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Dear House,

Oh, you.

It seems like just yesterday we were tramping through here with slightly lower expectations than you deserved.  We came to see you, despite the fact that there weren’t any pictures of your interior on your listing.  We loved your backyard.  We came in on a whim, and ended up buying the place.  It wasn’t love at first sight or anything.  We hated your light fixtures.  We thought you had potential.  And you did.  And still do.

It’s not much, but it’s home.

Two and a half years later, we are leaving you.  This makes me sad; incomprehensibly sad considering we are trading Ohio for amazing mountain vistas and low humidity.  It is strange feeling this way…  You still have so far to go to be an amazing house; we never did get to turning your backyard into the woodland paradise you deserve.  And your kitchen cabinets still suck.  I still have ten pounds of baby weight to lose; aren’t I the pot calling the kettle black?

The thing I will miss most about you is what I loved about you from the start.  In this craptacular region of Ohio, you have your own little slice of heaven out back.  In June, we would turn all the lights out and stand in the backyard and watch the orchestra of fireflies twinkle before putting the littlins down.  We watched a newborn fawn take its first steps by the creek.  We watched a robin chick take his maiden fall flight in the spring.  It took us a week to identify exactly what kind of animal was being tortured in the backyard our first fall (a perfectly healthy barred owl; not a small mammal in its death throes as we first thought).  Finny and I would sit at his bedroom window for minutes (a big feat for an eighteen-month-old) being eye to eye with the squirrels as they flung themselves from branch to branch. Thanks to you, Finn can identify robins, blue jays and chickadees by their songs alone.

And now I’m crying.

This is the first place Alice ever called home.  Her room was the first room Nathan and I had ever painted in our fourteen years together.  I keep trying find a way to explain to Finn that another little boy will get his room after he picks out a new room in Colorado.  He protests, and all he can say is “No, but this is OUR house.”  It breaks my heart.

Nathan walked out the front door for the last time this weekend, and I’m hot on his heels.  The kids and I will be spending a few weeks at my mom’s house in Chicago until we are all safe and sound and calling Colorado Springs home.  I’m so excited – but I’m going to miss the little things about you, House.  We actually play basketball in our living room.  Will I be able to do that in Colorado?  What about walking around in my underwear with all the curtains open?  I don’t have any neighbors in sight from the back…  I think it is pretty ironic that I am trading a home with a precious little chunk of nature in lame-ass Ohio for a house with views of Pikes Peak – and twelve other houses in spitting distance.

Not a great shot, but it is our last one as a family here; Nathan left two minutes later.

I love everything that you’ve done for us.  I love everything that we have done for you.  But this is the end of our short journey together.  I’ve been trying to find something about you that I won’t miss at least a little, and the only thing I can come up with is your squeaky floors.  Oh… and that fucking maniacal one-eyed groundhog that I scared from setting up permanent residence under the porch.  Remember that?  After a five-minute Mexican standoff, I chased him down like a rabid dog, brandishing a fireplace poker in one hand and six-month-old Alice in the other?  Oh, good times, House.  Good times.

Here’s the deal, House.  If those new owners don’t treat you with the love and respect that we did, you give me a call.  There won’t be much I will be able to do, but I’ll be a shoulder for you to cry on.  And we can reminisce about that one time where you decided to spring a leak and ruin our brand new bathroom!

I kid, I kid.  Even despite that, I still love you.

Happy Trails,

Lisa

Oh, and for anyone thinking of pulling any funny business; Nathan left me with the shotgun…  It’s loaded (easily accessable to me; impossible for Finn to get to – don’t worry), and even though I’ve never shot it before, I’ve been told the first shot is bird shot and will hit anything in front of me.  The second and remaining shots are buck shot.  And three and a half years of dealing with children that STILL don’t sleep through the night has made me a very light sleeper.  Just so you know.  Cheers!! 🙂

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