For the last six years or so, my parents have been renting out the house that we used to live in. Recently (as in from August 2012 until now), my mom, dad, and I (mostly my dad), have been renovating the house because we plan on finally selling it. Our previous tenant was a flake and fell behind on her rent so my parents had no choice but to evict her. When I went back to that house for the first time since I moved out (which was when I was about seven years old), I was heartbroken. It was a disaster. It was beat-up, worn down, and an absolute mess. I was sad and angry at the same time.
Trying to look past the horrific condition of the house, I tried to focus on the house itself, what it meant to me. Suddenly, a wave of nostalgia fell over me and I began to delve back into my childhood days, remembering this house the way I remembered it. One of the first places I went to was the kitchen. I closed the door and saw the familiar pencil scratchings on the door frame. Yes, I remember these like it was yesterday. My dad recorded my height, as well as my sister’s during the time we lived in that house. I ran my fingers over the weathered frame, surprised that these markings were still clearly visible.
Next, I walked into the family room, which is right next to the kitchen. An empty room was there before me, but as I stared, the room came to life. Couches and furniture began to fade into appearance and before me was a long table with kids wearing birthday hats. At the end of the table was me, the birthday girl. It was arts and crafts time and we were all making angel ornaments (my birthday is close to Christmas). It was as if this scene came right out of a movie, as the protagonist gets nostalgic over the past.
I continued walking throughout the rest of the house. I visited the bathroom, I remembered when I lost my first tooth. I walked upstairs to the bonus room, where my sister and I would paint each other’s nails. Then I walked to my old bedroom. Yes, it was a lot smaller than I remember it, but then again, I was small too. That’s when it really hit me. My eyes began to water as this nostalgia became almost too overwhelming. The way the sun entered the room during the afternoon…it was exactly how I remembered it. Everything was so familiar, despite the amount of time that had passed since I was last in that room. It was simply an indescribable feeling.
Over the next couple of months, the three of us worked on that house, giving it a new makeover. My sister wasn’t there because she’s away at school and doesn’t live with us during the semester. My mom and I did most of the scrubbing and painting. My dad did the hard stuff like replacing the floors in the bathrooms and fixing the outside of the house.
The moment I realized we were going to sell the house, was when I arrived one day and went to the kitchen and looked behind the door only to see that white paint covered the frame and our height records were no longer there. Yeah, I’ll admit I was a little sad. To me, this house will ALWAYS be home to me.
What’s funny about that is…we lived in that house for about four or five years. We’ve lived in our current house for about thirteen years, yet when we all discussed it, NONE of us have an attachment to this house. We all still really love the old house. I think that’s because we had some of our fondest memories there…birthday parties, slumber parties, Christmases. EVERYTHING. The memories I can recollect are the ones I had in that house.
I’ll be sad when it’s finally time to put the house on the market. In a sense, it feels like a piece of me is being taken away. I never realized how attached I was to that house until I went there last year for the first time since we moved out. I didn’t expect to get as nostalgic as I did and I certainly didn’t expect for it to be as emotional. But they do say home is where the heart is, and now I know where my heart truly is.
Can you remember the house you grew up in? Are you still attached to it? What do you remember of it?