My nephew Cole and his wife Christy are tentatively slated to sell their house on Marchmont Drive in Rome this weekend. This is the house that Mom and Dad bought in early April, 1962; the house where I grew up; the house that Susan and I visited so many times; the house where so many Christmases were celebrated, along with birthdays and anniversaries; the house where we mourned Mom's passing in 2002.
But while it might seem that I'd be sad to see a house leave the family after fifty years, I'm really not. I was happy that the house was a good home for Cole, Christy, Oliver, and Dexter for four years, but it no longer meets their needs as a family, and they're ready to move on to the house that is their current home.
I considered driving back to Rome to walk through the house one more time, but ultimately decided not to do that. The things that made that home so wonderful for so many years are no longer there for me, and there's very little emotional attachment to a structure. I'm sure that, if I were to pay a visit, I would have wonderful memories of events that occurred in those rooms--but I still have those memories now, don't I?
Susan and I have owned several houses over the years in addition to our current addresses: Sumit Wood (no, it's not misspelled--at least not by me) from 1979 to 1986, Milstead from 1986 to 1996, Horseleg Creek from 1992 to 1999. We've lived at 621.5 Olive Street in Cedartown, then 621 Olive Street, then 1029 Franklin Road. Two of those homes are now run-down near-slums; the apartment is now in one of the worst areas of Marietta. The home in Kennesaw is in an area in decline; the prior home in Marietta was struck by lightning a few months ago; the farm home looked find the last time we drove past it, but it's been more than two years now since we last saw it.
Each of them were great places for us at the time, but we've moved on. Now it's time for Cole and Christy to do the same. I celebrate what the old family home was for us for many years--but at the same time, if Mom and Dad were alive today, I'd be worried about them living there, what with the changing nature of the neighborhood. And I know that Mom and Dad actually considered moving a couple of times; I don't think that they ever imagined, when they bought that house in 1962, that it would still be in the family a half-century later.
Now it's time for it to be a good home for someone else. I hope they find the happiness in it that our family has found over the years.
As I mentioned earlier, Susan and I are keeping the Marchmont name alive for our second house, so the old street name continues in a new location. Kim, Cole, Christy, Jesssica, Aunt Jean, and Susan & I all have relics of a happier time, items that we took from the home after Dad left us in 2007; we also have photos and a million memories that bring both smiles and tears. That doesn't change.