June 16, 2005
I recently learned that my parents, who have lived in the same house since 1962, are considering the possibility of selling it. Without having talked to them in any detail about the reasons, I suspect that it is starting to become problematic for them.
The house itself was built in the early 1950s, so it is fast approaching 60 years of age. They have lovingly maintained it and updated it over the years, but as with all structures there is always one more thing that needs doing. As is typical in the midwest the house sits on a full basement, and in typical “man” design, the laundry is downstairs. Eventually having 13 steps between them and clean clothes will become an issue.
So I understand the reasoning behind thoughts of selling and moving into a maintenance free dwelling that is all on one level. But another part of me cries out at the thought of the only childhood home I’ve ever known being sold to someone else. I’d never be able to go back there again.
Michele has lived in 13 states, and perhaps three times that many locations within those states. Her childhood home is an idea that lives in her heart not a physical place she can return to and touch. The house I grew up in has always been there. I’ve never not had that as my childhood home. It seems odd that as a middle aged man I have to face for the first time losing my first home.
Ultimately it’s just a building. And I’ll learn to fill in whatever gap it may leave behind as it moves out of my life permanently. But the initial shock of no longer have that house to go to will be an interesting growth experience for me.