Going once...Going twice...It's a memory now.
Yesterday, months of hard work, cleaning and stress all came to an end within the span of an hour. Yesterday our family home was sold. The auction didn't initially go as well as planned, however the result was pleasing nonetheless.
Most of my childhood had happened in this house, this old worn out space. In a way it’s become an icon of salvation, which is oddly contradicting because we never wanted to be where we are in the first place. Early on in my childhood a series of financial problems caused my family to move in with my grandparents. It was tight living and my parents and grandparents would clash often. But despite all of the repercussions it’s been our ‘safety blanket’.
That’s what my mum’s called it, a ‘safety blanket’ that’s kept our family from moving on. It makes sense to me seeing how this is, or now was, her childhood home too. For her there are a lot of memories hanging on walls and under our feet and stored in the garage. It got even harder for her when my grandparents died, mostly because the house is full of their treasures more than our own. This is something we’ve all missed the most. Moving in with them meant we had to get rid of the stuff we couldn’t store and consequently lost our own sense of home.
Mum has always found that hard to deal with, she’s never been able to display the fancy china (not that we ever really had any) or have the space for the stuff she cares about, none of us really have.
So, in a sense moving will hopefully give us that freedom and more importantly give my parents, especially mum, a chance to start rebuilding the collection of family heirlooms we’re missing.
For me, I’ll miss the familiarity the most. The sense of comfort this place has given me and the memories built around it. Like when I used to play catch in the driveway with my dad and the hours spent playing with the neighbourhood kids. This house has always been a point of consistency as things have changed, both in and around my life. It may’ve never been our home but it was a home. What I won’t miss is;
• The lack of air conditioning during the hot Australian summers.
• The lack of heat throughout the house during winter, some rooms are pleasant while others are bloody freezing!
• The old pipes and floorboards that groan.
• The broken, ugly linoleum and tiled floors.
• The tired, leaky roof.
• The temperamental, old wiring.
• The drafts that rattle doors.
• The way the foundation moves and makes the back door stick so it won’t open and close properly anymore.
• The dodgy, paint jobs that have been done to try and fix certain areas but never really worked.
• The ineffective gutters that overflow and cause one side of the house to look like a waterfall.
• Of course these are all superficial points.
The house is undeniably old, built in the 40’s I believe and has reached that point in its life when it needs some TLC. It would’ve been nice to do it all years ago; to renovate and give it a more youthful look, but conflicts within the family meant it never happened. I would’ve loved to have seen it when it was new, when the issues that plague it now were decades away. Mum tells me that the front yard used to be barren and over the years she watched as my grandmother turned it into a paradise. Sadly it doesn’t look that way anymore.
Thankfully it’ll get a second chance and it makes me happy to think that a family will fix it up and turn it their new home. To know that it’ll remain here for years to come gives me a feeling of relief because despite all its faults and problems it’s still a good, stable house and it deserves to have people who will look after it.
Maybe it’s because I’m terribly sentimental and get attached to things easily that I’m still blabbering on. I also realise this all might sound silly, but to know this part of my life is ending makes me want to share all of this, whether anyone’s still reading or not.
I hope that in my future I’ll have a family home of my own which is full of the things a family house should have. However, it’s still only the superficial things. What I really hope for is a home with the quirks I’ve come to love in this one. Sure I hate some of them, but without them it’s just four walls and a roof. I believe a house becomes so much more when it has character and flaws, it becomes like us. Imperfect, yet in our own eyes, perfection.
I guess, unintentionally, this blog has become some form of tribute and if you’re still reading please feel free to share your opinions and stories or maybe I’m just tragic and alone in the way I feel. All I do know is that I’ll miss house number 122.
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