Our house it has a crowd
There's always something happening
And it's usually quite loud
Our mum she's so house-proud
Nothing ever slows her down
And a mess is not allowed
Our house, in the middle of our street
~Lyrics from "Our House" by MadnessMaybe it was the lack of central air conditioning, but the doors and windows were open, we came and went, people and neighbors stopped by and were in and out. There was one telephone and it was fixed to the wall in the kitchen... which I'm not sure in this day and age of cell phones and texting... still isn't such a bad idea.
There was a brick fireplace in the family room where countless family pictures, gatherings, and marshmallow roastings took place. It kept us warm when we truly learned the need for prepping while the power was out for two weeks during the Blizzard of '78. It also served as the background for many family photographs, even the first Christmas for my main gal and I about a quarter of a century ago.
My mom still answers the first phone number I ever learned forty-some years ago. Old photographs hang on the walls... joined by new photos of my daughter, the steps upstairs still creak in the same order, and some of my baseball caps and farm hats are still hanging with work clothes in the basement. My first dog, Smokey, a black and white mutt from the humane society lived with us for sixteen years in that house. But things have changed.
Over the years those farm fields sprouted houses. That little town of 2,800 friends and neighbors we lived near swallowed our farms and country living... swelling to almost 35,000 people and strangers. The lane and a half gravel road leading out our way, where cars and pick-ups had to have two right tires off the side of the road to pass, is now a busy three-lane boulevard. You can't walk up the road or across the field to shoot anything anymore... no more fence rows to walk and hunt. It's not the same as when I grew up, but it's still my home in many ways.
It's not been a year since "Pa" passed, and Mom had talked about selling the house and moving down our way to be near family. Well, mom called last night. A neighbor in the real estate business called her about a family interested in buying her house even though it wasn't listed. A little back and forth... a price was agreed to... and it's a done deal. We'll be moving mom down our way in the next few weeks.
I knew it was going to happen eventually, but it still kind of feels like the last chapter of a good book has been written, the cover closed, and it's being put on a shelf to collect dust in the back of my mind. Unlike my grandfather's farm house where my aunt now lives, this house will no longer be in the family.
What can I say... it was... Our house, in the middle of our street...