Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Saying goodby for the last time

Warning: Long winded, melancholy post coming up so if you're not in it for the long haul, close your screen now.
Still with me? OK...read on.

I finally finished moving and cleaning everything out of the house at 1am on a Sunday morning, just hours before settlement. I'd been on holiday in Agnes Waters and by the time I got back I had just four days to pack up everything that was left, move it into storage and clean up. I wanted to leave the place in the pristine condition that it was when it was handed over to me, so the new owners could start their new chapter on the clean slate that I did, and hopefully it would set the tone for happy times in the home just like we had.

When all was packed away in the car and I was ready to go, I sat down on the floor in the lounge, for the very last time. It was completely and utterly empty, not a single item left in the house, yet it still felt like home. I thought about all the happy times we had in this very spot and could literally see the scenes replayed out in front of me...just like in the movies. Friends over for dinner, family Christmases, birthday celebrations and even the more mundane, but still special times - Harry Potter marathons, TV dinners and just sitting around chatting. It all happened here...for almost five years.

But while I was thinking of old times as I was preparing to say goodbye, I was also thinking of the reasons we were here when we were and the reasons we were going...

I bought the original house at the end of 2009, when Josh was just about to start grade 6. We had moved around a bit up until this point and I wanted somewhere stable for him now that it was just he and I. Somewhere he could truly call home, somewhere he knew was always there, just for him and no one would dictate how long we could stay or what we could do with it. The house was perfect and on a large block and in time, I thought I could subdivide it. The flood threw a curveball we hadn't anticipated and we were out for a couple of years, but we still arrived at the same place.

It seems a strange reason to have a house, but because Josh is an only child, I wanted him to have somewhere that he could have all his friends over, whenever he wanted. And looking back, that's exactly what happened. The house became the hangout for his friends before school, after school, on the weekends, public holidays, everything! He was always having his friends stay for dinner, overnight, the weekend, whenever and I lost count of the number of times I'd have to step over a room full of crashers on Sunday morning to get out to the garage. He had his epic 18th birthday party in the backyard with some questionable antics in a paddle pool and I was still shooing out hungover guests the next afternoon. Then there was the time he and his mates had the best Australia Day party ever, with cricket and a BBQ and the infamous paddle pool. They chased the dog around the yard after it jumped up and stole a sausage off the grill.

Good times. Unforgettable times. And not just for him. Our place was the go to place for regular dinner parties for my friends and family and the guest room got a good work out by out of towners. It's been a really great house for a really great time.

But it was always the plan that after Josh finished school and didn't need to be within walking distance anymore to sell and start another project. And when that time arrived we did exactly as we had planned.

So now I find myself in the next stage of looking for the next house and hoping it will be just as amazing and special as this one was.

Watch this space and thanks for coming with me on this journey.


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