My parents sold their house last week. The house they’d lived in since I was small. My first memories are when we moved into that house aged three – walking with my dad through the dining room, taking big steps over the rolls of carpet on the floor. The snow piled high outside while we picnicked at the garden table as the removal company carried all our boxes inside.
Now, I’m really happy for my parents – they have been trying to sell and move for nearly three years. (Thanks Brexit!) Which has been understandably very frustrating for them. It is time for them to move and embrace the next stage of their lives. So they have the fun of unpacking everything in their new house and getting used to life in a new house in a new town.
But for me, it’s been talked about for so long that it was almost background noise, not something I needed to worry about any more. And now it’s happened. While I haven’t really lived there since I was eighteen and went to Uni, I still considered it home. Even once I had a home of my own, with a husband and children there was always the sense of coming home when I visited.
Being far away from them makes it harder, as I’m not sure I said goodbye to it properly. I last visited a few months ago, when my parents didn’t know when (or even if) the sale would all go through. And at the end it was all in a rush. So there was the possibility I would go there again. And now I won’t.
I have so many memories of that house and garden. The camps we made, the horses and other assorted animals we had over the years, my mother’s folly, learning to cycle, the asparagus patch that was planted for our wedding, building the extension, massive after Christmas soup parties complete with a raffle of unwanted presents, how every room has changed over the last thirty odd years. I could go on far longer.
Now they have a new house for us to visit and make new memories in. And we’re looking forward to the first trip. They might have even unpacked most of the boxes by then!