An Ode To My Old House, Now That We Have Parted – #NaBloPoMo, Day 8-9

{I’m cheating and calling this blog post two days’ worth (because who’s gonna stop me?): Day 8, I’m grateful for my new house… and Day 9, I’m grateful for my old house.}

Dear Old House,

I know we are done forever. I know you are now spending your time with other people, taking care of them and making a new life with them, and that is as it should be.

But I shall never forget you. Your quirks and flaws and beauties are embedded in my heart. I sound like a sentimental fool, and I am one. I haven’t often displaced myself, so it’s an emotional trial every time.

Our New House is lovely. It is also rather swanky, by our standards, with hardwood floors, butcher-block counters, and Tiffany-style light fixtures. We are already settling into our routines, and feeling mostly happy-homey together. We are looking forward to building real fires in the fireplace. We will finally be able to have friends over and feed them in a gracious dining space. The children will run endlessly around the circuit that is our main floor.

But I will always think of you with a pang.

New House has a shady patio out front, with wicker chairs and space to play… but I still miss your front stoop, burning hot on summer afternoons, where we sat and ate popsicles.

New House has chic window draperies long enough to pool on the floor, which is apparently de rigueur… But they actually drive me a bit bonkers. I just know there will be dust bunnies cuddling in their silky folds.

New House has an expansive wooden deck out back that already hosted many contented summer meals this past season… but it cannot replace your fragrant fruit trees. Especially the apple tree, planted when our first baby was born, that finally bore edible apples just as we left.

New Basement has spotless beige berber carpeting (or at least it was spotless before some little people I live with christened it with neon green Silly Putty). Your 70s-bordello basement carpeting was never our style, and yet a part of me loved it – the personality and history of it.

New Kitchen has one of the best things: a sexy stainless-steel dishwasher named Bosch, who has made our lives a lot easier (because a clean kitchen helps everything). But I’ll tell you a secret: he has a latch issue and needs quite a bit of support in order to finish. As in, we have to prop a toolbox on a step stool and bolster him closed. So there you go.

I love our New Floors, and I enjoy obsessing over potential area rugs, though it all makes me realize more than ever that your wall-to-wall carpeting concealed all manner of crap in its fibres. And yet… sometimes I miss that carpeting like you wouldn’t believe. Its warmth on chilly toes, its softness on a bumped knee, and especially its cozy sound-muffling qualities.

Most of all, I miss your core-deep familiarity. You are where we put down our roots, literally and figuratively. We had wonderful times together. And that’s just hard to detach from.

At this time of year, when suddenly it gets dark too early, and virus season looms large and ugly, and we are still dealing with the pesky, seemingly impenetrable last level of unpacking, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and blue. Sometimes I think of you, and just yearn for that familiarity. We do feel like this is home now, but the kids still talk about you wistfully sometimes, and you still have a gravitational pull for me.

The other day, AB and I actually stopped by your address – partly to pick up a mis-mailed package, but also to see you. Driving the route to Old Street was so weird… my inner gravity got so confused.

Your front door is still bright blue. Your flowering quince still sits by the walk, all prickly. But the new owners have cut down the crabapple tree out front; they have also left dozens of cigarette butts decorating the mulched flowerbeds on either side of the porch. (Seriously? People still do that?)

And when a friendly young woman opened the door for us, we saw that you were not really you. You now have grey laminate floors, and all the glimpsable walls were white – and I know absolutely that your flamboyant basement carpet is long gone. You didn’t look like home at all.

In a way, it’s comforting. You only looked like our home when we were with you. That is as it should be. Thanks for the memories, Old House.

That crabapple tree was old and tired, but still put on a show in the spring.

4 thoughts on “An Ode To My Old House, Now That We Have Parted – #NaBloPoMo, Day 8-9

  1. Mama says:

    The crabapple tree! Oh, no! That’s almost as bad as the cutting down of the cherry trees at Caroleigh’s Peel St. house! Cigarette butts in the mulch? The house has one smoker, who is not permitted by the non-smoker to smoke inside — that’s my guess.

    We lived in our first apartment six months and our second apartment six months (approximately)and then our first (rented) house for just 2 years. Then 35 years in the same house, where all our kids were born and raised. Talk about sentimentality, gravity, fond memories, and missing!!

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      I’m sure you’re right about the smoker… but I’m pretty sure most smokers at least have a coffee can or something for butts…(?)

      It was a good thing we had many months to say goodbye to P. Place. We needed them, for so many reasons. I still miss things about that house, but just as in this post, we know it’s not the same house anymore!

  2. emerge says:

    Old House, I miss you too! You were a wonderful home for me through many adventures and trials. New House is not my home, though it is lovely. Even after i left, you were still there for me whenever I came back for a visit, and you still felt like home. Even after my cave got turned into a kicking room! There was much coziness in you and much to be remembered.

    I relate to what you say, Di, about the changes being reassuring. That’s how I felt when looking at 374 on Google Street View. The house in my heart is still there but the house other people are living in is not really ours. They can have it.

    But still, that must have been weird. Grey laminate. And really, they chopped down the tree?!? 🙁

    I find the cigarette littering thing weird too, but I thought people only did it in places where they figured (erroneously) it was public so who cares, not in their own home space. But maybe it makes them feel protected or comfy or something. (?!) 😀

    Here’s looking forward to your first winter in New House! With fond memories of Old ones.

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      That’s one of the things I miss about the old house – that whole history where it was yours too is inextricably linked to the happy baby times in my mind, and I miss all of that together… you as our housemate, and our kids as babies. You’re just going to need to visit more, so we can imbue New House with Eminess.

      It’s true that the crabapple tree was not in great shape. It never produced proper crab apples the whole time we were there. I think it probably inherited the ants that were ousted from the cherry tree. But the flowers sure were lovely.

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