We took a quick trip over the weekend to see family and say goodbye to my best friend's childhood home. I moved semi-frequently when I was growing up, so my happy memories at my own homes are spread about- a few at one house, a handful at another.
But this house is covered with 24 years of memories and they all come rushing back to me if I stop to think-
Throwing markers back and forth out of the second story windows.
Hiding a tape recorder of scary noises in Little Becky's room and then waiting outside the door to see what would happen.
Getting covered in mud at the beaver pond.
Swinging to the Eagles.
Primping for hours in the upstairs bathroom.
Spending every Christmas Eve cozy by the wood stove with wassail and appetizers and gifts.
Parties- in the basement, in the dining room, in the yard.
Hundreds of meals around the big table and hundreds more at the counter.
Don, grilling in his apron.
Pam, offering one of my particularly sweaty dates a towel to dry off.
Sunning on the deck.
Little Becky, getting married in the garden.
It was Sunday afternoon and Adam and I lugged pots of herbs to the car so that I could plant them at my own home. He said, "It's weird that these are our last moments at this house. It's all I know."
We sat on the deck and talked about how surreal it is, to watch our children play where we used to play. We talked about the path through the woods and how you can't even read the sign at the entrance anymore. We talked about where the pets are buried. Natalie climbed her tree, for old times sake.
But mostly, we didn't talk about the end. We just enjoyed the weekend, the fall air, the remaining flowers, the laughing children.
Just like we are taught that the church is not a building, I learned long ago that a family is not a house. No matter how much joy you experience in one place, you always take the best stuff with you when you go.
We spent the rest of our weekend at my mom's house and had so much fun in her beautiful yard- I'll be sharing pictures later this week.