Tuesday, March 08, 2011

This Old House...

If you had asked me a month ago if I was going to miss our house when we moved to England, I would have laughed in your face. It’s been a running joke since we’ve lived here that what it really needs to set it right is about ten gallons of gasoline and a match.

This place is essentially Sunny’s parents’ Guest House. Over the past few decades it’s served as a ‘stop-gap’ home for various family members when they found themselves in ‘transitional’ periods of their lives.

That’s a bad thing for a house, because no-one who’s ever lived here (ourselves included) has planned to stay for more than six months…and with that mentality, the upkeep and maintenance was always performed on a ‘that’ll do’ basis.

If you’re only planning on staying for six months and money is tight, when the roof starts to leak, do you spend five grand on getting it professionally replaced? Or do you patch the hole with a twenty dollar bucket of sealant? If a pipe bursts, do you call a plumber to solder in some new copper pipe? Or do you just fix it yourself with a bit of PVC that will last until you move out?

In our case, this was especially bad because, from the day we moved in, we knew the place was going to be demolished when we moved out because Sunny’s mom wanted to build something else back here. There was just no point in sinking any real money into a house that was going to be torn down…especially when we were only going to be here ‘six months’.

In short, I really hated this house. It was a wreck and it felt like a constant reminder and a monument to my inability to find a job. For the seven years I’ve lived here, it’s caused me nothing but stress and I’ve daydreamed every day about the day I’d finally get to move out.

However, with today being the last full day I’ll ever spend under this roof…it suddenly struck me how much I’m going to miss the place.

Sure, I remember freaking out the third time the bedroom roof started to leak directly above the bed. I remember staring in disbelief at the brass shrapnel posing as valve heads I took off the kitchen faucets. I remember the all too common sinking feeling when I got into the crawlspace and discovered the 70’s era water heater had been leaking water for what looked like months…completely destroying the flooring underneath it…or when I discovered the pipe feeding the shower sprung a leak because someone in the past had tried to mate PVC pipe to copper.

But…and this is a big but, this place may be a wreck…but it’s also filled to the brim with happy memories.

It was my first place away from my parents’ home. The first place where I got to set my own rules. It’s the place I spent my first day as a married man.

The thing is, now that I’m leaving, I look at this place and I don’t remember the leaking roof and the bad plumbing…I remember all the good times we’ve had here; the number of times Sunny and I have talked and laughed in this living room. Having the entire family around the big dining room table at my first ever Thanksgiving. Unwrapping presents on our first Christmas together… or setting off fireworks in the yard on the 4th of July.

When we decided to move, I told Sunny that my only regret about leaving and going back to England was that I wouldn’t be here to see this place torn down… now, when I think of this place standing empty and the idea that after Wednesday, I’ll never step foot in this house again…it honestly makes me sad.

This house is a wreck…but some of the best times in my life have taken place under this roof.

Yeah, I hated it….but I’m really going to miss it.


MC Etcher said...

Well said! I hope your trip goes well, good luck!

Evan 08 said...

Safe journey

Sunny said...

Oh Lord...this is when I start crying.