Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Hello, The House

When I was in first grade, I had to study the vocabulary words in my reading textbook every month for a test. We would sit at the kitchen table, Daddy and I, and we would simply read the words in the appendix. One month, as I rattled off a string of disjointed words, I read, "Hello The House," and everyone laughed because it sounded like a greeting.

Thereafter, when Daddy came in from work, he would call out in the front door, "Hello, The House!" And we would all run to him to welcome him home. The salutation became pretty standard, and even after Daddy died a couple of years later, we would still call it out upon entering the house.

Friday I had to say goodbye to Mama's house for the last time. Really and truly. For real. Not kidding around. Seriously? Seriously.

I'm writing out the whole story of how Mama found the house, what it looked like when she bought it, and how she restored and renovated it in the winter of 1982-83. It was her last house and her biggest project. She adored that house, and when her cancer was finally overwhelming, she chose to go home to that house for her final days.

That's how much she loved it.

I don't know what it's like for other adults to say goodbye to their parents' last houses, but I imagine it's hard for everyone. I'm going to miss that house, not just because it was Mama's, but because it was the perfect house in general. I don't know if I'll ever have the economic stability to be able to afford living in a place with 12-foot ceilings much less genuine hardwood floors throughout the place. They don't build houses like this any more. No one can afford the materials necessary.

One of my online friends looked at pictures I sent and said she'd like to see the "after" pictures when the new owners are finished with their own renovations.

These are the "after" pictures.

You should have seen this house when Mama bought it. It was truly horrifying, with caved-in ceilings, fallen plaster, rotted rugs, crumbling walls, outdated and limited wiring and plumbing. Mama turned a hovel into a showplace.

Hello, The House, I'm home. Goodbye, The House, we're gone.


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