After 25 years, my parents have sold the family home.
It is an inevitable event – my parents never intended to stay in PA forever. They’ll still be here for a little bit longer, but decided to strike while the housing market iron was hot for sellers. In a little over a week, my childhood home will belong to someone else.
It’s bittersweet – and unexpectedly difficult – to say goodbye, even though I haven’t lived there in two years. When the “SOLD” sign first went up, it was surreal. It’s especially exciting for my parents, who are one step closer to their retirement goals. And their realtor is a high school friend of mine, which was pretty cool. But the last month or so has become a flurry of moving sales, boxes, lots of driving back and forth, and my dad trying to unload years and years of sports collectibles to make the eventual move south easier.
There are many things I will miss about the house. The patio, where we spent many nights sitting and laughing or playing board games. The single squeaky stair on the way down to the landing. The pear tree out front, which stank to high heavens, but from which I could occasionally hear an owl hooting in the wee hours of the morning. My childhood bedroom, where I spent many hours writing, creating, and dreaming. The living room, home of many, many movie nights. The list goes on.
Perhaps the thing I will miss the most, as trivial as it sounds, is my pine tree.
I should make it known that the tree is enormous – but it started as a tiny little sapling that I brought home from kindergarten on Earth Day in 1997. We planted it in the side yard, and – though I ran over it with a sled quite a few times over the winters – it flourished. It’s now almost, if not as tall as, the house. Every year, I would marvel as it grew larger, and larger still. Out of all the trees around the house, it has grown the largest, and lasted the longest. It has defied all the odds – from a puny little sapling to a monstrous pine, towering over the driveway.
It will be hard to say goodbye to a house with a quarter century of memories inside – but it feels good to pass it on to someone else. A new family, who will hopefully love and appreciate the house as much as we did, and fill it with even more wonderful moments. And I hope they love my pine tree as much as I did – at the very least, they certainly won’t be running over it with a sled.