February 24, 2012

The House That Built Me

Well it's official... My parents' house is on the market!  Next time I come for a visit, I will not be returning to the house I have spent [most of] the past 20+ years of my life.  Tear.  

While it does bring a tear to my eye to see the house I grew up in, and created so many memories in, be sold, I am extremely happy for my parents and this new chapter of their life.  I see how happy, albeit sometimes stressed, building the house of their dreams makes them and I can't help but be thrilled for them as well!  

What I'll miss the most about this place?  It will definitely be how close my best friends lived.  One was right behind and the other a street over.  It was just a quick hop skip and a jump through the gate that connected our backyards.  Although these girls will forever be my friends, and I'm sure many more memories will be made together, I can't help but look back on old memories.  Meeting up to walk to school every morning, going to the beach at the end of the street, our secret clubs in the backyard, a tin can telephone stretched between our bedroom windows and the fun fairs we used to have in our basements.  We had a lot of fun here.

While family, friends and Titus time was long overdue, I also had a job to do this visit home... organizing, sorting and decluttering my boatload of crap that I had stored at my parents'.  I have accumulated a lot of stuff over the years, enough stuff to [one day] fully furnish and decorate a small house. While most of my stuff had been previously organized and stored (waiting for that house) before we made the move to AK, there was still a lot of junk that I had just shoved in my bedroom closet in hopes that the closet fairies would somehow make it disappear by the next time I was home.  If you remember my previous post about organization, you know that organization has just recently been reintroduced back into my vocabulary.  I struggled decluttering an apartment we've lived in for 6 months and organizing 2 years worth of stuff we've accumulated since moving to AK, so you can imagine how tough it was to go through 20+ years worth of stuff at my parents'.  Shortly after I began to tackle the crap, my room looked like a war zone, it was messier than when I began. You can really cram a lot into a closet! Throughout the course of the day, I had managed to make several piles of stuff and move them around my room, multiple times, but not actually deal with the clutter issue.  I really do have a hard time parting with my things! But like I was told before, "If you're not going to wear it, give it to someone who will."  So, after a couple of naps and several trips down memory lane, I eventually listened to those words of wisdom coming from the little Steve sitting on my shoulder.  I successfully rid my closet of 3, yes that's T-H-R-E-E, full garbage bags of clothes to donate and 2 full garbage bags destined for the dump.  I didn't think that was at all possible, but it felt rrrreeeeaaaallll good!  Almost refreshing. I am in need of more cleanses like this.
I did get SOME help rearranging from a small friend.

Oh the things I found... When I was younger I used to keep every single momento (now considered worthless garbage).  I was a bit of a pack rat. I found at least 5 shoe boxes filled with old notes (from high school, over 8 years ago), old pictures, cards and even ticket stubs from Steve's many hockey games.  (I don't really get what fuelled my need to keep those ticket stubs.)  There were some good laughs at the pictures I found, mostly at my own expense. I had one of the most awkward "awkward phases" EVER (Picture this: caterpillars for eyebrows, braces AND glasses. What a hottie!). And I have to admit, some of the old notes from high school were quite hilarious and worth putting the cleaning on hold to read.  

Ever since we moved to AK we have been very conscience of what we buy and what we keep, knowing that we may have to pack everything up and move at any second.  The more stuff we have the more difficult, and expensive, that will be to do.  While difficult at first, always asking myself "Do I need this?" or "Will I ever use this?" really does help.  Simplifying my life has made things a lot easier.  I don't need three rubbermaid tubs full of clothes I will probably never wear again, or those 5 shoe boxes filled with old notes, cards and ticket stubs.  Likewise, when I'm out shopping, I am constantly reminding myself that I work at a zoo where my daily spring wardrobe consists of xtratuf boots, cargo pants and a hoodie. It's not a fashion show, comfy is key.  So, I don't need new fancy clothes for those two days of the week that I'm actually able to dress like a normal person. I need to be happy with what I have. Simple is better, less is more. You should try it.

Yesterday my dad took me for a tour of their new property.  I've seen it once before two summers ago, but seeing it in the winter gave it a whole new look.  It made me even more excited for them to have my dad walk me through their vision.  It is going to be absolutely gorgeous! As we were walking along the beach, my dad said something like "Just imagine, in about 4 years I'll be able to take the kids for walks up and down the beach".  I just about had a heart attack, for a second I thought he meant grandkids... but quickly realized that by kids he meant the 3 dogs.  Phew! But, I did tell him those probably won't be the only "kids" they'll have living at their new house, there will be two 30 year olds (aka Steve and I) living there too. No, I wasn't totally kidding.  Thank goodness they are so supportive of this lifestyle we live and are perfectly ok with being our storage locker while we chase our dreams.

The new beach.

It really is bittersweet. I hate to see the house I grew up in go, but I know that I will always have the memories we've made here.  It's time to move on and make new memories in a new place, and let someone else create their own memories here. 

This was truly the house that built me.

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