It’s strange the sound an empty home makes, how your voice echoes off all the hard surfaces. It’s not so strange the feelings that this sound evokes, because what echoes back at you is not just sound, but memory.
Yesterday, the lawyer called me up and said “you are now the proud owner of just one house.” After having our credit union give us a bridge loan to own two houses for a period of eight days, this was a relief, and as sure a sign as any that this big milestone in our lives has passed and now we are onto unboxing. A bigger sign, of course, was pulling the last few items out of the old house to take them to the new. Because, then you’re in the middle of that echo.
This is the house that let us step out from our apartment. This is the house both children took their first steps in. This is the house of hundreds of quiet Sunday mornings, of receiving good news and bad. Of sharing victories, tragedies, and many meals. This is the place we returned to after many long trips abroad.
I think I’m going to like the new place even more. I’m typing this now in my office, looking out the window at the street. I’ve walked the kids to school three times this week, and have recorded 10,000-plus step days several times since moving. This place is going to be good for me.
But it is still hard to leave the memories behind. No matter all the stuff the movers take away, a part of yourself still remains in the places you leave behind.