It just dawned on me, walking my dog as I came up the sidewalk in front of my house and looked at the “for sale” sign perched so invitingly there in my front yard, that someone else lives in my house now. Not this house… the home I grew up in. My childhood home — the only house I ever lived in until I purchased my first house when I was around 27. The new couple has been there for almost two years now. I don’t know anything about them. I don’t know if they’re young or old. I don’t know if they’re still there.
I feel like I should send them a letter and let them know what they bought. A letter to tell them about all the memories in my house. I wonder if they know I used to sneak in and out of my bedroom window… we all did. It was a well-known fact among my friends that my window was the easiest way to gain access to my house — everyone knew it except my parents. I wonder if they know there is hard wood in the hallway under that carpet and I used to practice sock skating and played with my Evil Knievel wind-up motorcycle endlessly there. I wonder if they know that my parents used the big closet in their bedroom to hide (unsuccessfully) all the Christmas presents… each year… as if we never knew. Sometimes, I just wonder.
I wonder if they know about all the memories in the yard. I wonder if they know that we had those three perfectly placed trees for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd base. I wonder if they know how all the neighborhood kids used to gather there and play until it was too dark to see anymore. I wonder if they know about that boat that my dad kept in the backyard — so long that a tree grew out of it. I wonder if they know how I planted that evergreen when I was in high school. I wonder if they know I used to make jelly with my grandmother out of those grapes growing on the back fence. Sometimes, I just wonder.
I wonder if they know about all the memories on the front steps. I wonder if they know my brother and his “band” used to set up there and entertain the neighborhood. I wonder if they know all the goodnight kisses I had on those steps. I wonder if they know how meticulously my father decorated the porch for every holiday — ever. I wonder if they know how we used to jump off the end of the porch and clear those bushes in one bound while we were playing tag. I wonder if they know my father would stand on those steps and whistle so loudly that we could never get away with saying we didn’t hear. Sometimes, I just wonder.
Sometimes, I just wonder. I wonder do they know all about these things? I wonder what memories they’re making in my old house. I wonder who will buy my current house — I hope they have memories here. Good memories. New memories.
I used to think the house held all the memories. But it’s the people. We hold all the memories. I wonder what memories my children and I will make in our new home. Sometimes, I just wonder.
And I wanted to share my new favorite song by my new favorite group, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. I think the words to this song are very powerful, they give me hope — not to mention the awesome singing… enjoy.