I have to admit that while I solicited the job, I had my hesitations. I've been cutting that grass since I was little and I had a hard time imagining myself riding around the yard again... and what I'd be thinking of while doing it. So many memories there... everything that I look at stirs up some thoughts of the past, both good and bad. The driveway, where my Dad let us drive the car up and down... and where I made all my Matchbox roads on... the stone wall where I ran the car into... and where I would burn my model cars on... the weird piece of white spongy stuff that was embedded into the cement parking pad... the river rock that I painted a smiley face on was still in the rock garden... the budding peonies that my Mom loved... the 1980 Lake Placid Olympic sticker still stuck to the garage door window... the wooden step still nailed to the tree that I used to climb... the spot by the road where my paper route box sat... the attic window where I would sit and look out at the planes that flew overhead and that I would wait to see my Dad's car coming down the road... the lilac tree that I would pick flowers for my Mom (her favorite flowers)... the spot in the yard that we'd play baseball and the other spot that we used as our football field. But there were some things that were gone as well; the two apple trees that I would gather apples from so my Mom could make pies... the giant weeping willow tree that I would always climb (and fell from, which screwed up my back)... where the swing set used to sit that I climbed up on and dropped the hammer on my brother's head... the dog pen where Jeffy and Benny (my Dad's hunting Beagles) lived... the screen door that would be left open and unlocked, with the smell of spring and summer wafting in... the fire barrel that I would burn the garbage in... the overhead wire that our dog, Lucky, would run the width of the yard, the hill that I would jump my Suzuki motorcycle off of... the Easter eggs from the hunt we'd have for the neighbor kids... all the friends that would gather in our yard... and the years in the house without my Mom.
I spoke briefly to the new owner (while her daughter played in the yard) and I went into some of my memories of the house growing up. She was appreciative of the information, but I realized halfway through that my memories and what we did and how I grew up there means nothing to anyone else. Those experiences that we have throughout our lives are exactly that; ours, and ours alone. They are unique and make us who we are.
I'm glad I grew up in that house... I had a great childhood. It might not be my house any more, but it'll always be where I called home.