For over a month, I carried boxes, one at a time, to the house across the street and piled them into the dining room space. We are temporarily renting this house so our current house (shown in photo above) can be torn-down and rebuilt. In June, the movers arrived and moved all the furniture. We began to sleep across the street as the old house stood, awaiting its total removal.
Last week, I returned to make sure nothing was left behind. My footsteps echoed loudly. I snapped pictures with my camera of each empty room. I remembered moving to Arlington when Bridgit was in 4th grade and Anne in 1st. Now Anne graduates college this May. Thinking back, so many meals in the dining room, so many chocolate chip cookies baked in the kitchen, so many Christmas tress glowed in the living room. All four of us, on a morning schedule, allowed for adequate use of the one bathroom. As I snap the last picture, I thought to myself, “This really is a good home”. But as Brian said in the certified letter to the neighbors alerting them to the tear-down and new construction, “After more than 80 years of service, our home at 5218 North 12th Street has reached the end of its functional life. Rather than subject it to the indignity of additions and alterations, we have decided that replacement is the most responsible option.” So down it will come.
Before, I used to focus on all the negatives of this house – no central A/C in the summer, drafty windows in the winter, no space to invite friends over to entertain. All these things will be remedied in our newly designed 21st century energy-efficient house. But now, looking back, I realize that those six rooms served our family so well for so many years.