A Letter to the Family that Bought Our House

School girl edited

Today, my parents sold my childhood home.

It’s a historic and emotional day, as the house is the place that my Mother, Father, Sister and I have called “home” for the past 29 years.

To date, we are the only family to have EVER lived in the house. 

It’s an epic change, to say the least, and while my sister and I are excited for our parents as they begin the next phase of their journey, we cannot help but feel a flood of emotions.

Truth be told, it’s been downright heartbreaking.

Of  course we are fortunate beyond belief that we’ve not lost our parents, but we have lost a symbol of our childhood, our personal sanctuary, and the gathering place that we always looked forward to visiting.

Over the past several months I’ve cried, moped, cried, yelled, mourned, and cried some more.

And then I decided to deal with it the only way I know how. I wrote about it.

From the perspective of my younger sister and I.

Therefore, today’s post is dedicated to anyone who ever grew up, moved away from home, got a job, went about their business and then one day woke up to the announcement that their parents were selling their childhood home.

We know you’ll be able to relate.

It’s also one gigantic THANK YOU letter to our parents, because would we really be so upset if our childhood hadn’t been so freakin epic?

School girl edited

 

 

To the family that bought Our House,

You don’t know us, but we know the house you’re about to move into extremely well.

Every inch, nook and cranny in fact.

Until now, our family are the only ones who’ve ever lived in the house. We were there from day one, when the last nail was placed and the final coat of paint applied.

We’re told you have a young daughter, and so as the two girls who were raised almost exclusively in the house and neighborhood, we thought we’d share some of our memories and insight as you prepare to move into your new home.

Let’s begin at the beginning……

Once upon a time two fair maidens of five and seven set out on an adventure they were told would only last for three years.

Dad was being transferred, but it was only temporary.

Little did we know that the adventure would last a lot longer. Nearly three decades in fact.

It seems that no offer, no opportunity was great enough to move the family away from our beloved home.

If the walls could talk, they’d have a lot to say.

Over the years the house has been home to cats, dogs, birds, hamsters, guinea pigs, goldfish, and yes even a pet rat.

Thank goodness that Mom forbid snakes and lizards, otherwise we probably would’ve adopted some of those too.

It’s hosted countless nights of little girls giggling at all hours during sleepovers, plus birthday parties, cheerleading team dinners, high school graduation parties, college graduation parties, and finally retirement parties.

As children we learned to roller skate in the garage, and owned the neighborhood with the other kids on our Huffy 10 speeds. We lived our rock and roll fantasies as we lip synched to Guns N Roses while singing into hair brush microphones and strumming on wooden guitars lovingly fashioned by Dad.

We spent our summers Slip N’ Sliding in the backyard or playing “Olympics” running around for hours with the neighbor kids and then fashioning medals out of the shiny aluminum tops of yogurt containers.

We roamed in packs around the ‘hood from house to house, playing in the street, cooking up new adventures. Unless, as dictated by Mother Nature we were forced to  spend a summer afternoon sequestered in the basement at the insistence of our Midwest-born parents who “just didn’t like how the sky looked.”

But it didn’t bother us one bit. We watched movies ( usually Heathers and Boys N’ The Hood on repeat), played with Barbies, and just generally let our imagination run wild. Sure, eventually we had a Nintendo, but that paled in comparison to the adventure that could be found with a couple of chairs and a few blankets. Presto! Blanket fort. Add a couple of Fruit Roll Ups, a pitcher of Kool Aid and a box of Lucky Charms and you’d be set for the weekend.

It was all good, as long as we were home by the time the street lights came on.

As teenagers we Rollerbladed to our junior high school ( or took the bus when we were feeling slightly less motivated) ,filled the house with the squeaks and squawks of newly rented band instruments, and rehearsed dramatic performances and cheerleading moves in the back yard.

Later our parents held their breath as we drove ourselves to high school (unless we were grounded), and then on to our part time jobs at the local ice skating rink where we “flopped nachos”, ice cream cones and pretzels alongside portion-controlled containers of “pasteurized processed cheese food” at the concession stand.

To this day, we agree that every teenager should do their time in the food service industry. It builds character. And callouses.

Sometimes the car would return with a few more scratches than when it left, but it was okay, because if anything serious happened we had these new things called cellular phones(i.e. communication devices the size of paving stones).

The fireplace in the family room served as the backdrop for dance photos from elementary school sock hops, to senior proms, to 10 year high school reunions. We’d humor Mom and smile, even though every bone in our teen angst ridden bodies begged us not to.

At Christmas time the same fireplace supported our stockings (yes, even ones for the dogs and cats), and our tree stood in front of the window of the living room. Every morning we’d wake up and gaze in awe and anticipation (assuming the cats didn’t completely topple it over under the cover of darkness), wondering what the shiny packages held and stressing over whether Santa would be able to make it down our chimney. One year a set of sleigh and reindeer tracks magically appeared in our front yard. Yep. After that, we believed.

In front of the television set (which grew in diameter and resolution but shrunk in width and sheer weight over the years) we witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union, the disgrace of Milli Vanilli, John Elway finally winnning two Super Bowls, the inauguration of four presidents and the thrill of fifteen Olympic Games.

At the kitchen table we studied for exams, assembled countless art and science projects, endured lectures regarding whatever brilliant teenage mishap we were involved in that week, and most of all enjoyed thousands of family conversations at mandatory Sunday dinners.

We witnessed the birth of the internet, the dawn of a new millennium, and the inception of “reality TV”. We cried out in shock as the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center fell and wished in that moment that we could all just be back together, at home.

We mourned the loss of Princess Diana, JFK Jr., Kurt Cobain, and MTV as we knew it.

We said goodbye to uncles, grandparents, friends, boyfriends, jobs, championships, pets, and who knows how many doll shoes that we’re convinced are still lodged somewhere in the central air system.

30 years of history.

30 years of memories.

A starting point for adventures great and small

A refuge from skinned knees, teen angst and broken hearts.

A place of laughter, hope, encouragement, and sometimes tough love.

But, most importantly, love.

It’s certainly more than just a house, it was our home.

The best home a couple of rambunctious, ambitious and inherently hard-headed Midwest girls could’ve asked for.

The house was built, and then it built us.

We’re all grown up now and our home is now yours. We know that you will fill the walls of your house with as much love and laughter as we have, and we wish you the best as you begin your own adventure.

And to the new young lady of the house: 30 years ago our parents gave us the gift of this home.

We pass the torch to you.

We wish you a childhood as extraordinary as ours.

Sincerely,

The Daughters of Creekwood Drive

P.S., If you happen to accidentally send a ball flying over the fence into the neighbor’s backyard, just go ahead and go over and knock on the front door. I promise you, he’s really not that scary.

Can you relate? Share your epic childhood memories and stories of your home in the comments below

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