We pulled up the driveway for what will probably be the last time. I remember the first day that I saw the old stone house, covered with vines and left abandoned, for me it was love at first sight.
They pushed my wheelchair into the strangely silent, empty house. I think of all the years spent here and how it has all come to an end.
My husband is outside taking down my granddaughter's trampoline. There is room for it at the new house, the house is small but the yard is large. I look up at the stairs, I have not been able to get up there for the last two years. I hear echoes of the honeymooners racing down the hallway, laughing. I think of my bedroom upstairs with my fireplace and my sitting-room. I think of Charlotte, Albert's mother who shared that very same room years ago. It was there that she passed away and her youngest child joined her soon after. I have thought of her so often through our years here. I can't go up there to say good-bye, it is just as well I suppose…..
My granddaughter wheels me into the "company room" which for the last two years became my bedroom. I remember Christmas mornings with the family gathered around the Christmas tree enjoying the exchange of our Christmas gifts and also the many New Years Eve celebrations with our dear friends, Janice and Jim.
My great aunts antique bedroom set stands in the hallway like old friends, waiting to say good-bye as they await their new owners to take them home to become a part of someone else's family history. I only hope that they will cherish them as much as I do.
We move on into the kitchen, the heart of the house. I remember all the cakes, cookies and applesauce bread made for the country fair. It is here that I taught my granddaughter to make bread, it is here also that Albert fascinated us with his tales of living in the Old Stone House years ago. I remember laughing-sitting around the kitchen table, family gatherings and birthday parties celebrated here. This room holds so many secrets that were shared over a cup of coffee. In the kitchen ceiling, there are vents that years ago allowed the heat from the kitchen fireplace get upstairs to heat the bedrooms. You had to be careful what was said in the kitchen if you didn't want someone upstairs to hear it.
I watch Chelsea, our family dog , wander around the empty house and I wonder what she was thinking. She went into the laundry room, her favorite room in the house and she stood next to the radiator where her bed use to be. She looked confused, I don't think she knows where home is any more. She feels displaced in the new house and can't seem to find a spot of her own, but in time she will……so will I.
I have left all the stone house stories in the very top of a built in cupboard for someone to find. I feel a tear that I had been fighting to keep back slide down my cheek----I am leaving my stories here and also a part of myself.
I am wheeled out the door for the last time and I wait in the car while my husband checks the house one more time for anything we may have left behind. As I look up at my bedroom window I see what appears to be a woman standing there. Logically I know it is only the reflection of the sky and the leaves of the tree playing tricks on my eyes. It disappears and I try to will the image back, instead I see the face of a child----just as quickly, it is gone, I look at the window and wave good-bye, my granddaughter asks who I am waving to, "I am just saying good-bye to the house," I say.
We drive down the long driveway for the last time and I don't look back as we head down the mountain to our new home--- The Little House in the Glen.
My love to all. Tish July 2008