Once upon a time there was a skinny arm of land wedged between a lake and a river, and upon a square of this land a man built a house. Five or so years later, after the man had died, the house passed to his oldest son's family, and so it went for some time. Children and cats in the yard, fishermen on the dock.
(a cat long departed)
This is my family's home. Originally belonging to my grandparents, then to a set of aunt, uncle, and cousins. I spent my childhood and youth on the property, and I lived there the summer before college, after my parents sold the house I grew up in and moved north. The house had been for sale since my senior year, but with the market taking such a drastic downturn I didn't really think it could ever sell; it's a million-dollar property now, double waterfront, in an expensive area of my hometown. But it sold. Last week, in fact, to people who really only wanted the land, who plan to knock the house down and build something new. And so my grandmother packs up the remnant of strange oddities in the garage (my aunt and uncle are pack rats) and looks for a condo or a small house. It's very strange, unsettling and wrong, to think of going anywhere else on the island for a holiday dinner. It's selfish to think of myself, I suppose; it wasn't my house, didn't belong to my parents. But its sale and eventual destruction is the final tap of the hammer: now I truly can't go home. I can go to my aunts and uncles' houses, I can stay with DRSHEBLOGGO, but it's far too easy to envision a day when my town will be, finally, a tourist destination, when I will have to stay in a hotel if I want to visit old haunts.
Not a nice feeling. But I am sneakily, guiltily glad that it took so long to sell. I'm glad I was able to bring my manfriend home and show off my history. I'm glad I had one last Christmas at home in 2012, with nearly all my family present. I'm glad my childhood had such firm roots, that there were treehouses and rambles and wooly damp forests for adventures. Many people don't have that and I was lucky. I am lucky. And I hope someday to be able to commit the house and its stories to print in the way that they deserve.