I am writing today’s blog sitting on the floor of my living room leaned up against the wall – waiting for the cleaning crew to arrive.
Everything I wanted to have shipped up to Anchorage was moved into a container for shipment to Seattle, where a boat will take it the rest of the way to Alaska. This means, for the first time in 11 years my house stands empty. The first time I saw it this way as the owner was minutes after signing the closing papers and removing the “For Sale” sign from the front lawn. This house is 90 years old, probably had at least four or five owners, and have had a couple major renovations to it at the time.
As I walked through the empty house back then, I was listening to an old bluegrass song that went: “If this old house was built on memories, it would stand a thousand years.” At the time, I envisioned that when the day comes that I move out, I would be walking around with a portable CD Player (mind you, this was 2001 … IPods were not invented yet) playing that song to walls and floors and what have you. There are loads of memories in this place, and packing everything up gave me glimpses of reminders of those things. Like finding the book of recipes for the “single people” dinner parties we used to have, one where we almost lit the house on fire making fried ice cream. The propane tank reminded me of the time I made beer on the back porch on an unseasonably warm January Saturday, then watch it almost freeze when the house lost power for a week. The circles on the dining room floor where my roller chair sat reminded me of the years I seemingly spent at a computer trying to get people from around the world laugh at me being an idiot.
But houses aren’t built on memories — at least this one isn’t. It’s built on a cracked foundation, under a leaky roof, with floors / carpets that outlived their beauty long ago. It’s been a full time job this last month getting this place ready, not including the time that will be spent by contractors here as well. In the end, the house was built on equity, and will stand when the proper structural elements are reinforced. Truth of the matter is, I am exhausted from all this work …. and that makes me think analytically. The data tells me that I am almost done here and have put things in place to list the house. Maybe I will become more sentimental later, but I am ready for the house to be just memories.