The House

From a good friend who just needed to write:

It’s just brick.
Why would anyone want to live in a 50-year-old house?
It’s in a good location, if you hate civilization
It has three floors, if you can deal with sweltering attics and Steve-the-wolf-spider filled basements.
It’s a great neighborhood, if you like poor schools and rural politics
It’s pretty large, for a family of 2.

If this is Love it or List it, it’s time to sell.
Why would anyone want to live in a 50-year-old house?

It’s Aunt Becky’s laughter down the hallway.
It’s tomato biscuits and cucumbers
It’s the grinding of a tractor outside, and the smell of buttercups
It’s the walk to the mailbox, and the sound of bicycles on gravel
It’s rusty metal buildings and a car graveyard
It’s the smell of coffee and waffles.
It’s the warmth of a wood fire and beef stew
It’s the sound of creaking, cold hardwood floors and Jeopardy music
It’s Christmas lunch and every single childhood birthday.

And airplane talk. Lots of that.

It’s all the lessons I’ve learned, all the stories I’ve forgotten, and all the things I’ll never know.

But it’s the loss too.
The death and sadness.
It’s a house filled with the silence of loved ones whose voices you’d give everything to hear again.

Every heart that left the house, never to return, took a piece of the house away.
The foundation of this house was laid in the people who lived in it, and now we’re left clinging to the bricks that are still there, trying to hold the house together with the force of our memories.
If a house is nothing more than rubble, then why try to stay?
It’s all the love that holds a family together.
But is it people who hold together a house, or a house that holds together a family?
Perhaps memory and love can remain without a house.

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