The paint has been applied and put away. The miter saw and the leftover lumber has been neatly stored in the shed again. The closets have been cleaned, organized and gleaned of all superfluous items in anticipation of strangers gazing into their depths. The bookshelf inventories have been reduced by 2/3 so as to not intimidate prospective buyers, and the empty space has been filled with vases and other neutral items. The (temporary) housekeeper has made all surfaces shine.
Our house goes on the market tomorrow, and we are finally ready. With each passing day, I am reminded of how many memories I have of this house. It's been my home since I was four years old. A lifetime of memories tied up in this one place, and I'm already finding it difficult to let go. From sleepovers, parties, graduations and weddings to my first date, kiss and prom, they were all here. I have raised my children here for the last 4 years and have those memories to take with me as well.
I was baking a buttermilk pound cake last Saturday, and suddenly began to cry. How many of these cakes had been made in this very kitchen over the years? Every thing that I do reminds me that it's coming to an end. There will eventually be a last meal, a last evening, a last night to sleep under the roof that has sheltered me for most of my life. Then I will have to walk out the front door where I waited so many times for friends and family to walk through, and not look back. I will begin a new stage of my life that doesn't include this small town or the hundreds of things that I love about it.
Am I excited? Of course. I can't wait to get to Tulsa and carve out a new life there. I have new friends to make and relationships to forge, but I can't help but feel a sense of loss at what I'm leaving behind. I know it's just a building, but it's been mine for so long that I can't imagine anyone else occupying it's space. Each room is dear to me, full of laughter, tears and the day to day living that we all experience. It's home and I am sad to be leaving it behind.