Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Goodbye and Hello.

We're moved. Thank goodness. That is not a process I want to repeat for awhile.

There were some emotional moments as we carted our belongings out of our old house. My son, who had been a vocal proponent of moving closer to his friends and to his school, wondered quite seriously if we could back out of the deal to sell the house he had know as his home for over thirteen years. He remembered all of the fun he had there over the years, the barbecues he had held for his classmates, the sleep-overs with his friends and, of course, Simon the cat. Simon is buried in the back yard. We said goodbye to him before we left.

My son took over 150 digital photographs of the house and yard.

I always look ahead, rarely back, but I do remember some things -- jamming with my brother and his son in my music room, wandering around the yard on moonlit nights, and most importantly, watching my son grow up.

And that is what we talked about, my son and I, as we drove back and forth numerous times from old house to new home. We talked about the memories we each had. I remembered the first time I ever heard him laugh, while he was watching a Pingu cartoon. I remembered his calling out to me: "Chase, Daddy, chase," and then I had to chase him through the halls of our home until I tired and couldn't run another inch. At first he propelled himself around on a little blue plastic tricycle. After he learned to walk, his chubby little legs provided propulsion.

Together, we remembered playing catch, throwing footballs, and kicking soccer balls to each other. I remember whacking a golf ball with a sand wedge (I'm not a golfer) and then hearing a 'clunk' after the ball soared over the large evergreens at the perimeter of the yard, far beyond where I had expected the ball to go. Someone's van stopped the ball. Thankfully, there was no damage to the van.

We had good times aplenty. But that was then. This is now. We're on to a new adventure. I drove my son to his new school this morning, his first day at high school. It is about half a mile from our home. He will be able to walk home every day, and we won't have to worry about picking him up from whatever extracurricular activities he might wish to pursue. He will get over the big changes in his life. Once we're settled, we'll watch old videos of his childhood years and remember together. They will forever be good memories.

In among all of the changes during the past week was one oddity. I always marvel at the behaviour of some people, and try to puzzle out why they might behave in ways that differ from mine or from what I might expect. Often, I just scratch my head and wonder. Because my son and I were so busy with sorting, packing, loading, etc., I hired a neighbourhood teenager to come and cut the lawn. Unfamiliar with the borders of our property, he left a swath of uncut lawn about three feet wide and perhaps sixty feet long along a shared border with a neighbour. A day or two later, the neighbour cut his lawn. He ran his mower right up to edge of his property but not one inch beyond. That left a strip of longish grass, a green eyesore, between his property and where the teenager had left off cutting our lawn. Would you have done that? I would have cut the strip, just to be a nice guy. Two runs back and forth with a power mower, perhaps two minutes of time, is all that it would have taken. Was the neighbour trying to make a point? I have no idea. I don't care, either. It was just another curiosity to me, another puzzle.

There have been a lot of changes this year, a lot of excitement. 2006 will certainly be a year to remember.


  1. It's a bittersweet experience to say good-bye to places one's lived, even though it's necessary to look forward and not behind. Like me, I'm sure you'll become even more attached to your "new" house than your "old" one. The ability your son has to walk to and from school is worth it's weight in gold, I think; my son can also walk home from his High School, and therefore I reason he doesn't need a driver's license until he's at least 21.

    Your walk down the hallways of your home, chasing your boy, brings back many dear memories to me. They sort of catch in one's throat...

  2. That neighbor is definitely making a point. Ah well. Maybe he's an alright guy, just setting the boundries early.. lets hope.

    I love your memories. And, I can't wait to see what this next year brings in store for you and yours!

  3. This is a lovely, lovely post. What precious memories you share with your son and he obviously has many fond memories of living in your old house. I have to confess, reading this brought a lump to my throat. May you have many, many happy years in your new home.

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  5. Thank you all, for your kind wishes. I'm sure we will all adjust and have a merry old time creating new memories. Time passes so quickly we sometimes forget to enjoy what is going on around us and I'm afraid I am sometimes guilty of that. Your sentiments remind me to stop and smell those proverbial roses.