GAYS MILLS - My cousin recently gave me the news that he would be moving out of his house. This is only significant to me because his house, is my old house.
Not really only my house, but it was my family’s house. Having him move out makes it feel like a complete end of an era. But I guess that is what happens in the world of rental properties.
My family moved into the house when I was 13 years old. We had previously lived in a shabby little farmhouse on the outskirts of Beloit.
My small understanding of the situation was that the landlord had sold the property so that the city could build a bypass to accommodate a casino, which as far as I know, never came to be. Nonetheless, our peaceful little homestead fell victim to urban sprawl and we had to vamoose.
Our parents asked us, “would you rather stay here, or move up north?” there wasn’t a sliver of hesitation as my brother and I squealed in unison “UP NORTH!”
The day we moved up, I rode in the back of my mom’s white jeep with the dogs and my dad’s beloved zebra finches, which for some reason didn’t survive the drive.
I had never seen the house, like my mom and brother had. They had taken a prospecting mission previous to the signing of the lease and fell in love.
It was dark out, but you could see the convoy of headlights sliding up and down the hill from the ridge top estate.
My family lived there until shortly after my mom died. It was really her who loved the big house on the hill, and filled it with memories. I think it was kind of a blessing in disguise when my dad found an extremely affordable house he could buy in Readstown—ending the era of ridge top living for him.
It’s kind of funny how nostalgic I feel for a house that, I got out of as soon as I was old enough. It wasn’t long after my post graduation antics that I moved into my first little apartment with my boyfriend at the time and my friend and her little baby.
My dad loaded up all of the odds and ends I had accumulated in preparation for this moment and hauled them down to Soldiers Grove on his little trailer.
He even proudly helped me lug them up the stairs, and after a couple months when we moved out, lug them all the way back down.
My first officially official away from home apartment was on the far eastside of Madison.
I had no inkling of neighborhoods or anything like that when I first moved there, and just chose this little hole in the wall because it was a mere $400. A steal for someone who didn’t have a job!
It was a really odd four- plex run by these extremely elderly people. I was 18 and my boyfriend 20, and by far the youngest people on the property. I never really saw my neighbors, but I frequently heard the old man who lived beneath me, cough and hack, cough and hack. I once even helped him up when he went to go get the mail in his underpants and slipped on the ice.
It took us about six months of living in Madison and walking blocks and blocks and catching buses before we realized downtown was the place to be.
In the spring, we landed a groovy little apartment on South Livingston Street. I would always brag to my mom that I could see the capital from my toilet.
The best, and sometimes worst, part was that my friends all lived in the same house in the two other apartments. Kind of a dream come true for a 19-year-old kid.
My friend Michelle and I would wander all over the neighborhood on our bikes, stealing flowers out of people’s yard and hanging out at the beach, half a block away.
After that, moving became less illustrious. I moved back to Gays, Madison, very briefly Evansville, Madison again, before landing in Readstown. One thing I accomplished in all of that was I successfully whittled down all of my belongings into a pile of books, rocks, and clothing that you could fit in the back of a pickup.
My dad and brother would come visit here and there and get a taste of the city life—even riding the city bus. My mom never made it to any of the places I lived however.
When I would come back to visit, it seemed like I was always on the go and never spent a lot of time at the old house.
Funny enough, I spent so much time, getting away from my old house. And now, I live probably only about a mile or two away from it.
Knowing that chapter of my life will be closing for good is a little bittersweet. But I’m sure, once Thatcher is a little older, I’ll always point out when we drive by, “that’s the house where mom grew up.”