Saturday, December 17, 2011
Every night on the way home from work I pass my old house - where we lived for 20 years. We moved in in 1981 - all excited - with interest rates at 17.5%, and barely two dimes to rub together after we put down 50% on on $80,000 house. We'd scraped and saved for 8 years to save up that money but there was no way we could have afforded the house payments without that high down payment. I loved the house for many years. It was old - about 1795 we think - and small- only 1400 square feet - but it fit us and we worked on it, worked the garden, fixed, painted, papered...there was always something to do. We also got Samson when we lived there, and our friends had babies who toddled around our wide pine floors. Sean and Brian would stay over when they were little and I'd have to bundle them up in the morning - cause the house was so cold.
Eventually, we realized that we had to sell the house - it needed a major overhaul and no matter what you did to it, it would always be on a busy road. Health issues precluded taking on such a big job and practically, we felt a newly built house would be better and easier for us. And it has been. I didn't realize how hard I worked in that old house, the old garden was almost overwhelming - the house walls were crooked, the floor tilted, the windows were a joke. In the summer we had to put in the air conditioners and take them down in the winter (and we only had one in the bedroom and one in the tiny studio that DH had). I had no dishwasher, and the washer and dryer were in a damp and dank cellar. Don't get me wrong...I knew we were very rich - we had our own house for goodness sake....but this house was alot of work.
So we moved to our newly built house and after I got over my homesickness - I began to love it - and I still do. I love the ease of it, I love having garage doors and central air and walls and ceilings that meet at right angles. I love the fact that my 6'4" nephew can walk thru the rooms without hitting his head on the ceiling and can walk up the stairs without crouching.
But the other day - as I drove past the old house - I had an almost overwhelming urge to walk up to the front door, and walk back into my life 20 years ago. I felt that if I just knocked on the door, I could step in time - no questions asked. I wanted so badly to be back there with everyone alive again, and so many old friends nearby. I had to keep my hands on the steering wheel - I really did and just keep driving. Of course by the time I got home to this house, I'd convinced myself that I didn't want to go back 20 years...I can't imagine a world without my nephews and my beautiful niece but the thought has haunted me for the past few nights.
I think it's simply the season - it's a time for nostalgia and family. I miss the hustle and bustle of buying presents for kids and watching them open them, and then tossing the paper into the roaring fireplace. I miss the wood smoke smell, and Samson with his funny antlers on.
It'll pass. The season is a tough one this year - my close aunt as well as my MIL died last year in December and I miss them both. I miss my dad, and my dear friend Isabel (who did Christmas like no one else) and I miss my SIL (who always hated every present that we gave her). I miss having my parents live only a few hours away, and family gatherings that were spontaneous. I also know that I didn't appreciate everything and everyone when I did have them, and I feel badly about that. Do you know the play "Our Town"? When the main character has a chance to relive one day in her life? I feel like that right now - like I want to relive a day but know that I really want to embrace the moment, enjoy my friends and family, hug my pooch again.
Oh dear - I didn't mean to go on and on. I do love my life now, and am thankful everyday for friends and family and health - it's just nostalgia...that's all.
Posted by Mim at 3:59 PM