When my parents brought me home from the hospital it was to the house that I would live in until I was 18 years old.
I spent all of my childhood there. All of my pre-teen years. All of the years of teenage angst. Every year of my life until I left for college. Then there were holiday and spring and summer breaks.
Until I married, that was my house.
After I married, that was the house that my children knew of my parents. Of huge family Christmases with all the cousins. Of weekends with grandparents.
When I was 37 my parents made a shocking decision. Someone came in and offered to buy their house. (It was not for sale.) They sold. GASP! They had lived there for 39 years. Thirty. Nine. Years.
All those memories. All those Christmases. All those birthdays. All those friends and sleep-overs and swimming days. Gone. In the swish of a pen stroke on a contract.
Nah. It was a tremendous worry of my mother. “Are you sure you are OK with us selling the house? Aren’t you going to be upset? What about all of our memories here?”
“No, Mom. It does not bother me.”
You see, while she had lived in the same house for the last 39 years, I had lived in 10 different places. A couple of those were dorms, granted, but I had known what it was like to pack up and move.
I married a football coach. When we married, he was not yet a football coach, but it was inevitable. And with coaching comes moving. If your team doesn’t meet the expectations of the fans, the fans get irritable. If the fans get irritable, they go to the administration and to the Board of Education.
Then coaches and their families move. (Hmmm…a post for another day, I think.)
By this time, we had lived in Valdosta, Georgia for college and work as a lay coach One house there, an apartment, actually.
Then we moved to Sandersville, Georgia where we lived for 7 years and won 3 state football championships (Go WACO!). Three houses there: a rental that was very, very small and very, very cold and then another rental and then our first home.
Then to Donalsonville, Georgia. When we moved we lived in a very small 2 bedroom apartment with 3 kids and a dog while building our next dream home. None of our furniture even fit in that apartment. Then on to the house.
The summer my parents sold their house, we were also moving again to a new place, Forsyth County, Georgia.
We had made all of those moves. And I had not left even one memory inside the walls of a house that we had left.
“No, Mom. It does not bother me.”
Memories are in your head. They are “felt” in your heart. But they are held in your mind. So moving from one house to another does not bother me. Or my kids.
As a matter a fact, after we had lived in the same house in Forsyth County for 5 years, our kids were itching to move. That was as long as any of them had lived in one house.
We all had a very severe 5 year itch. However, our house was perfect for our family. Everyone had their own bedroom. Bathrooms were plentiful. Space was not a problem and we had a very large yard, which is quite an anomaly in such a densely populated area.
Now the kids are grown and, with the exception of home for holidays and breaks, gone. The space is now too much for our new lives as empty-nesters. So we are on the hunt.
We have lived in this house for 10 1/2 years. A VERY long time by our standards.
But I rest assured that when we sell this house, pack our things and move to another home that is just right for us, I know that we will take our memories with us.
Always. For as the saying goes “Home is where the heart is.” Or, rather “Home is where you make it. And memories are with you everywhere.”