3 bedrooms, one bath, and one melancholy owner. Amenities include several new windows, one of which was replaced very recently due to a baseball shaped hole put there by a future major league pitcher. A fully carpeted flight of stairs which are capable of withstanding the tumbling of an 11 month old child without inflicting a single scratch on either of them. A beautiful deck built in the hot, summer sun which has hosted countless cookouts and quiet nights with a glass of wine. Walls that don’t talk, but that do contain countless words of wisdom, written on them by tiny hands, that would tell a story if they hadn’t been hidden by a few coats of paint. The large picture window in the living room features a spot centered directly in front of it that is just right for a Christmas tree. The plush, royal blue carpet in the living room is perfect for being strewn with wrapping paper and presents. I have finally sold my house and as I sit here looking around at the big, wooden box that has contained my life for the last 13 years I can feel the ghosts of those memories in each and every room. Sadly those ghosts seem to be living things which will stay in this house as I move on. I wonder, when I move into the new home I’m buying, will I sense the ghosts of someone else’s life wandering those hallways? Although a house is just wood, steel, and mortar, when filled with memories it seems to be a living part of you. It is the place that has provided my physical and emotional security for most of my adult life. My children have never known another home and I’ve never known them in another home. Gone will be the familiarity of knowing which step to avoid if you don’t want that loud squeak as you descend in the middle of a sleepless night. The 6th sense to instinctively avoid the sharp edge on the corner of the wall in the basement will no longer be there. No longer will I habitually know which door will need me to push down slightly as I pull it open to avoid sticking. I wonder, when I’m gone, will my house miss me as much as I will miss it?
Self-proclaimed grand poobah of leisure and author of humorous suspense novels The Sneaker Tree & White Picket Prisons, the humor essay book Fifty Shades of Phil and the long running blog The Phil Factor. thephilfactor.com
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