An offer has come on the house where I grew up. It has been accepted an a closing date has been set.
I want to beg Dad not to sell it.
I want to have it sold already.
But it is the house where I grew up. I want to write a letter to the new owners and this is what I think it will say.
Dear new owners.
I grew up in this house. My earliest memories were of sliding down the stairs on my butt. Allow me to let you know some things about it.
The rungs on the bannister look wider than they are. Ask my brother. He got his head stuck between them. Mom called the fire department and expected them to cut through the bars, instead they poured a massive amount of cooking oil on his head. To the kids growing up--don't try it, it really sucks.
When you are in the basement, the house creaks. You will swear on a stack of bibles that there is someone else in the house. Nope. That's just the way it is.
My bedroom, the one that's pink now, is the warmest room in the winter and the coolest room in the summer. Yeah, you might like to have the big bedroom with the bathroom attached as the master bedroom--but if you are as sensitive to temperature as I am, take my room. It's good.
This house knew love. The kind that lasts lifetimes. My parents were the only owners of the house and they were married nearly 65 years. 54 of them were spent in this house. My oldest sister grew from toddler to adult in this house. My brother and I grew from newborns to adult in this house. This is the house where we hung out as teenagers, we held parties, and kissed our boyfriends (okay my boyfriends) at the front door. Grandchildren came to play in this house. The step that leads to the den from the stairs is called the evil step because every one of the grandchildren took a header on it. But afterwards they learned. This house rang with the laughter of a family with a good sense of humor. Yes this house knew tears, but when we wept, we didn't weep alone as the spirits of love remembered kept us company.
This is also the house where my mother died. I'm not telling you that to scare you or make this morbid. That is why my father is selling it, because when I come to the house I expect to see my mother in the kitchen, or coming up from the office in the basement, and it still hurts that she won't. We had a wonderful time in this house, and now it is your turn.
I have wishes for you.
May you make the house ring with laughter. The acoustics are such that if someone is laughing in the den, you can hear them upstairs.
May your children discover that if you talk about them in the basement office they can hear you in my room (the pink one).
May you have many meals where both ovens are used.
May there be a blackout--just cold enough that you sleep in front of the fireplace. I remember those nights of my childhood very well.
Fill this house with as much kindness, arguments, laughter, shouting, and love that we did. It's a tall order but we are wishing that a family enjoys this house as much as we did.
(and, if you find a wedding ring in the corners of the house, please return it to me. It was my mother's.)