Hand-Me-Down Swingset

Today, I shut the front door on our house of 14 1/2 years.  We had planned to move when the oldest two left for college.  Due to my husband’s terminal illness, that timeline was pushed up by five years.  I was not ready.  There were too many planned projects incomplete.  The nurseries had not been fully converted to teenager rooms.   But, it was a necessary step to simplify our life for my husband.  He can no longer tolerate clutter and chaos.  The house was just too big with too much stuff for him to function well.  We needed to downsize to prepare for when my husband can no longer work and mortgage payments will become more difficult.

So, as I say goodbye to my house, I am choosing to remember the special memories and not dwell on yet another thing we are losing.

The hand-me-down swing set in the backyard.  Loved squeezing into the two-seater swing and laughing with my toddler boys.

The yearly scarecrows standing in the front yard depicting whatever our family was into that year.  The “ball and chain” 10 yr anniversary display and the pregnant Momma ‘crow are the most memorable.

The broken trim on the living room columns were the oldest son hung his hammock and tried to swing to the ceiling.

The one laundry room tile that rocked when you stepped on it because despite my best efforts just couldn’t get that 50 yr floor level in that spot.

The monkey grass that needed to be mowed at just the right time in the spring so it would grow nicely in the summer but not get too crazy.

The Frisbee and football games across the front yard.  The homemade PVC pipe goal post.

The closet door with the height markings from not only our boys but also the previous owners’ children.  The new owners have vowed to keep up the tradition with their three.

The scuff marks on the wall in front of the bar stools where the kids sat and talked to me while I made dinner.

The boot print stain in the middle of the kitchen floor from the bozo that installed the hardwoods connecting the living spaces on the first level.

The bathroom that became a storage closet that was once packed with toys, games, and craft supplies.

The laundry room pocket door that never worked quite right.

The master bathroom that we all shared for three years while the kid’s bathroom was being remodeled.

The hydrangea blue paint that I picked out for my middle son’s nursery.  It was the first house project we tackled ourselves.  It still had the shadow of the rocket ship I starched onto the wall before he was born.  He cried every night for a month when I took it down.

The sweet neighbors that became part of what we dubbed the “30 Something Group” – Lisa, Yung, and Larry (two times 30).

The riding toys that made a million laps in the shared driveway.

The yells at the teenage drivers speeding down the street.

The annual pumpkin carving party.

The strings and other contraptions hung from the 2nd floor to the first in the two story entrance.

The balls and Nerf bullets lodged in the foyer light fixture.

The Magnolia tree and its constant leaf shedding.

The lush front yard grass perfect for slip and sliding or laying on during a sunny, spring afternoon.

The front fence where you can still make out “Austin” from when he wrote his name in silly string.

The circle of glue on the front steps from the quarter that was glued there as part of Matthew’s April Fool’s Day birthday party.  The laughter over all that tried to pick it up and couldn’t.

The crack in the hallway slat door where the oldest lost his temper and punched it.

The sharpie masterpiece drawn by the baby on the hallway wall.  He was so proud.

The hours of “chase” through the circles created by the kitchen and den or living room and hallway.

The love, laughter, fights, hyperactivity, ball kicking, birthday parties, baby rocks, dinners, Legos, magic shows, kite flying, and driveway car crashes that encapsulated our family in our first home.  As I often said to my neighbors through the years, “See you on the Riviera.”  To the new homeowners, I hope you enjoy the Riviera as much as we did.

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