Making memories one day at a time.......and then I write about it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Never Go Back

I've been told by many, after you sell your house never go back. You will just be disappointed with what the new owners have done to it.

The house that Brian and I live in......we are the original owners. It is the first house we've ever owned. We watched it grow from a hole in the ground, to foundations, walls being built, a roof, fixtures and flooring to be picked out, to completion.

We've thought about moving from time to time and have even taunted the neighbors with putting up "For Sale" signs but have never been able to make the actual sale and move. We just can't seem to do it. We love our home and neighbors too much. We've put in some deep roots here.

I do know what people mean by never go back though. My house that I grew up in, I call it my house even though our family does not own it anymore, because the house in my memory will always be mine.

It is a beautiful house. When we lived there for almost 20 years it was over a hundred years old. A big two story farm house with a wrap around porch. The house was white with a red roof. The roof was not a typical roof with asphalt shingles but was made from heavy (were they clay mom?) shingles that sat on top of each other. I've seen such shingles down in Arizona and CA but growing up we were the only ones that had a really cool red roof with big thick shingles made from clay.

The wrap around porch offered hours and hours of play as little girls and hours and hours of sitting and reading on the porch swing as teenage girls. In the evenings as the stars came out we'd sit on the porch and watch them come out one by one until the entire sky was lit up with sparkling diamonds.

Many times I have wished my punks could grow up under a star lit night like I did. They think the Milky Way is a candy bar............

I could go on and write an entire book about my home growing up but the sad thing is it doesn't exist anymore. Only in my memories. I made the mistake of going back..........

The house is still there but the owners added a horrendous addition to it that doesn't match the rest of the house or the time period of the house. The balcony off of the second floor has deteriorated and they've not fixed it so the wood railing is all rotted and falling off. The brick flower bed that follows the wrap around porch is crumbling and is completely gone in places making the front of the house look shabby. The pond up the back behind the house where we would spend hours skinny dipping is now surrounded by fake deer, bear, and moose making it a mockery and in my opinion probably scaring away the real deer that would come and visit and run up the draw.

They sold one of the fields next to our house and someone built a house on it. When you are used to rural living you don't want a neighbor to build their house on top of yours.........

Some of the trees that we had fond memories of climbing are gone. The big old red mail box is gone. The big antique rose bush that was out front is gone. People would drive by and stop their cars so they could take a picture of those roses and our house.

I was proud of our house. I knew it was beautiful because so many people in the summer time would stop and take pictures of it.

The fences that we'd helped my dad build are falling into disrepair.........the huge garden that we spent our entire summers in weeding and then living off of until the following year is gone. It is just grass now.

When I go home to visit my parents in MT we drive past my old home. Well, sort of. From the highway you can see it off in the distance and I tell myself every time we pass it not to look. It will only make me sad but it is like some scary movie. You cover your eyes but you can't stand it so you peek through the slits in your fingers and then when it is all over you wish you'd have kept your fingers closed and not looked. Sometimes I get even more sadistic and make Brian drive down my old road so that we drive directly in front of my house and then I can see the ugliness staring me in the face like some ghastly infected wound. I make Brian slow down and stop so I can tell my punks about my house and how it used to be.

In my memory my house is the way it used to be. Taken care of, loved, full of voices and laughter. The land surrounding it is lush and green, the aspen trees around the pond are shimmering as a breeze blows through their leaves. I picture my sister's and I up in one of our many trees or racing up and down the road in front of our house on our bikes or maybe cars are stopping to watch us in amazement as we play tag and run along the top rail of our fences. We would spend hours racing along the fences and didn't think twice that this wasn't something you would typically see or do for that matter.

One year our cousins came to visit. We tried teaching them to run on the fences and when one of my cousins fell scraping the insides of her legs to pieces I can remember thinking to myself, "stupid city cousins" my baby sis and I joke that it is my punks that are the stupid city cousins since she is raising hers in MT and I'm raising mine in the city. The agricultural part of town but I call it the city never the less.

Sometimes in my dreams I buy my old house and then like in dreams I wake up and remember that it isn't how it used to be. There is that monstrosity of an addition......and that other house in the field right next to our house.........I can't go back and buy the past. None of us can. Guess that is why it is so important to live in the the now and to be grateful for what God has blessed us with and given us. Someday our punks may look back and wish that they could buy their past. I hope my punks are as fond of their memories growing up as I am of mine............


  1. Why can't some things just stand still...not change or move...stay forever? I hate the realization that you can't ever go back. Last Sunday (after the Van Wagoner homecoming), we stood across the street looking at our "old" house in Provo. The fence is still standing, the monstrous trees in the backyard still offer cool shade and privacy, and the driveway still has the cracks in it that formed a few months after moving in. But the mailbox has someone else's name on it. It's not our house anymore. A part of us wanted to walk back in through the front door, set ourselves down and kick our feet up. Roots. It takes a long time to grow them again.

  2. I know how you feel. My grandparents still live in the house my mom grew up in but they sold some of their land. Now instead of fields to play in there is a house. It can be hard to see all the changes!


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