A Tale of Two Houses
On a recent trip to the town where I grew up, my brother drove me around town to see how much things have changed. Old stores have been torn down and shiny new buildings replace them. What used to be expanses of empty lots are now shopping centers. It was strange to see it all. One part of town is older and just like it used to be, while others are completely foreign to me.
On this tour he turned into my old neighborhood, and we stopped at the first house my husband and I owned. The house where we brought our first two babies home. I've always loved that old house and my reaction was unexpected. I am not one to cling to possessions, but that house holds a special place in my heart. I was pleased to see some of the landscaping we had done was still in place. Then, they had added more, sprucing the place up. They had painted the outside trim, and replaced the windows. I peeked around back and the workshop my husband built was still there. The new door we put up shortly before selling the place remained, and had been painted red. Clearly, someone took pride in their home and it made my heart swell that it was in good hands. Someone cared.
The next stop on our route was the house my brother and I grew up in. Mom and Dad moved out of that house a few years after I moved out. I hated that house when we moved in, with it's 1970s decor, full of the dark and drab. Yet, somehow, as we replaced wallpaper, and dirty light fixtures were exchanged for new, I grew to love it. So much so, that I was distinctly unhappy when my parents upgraded to a newer, larger home. I was prepared to feel the same joy when I saw this part of my past. I wondered what they had done, what new things there were to see. I almost cried when we approached. The grass was knee high. It really stood out amidst the other well manicured lawns. It was clearly uninhabited, so we went in the back yard, which was a jungle of weeds and overgrown bushes. I peeked in windows to find it empty. Carpets had been ripped out and all that was left were concrete floors. Around the other side, a makeshift dog door had been cut out of the side door to the garage. Everything was neglected, torn up. It was all I could do not to cry when I thought of the work my parents had done, now ripped up and left to decay.Continued on the next page