We have lived in our current home for four years.
It is amazing how little time four years seems when you’re over forty.
Remember high school? That took four years too.
Well for most of us anyway. But it seemed like a life time then.
My daughters are six and almost five years old now. This is really the only home they know. All that they really remember.
It’s too bad, because we have lived in some nice homes.
But we never owned those homes.
So while it seems like we just got here to Darlene and I, as we are packing, we find ourselves bombarded with memories of the girls that occurred here.
- Starting daycare.
- Riding the school bus.
- Starting elementary school and the awards they have racked up.
My daughter Alannah has won the student of the month award two years in a row for being the most trustworthy in her class. This does not speak kindly of the trustworthiness of her classmates.
But we packed up her certificates anyways.
Ashley-Rae learned how to walk in this house. Then run. Then jump. Usually on the living room furniture.
We had to have the furniture cleaned.
They both really learned how to talk in this house.
Then they learned to talk back.
In the summer time we live in our backyard. It’s quite nice and rather private given our location. Both girls learned to ride their bikes in this yard. Alannah learned how without training wheels.
We made up our own version of kick-ball back here. Our rules are based on three or more players. Our scores are often 10 to 8 to 6. The pine tree is first – the fence along Mr. Bud’s garage is second base, and the crabapple tree is third.
Home plate is this big worn spot created after several years of intense kick-ball matches.
We don’t think we can play kick ball in the new house. But maybe we can.
There was the first Christmas here when Alannah was not yet three.
She woke up Christmas morning, and not having been given clear rules about Christmas presents, started unwrapping all the presents.
Luckily she came across Uncle Glennie’s box of chocolates, or she may have opened up absolutely everything.
When we realized what had happened and “sprang from our beds to see what was the matter” – there was Alannah – chocolate from ear to ear – and the living room piled with unwrapped paper.
We were mad … for about 45 seconds – until we realized it was our own fault. Christmas morning present etiquette is a learned skill and not inherent.
As I was downstairs this evening, Darlene was busy packing up behind the bar in the family room. Our bar has a lot of great little knick-knacks – bar stuff.
- Coasters and mugs, and posters.
- Bowling trophies for champions and skunks.
- Irish Guinness memorabilia.
- And dart boards and equipment.
Our new house doesn’t have a bar – not yet anyways. So this stuff will likely be packed up until we build a new one.
Darlene found my box of photographs. It’s a small box. There are probably about two hundred or so photos in there. Usually photos that people have given me from their duplicates.
There I stood in one picture, all thin and muscular. And my hair was still brown.
I looked in the mirror.
“What happened to that guy?”
There were pictures of the kids in our family that are now all grown up. Pictures of Becky and Ben, Reid and Cole, Corrine. Now they are all adults or in their late teens. And it is amazing how much Corrine and Becky resemble each other.
Good thing they are good looking.
There were pictures of Dad, Uncle Fred, Aunt Sheila, and Uncle Herb. All are gone now. Together someplace else. But in this picture they are still with me.
I looked out the window in the yard. It was full of birds. Some were looking in.
I think those guys know we’re moving too.