Sunday, July 3, 2011

Leaving a House of 16 years

The other day I packed up my home in State College. Through the packing phase, I really did not feel much. I knew I would miss things about the house but there was no strong feeling one way or the other about leaving it.

Leaving friends was one thing. At least I did feel strongly that I would miss them. But the house surprised me. I thought I would hate getting rid of it and here I was packing up each room and - nothing.

Until the last night.

I was sitting on the floor of the Front room, folding some last minute laundry when it hit me. But what hit me was not what I expected.

I felt I was in a movie or a TV show or something like that where there is time lapse photography. The one where you are in a room and it shows you over time people coming and going and interacting. Sometimes I could replay a scene, other times it was only a snapshot. But the memories I had were strange ones. What came back to me that night was almost magical and spiritual rolled into one. I did not dredge these up as you can do if you try. These just flashed before me as if I had no control over which ones to choose. Some memories were sad, others were happy. Some made my heart hurt and some encouraged me.

For those who know me, here were a few.

Eating Ice cream out of the carton on our kitchen floor with all the girls and - in this one picture in my head - with Carla and Krysti.

Standing outside the back door and asking Julie if she would like to stay in our home until she and Mark could get married.

Taking wall paper off the walls with Scott when we first moved in.

Arguing with Bina over what she was wearing on the stairs leading to the front door. (Sorry Bina - that is just what came to me at the moment)

Seeing again, all the wonderful people and my family around me in the upstairs bedroom when Nathan was born. Seeing the look in Bailey's eyes as she watched the miracle.

Sitting in the rocker in Nathan's room when I felt God tell me about Josh.

Seeing the front room packed with students eating, laughing.

Sitting in front of the fireplace with Kerri.

A snapshot of Scott and Carla as they came over after the Antioch meeting about us. Carla sitting on the footstool with Scott behind her.

John Kelly sitting in the corner chair of our living room. (not one of my favorite for sure :)

Bob Bradbury sitting on the hearth praying for Nathan

Bethy on the rooftop watching the stars and another of her sitting in one of the blue chairs with Christian, all snuggled up.

Laughing with Britty and Carla in the kitchen about something.

Seeing someone's car parked in the MIDDLE of the driveway! (Marshall horrors) :)

Anyway, you get the picture I hope. Here was a house that had many memories buried in it. Memories I was able to share in as it opened the floodgates to me.

I loved that last evening in my house. Thanks House for the memories and all the good times and bad that made up our life there.


stephanie said...

Memories are some of out most precious gifts. You post reminded me of the song "The House that Built Me" If you have heard it, here's the video link:

Erin said...

That's how it was when my parents sold their house of 33 years two years ago. We all grew up there...and it was surreal and melancholy, even if the sale was a good thing.

I wrote a post about all the memories, a lot like this one. My mom sent it to the new owners (a young family) and they printed it and hung it on the wall for awhile. They were very appreciative of our memories there.

Barb said...

Ok, now you have made me cry :)

Funny thing about memories. I know one of my daughters wishes she could burn the place down. Another daughter wants to buy it and live there forever. Another daughter I hope will return some day and try to find herself there. Another daughter grew strong there.

I know it built me. Sometimes I'm not sure I like what it put into me and other times I would not trade it for the world.

Thanks for this though.

Barb said...

Erin, I remember your post too. Funny how houses represent so much to us.

Isaac Middleton said...

I reeeeeeally liked this post.
When I found out you guys were moving, I got sad because I would never see your house again. Haha. Lots of memories inside those walls, at least for me as a visiting nephew. Haha.