Monday, August 15, 2011


I love open houses. I’m nosey and it’s a chance to go into someone’s home and see what
they’ve done with the place. I have a tendency to drive by houses I really like frequently
to see if they ever get put on the market so I can see the inside.

I get this from my mom and so far this characteristic has been harmless. Until the other
day when my mom sent me a text message about a house they were looking at. In a
matter of 20 words, she went from describing a great Craftsman to the possibility of
moving into it.

What the…?!?!

My parents are not old by any means, but they are approaching retirement age. From
what I can tell, once my sister is out of college, they’re done. Its something they’ve
always talked about and I can see them traveling a lot.

They often come back from their vacations and talk about what it would be like to retire
there. Personally, I’ve always seen my parents retiring in New England somewhere, in a
cute little Cape Cod-style cottage or a Colonial revival. Or even in a little beach cottage
on the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

No matter where I pictured them retiring, for some reason it never occurred to me that
even though they wouldn’t be living in their house in Long Beach, someone else would.
Someone else would be living in the house I grew up in, the house with all my memories.
It’s a weird feeling, like someone is intruding or something.

Part of me would want to make sure that whoever moved in never changed anything. The
kitchen is gorgeous shade of deep red: leave it! The house is screaming for antiques: fill it
up! The laundry hall has super cute clothespin hardware on the cabinets and a glass door
with “Laundry” etched into it: leave ‘em!

My parent’s meticulously take care of their house; I also worry that someone may move
in who doesn’t take care of it at all and that would be the saddest thing of all.

No matter where you move or live or how old you get and have a family of your own,
you can always look back and think of your parents’ house as “your house.” If they move
into another house, that one will not be my house.

The thing about family, though, is no matter where they are, it’s home. They decided against that particular house but that doesn't mean they won't pass on the next one. If they do, I’m sure I’ll love their new place. And after raising the three of us kids for almost 30 years, they deserve a place to call their own.

1 comment:

  1. Abby, I know exactly how you feel! My mom is renting out her house and it was SO hard to see someone else move in. It's just not the same. Luckily we both have wonderful memories of our homes that we can keep forever.