate what will surely be an adventure that will encompass the whole family. The house is already under contract. We'll all give input into a new, smaller central meeting ground. We'll watch or help as they find a way to fit their sprawling country lifestyle into a single, normal-sized home.

And one day soon, I'll visit for the last time, the hills I played on as a little girl. I can stand on the uneven earth where my first little house used to stand and remember the way I sat on the swing over the cool stone porch in the dark, crying on the night before I went away to college. And rewind a little more in my mind to my sister and Grandma Heda on the same swing. Grandma had laughed until tears came because a gypsy moth caterpillar fell down Jackie's shirt from the ceiling above.

The houses and land are full of memories, but blissfully, none of us need to be there to remember them. We'll all take from Prosperity nearly three decades of good stuff, leave the bad behind, and meet up in a new place where we'll start it all over again.