I recently went back to Virginia to move – for the second time. My husband and I still own a house there, and we finally decided that it was time to sell it. I hadn’t been there in over two years, and as I pulled into my driveway a sense of familiarity flooded over me. As I walked in, I was comforted by the smell of home (which strangely still lingered), and images of my dogs laying on the back deck and my eldest daughter pulling all of the Tupperware out of the drawers were vividly replaying in my mind. These things all made me smile, but were bittersweet too.
This house was where I started my family. My daughter’s lilac bedroom with daisies on the walls…now, walking out of her room for the last time was a total tearjerker. That house was where my father-in-law spent his last Christmas…and it was with us, and it was almost 70°F that day. He also taught his granddaughter how to drink from a water bottle in the driveway. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. I could see the dirt marks on the garage door where Murphy had pawed his way into the house…and as I touched it I could hear the sound. This too was a tearjerker moment, as Murphy has since passed away, and I only have memories and pictures to remind me of him.
With all the memories that came back, also came the reality of how much crap we owned. Ancient snow skis, three sets of golf clubs (neither of us golf), a knee board (we sold our boat four years ago), three giant tube televisions, and an unbelievable amount of computer and audio visual cords and accessories. It all went to charity. When the guy pulled in to the driveway, he looked at me and said “All of it?” and I repeated, “All of it…Oh, and the 55 gallon fish tank behind you.” Obviously, I couldn’t believe how much “stuff” we had. It was actually quite easy to sort → Toss – Keep – Donate. But, I was a little surprised how much stuff was in the Toss and Donate piles, and how little was in the Keep. I felt like I was on my own episode of Clean House. But, I lacked someone helping me purge my things, and redecorating my house.
After the movers came, and the donations were picked up…I walked the house for one last time. I couldn’t help feeling a sense of loneliness echoing in the empty rooms…Like we had abandoned it so long ago. I guess doors open and close all the time, and so do the chapters of our lives…you buy houses and you sell them too. You just can’t forget the chapters because they are what make up the story of your life. J