The Mayflower guys came today to pick up our stuff. It rained a steady drizzle through the day so it took them a little longer to load than it might on a sunny day. There’s something melancholy about an empty house. And ours is pretty empty right now. There are a few of Justin’s bigger art pieces (which will be moved over to Augustana) and a few plants (which will find a home in Janice’s house), but there is a distinct echo when you walk from room to room.
(We haven’t sold our place yet, so keep telling your friends about our great home in a great neighborhood with fantastic neighbors.)
This day is a bookend day. A little over seven years ago we packed up a truck in Palo Alto to head east. It feels significant, even if it’s only stuff. Last night as I was sealing up the last boxes I spent a couple of hours going through the memory box of papers my mom saved for me from the time I was born. There were letters from my grandparents and aunts and uncles. There were school projects and report cards. Birthday cards and awards for good sportsmanship and expert spelling. A lot of it was just dusty old paper, but there were a few bits that triggered significant memories. There was a Haiku by Sally Borden in my third grade class. (The first girl I ever kissed.) There was a typed and signed confession that I had punched my brother Jon in the stomach, along with a pledge never to do it again. (I think I honored that pledge.) Reading those bits of memorabilia reminded me that there are precious things in one’s home, things that transcend the value of the tangible item. Memories are carried on those bits of paper, and we hang on to them to endow the places that we live with a sense of history.
We’ll miss this house. For a time it was home. Now the flotsam and jetsam of our lives is rolling across country in a 54 foot moving van, heading for a new house. Hopefully, in short order, that house (or in our case, apartment) will become home.