This weekend I am going back to my homeplace for the first of a few “last visits.”
Assuming the deal goes through, we’re being bought out by a large development. I am completely conflicted about how I feel about this.
I think back to some of my best memories of my childhood and adolescence. I think of sitting on the front porch helping my grandmother break green beans, or shuck corn, or even just sitting on the swing.
I think of helping my Dad clean fish in the driveway. Of playing basketball, making sure not to hit any parked cars lest I breathe my last breath. I think of building bike trails at the edge of the woods. Of setting up a BB gun target range.
I think back to learning to ride my bike by riding it off the huge bank in the back yard. Of walking to my grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving. Of her walking to our house on Christmas Eve. Of catching fireflies in mason jars. Of playing badminton with Mom. Of throwing the football (poorly) with Dad. Of water guns.
Of sleepovers at grandma’s house. Of her making me spaghetti for lunch while watching The Price is Right. Of watching Supermarket Sweep with her in the evenings.
In later years, of playing with my nieces and nephews in the yard. Of summer cookouts.
Lots of good memories. Lots of good fun.
But time marches forward, and it can’t be stopped. Many of the people who made it what it was are no longer here. If we don’t sell, we’d be the only ones left. All around us would be multi-million dollar homes, wineries, ATV trails, and ruckus. There’s no changing that.
The houses will be demolished and hauled away, or burned. The land will be dozed and graded. A century of life will be overwritten. The names carved on walls will be erased. Our names.
At the same time, you can’t live in the past. Selling will help us realize other dreams. It will propel us further into the future. Sometimes, moving on is healthy. I’m not angry or bitter. This is the way of all things.
“We are thankful for the time we have been given.”