The inside of the house on Camrose Road seems sterile and soul-less. It smells of new carpet, silicone caulk and emptiness. Most of the furniture is gone, the pictures taken down and all signs of occupation have been diminished. We’ve scrubbed and sanitized our life out of its essence.
We have lived on Camrose for 31 years. That’s 31 years of memories, most of which have been bubble wrapped and stored in a locker for the past month. We decided to downsize and move into a town home about ten weeks ago. I didn’t think it would be this emotional. Tomorrow ( if the lawyers dot the i’s and cross the t’s), I will lock the door, jump into the moving van and drive away for the last time.
Lynn and I had been thinking about moving a year from now. We knew we had to fix some things to make it look more appealing, but didn’t know where to draw the line in terms of whether we would get that money back. I contacted a biking buddy, Dave, who is a realtor and asked if he could come over and offer us some advice.
We asked him about replacing the windows, replacing the ceiling in the den, and all the flooring. He agreed that all of it should be done and said it would definitely make the house more appealing. He then suggested we sell as quick as we can. The market was hot and there was a shortage of affordable houses that have that number of beds/bathrooms in this part of town. We did the research and called Dave. That was 10 weeks ago.
Since that decision, we have had the flooring and windows replaced, had the den ceiling re-sheet rocked and had some electrical work done. We’ve painted, fixed, mulched, caulked and cleaned, as well as rented a locker to store most of our stuff. In the middle of it all we even went on an 8 day trip to Hawaii to see my son !!! We’ve been to the dump six times and had a yard sale. We’ve donated and sold stuff non-stop. All within the last 10 weeks. We’re exhausted!!
The house is a far cry from the house we bought in 1986. It’s seen upgrades, renovations and two new roofs. It’s been painted inside and out multiple times, so much so that we look back at some of our choices and cringe.
The house on Camrose Road is steeped with the souls of its five occupants and their friends. It was here we raised three beautiful, smart, kind kids. It was on Camrose we endured cancer and the aftermath of an accident. Camrose has seen poker games, cookouts, birthdays, hurricanes, sleepovers, derechos and vegetable gardens. We’ve loved, cried, laughed and grown old on Camrose Road.
When you look back through our photos, you’ll see the little, white house bearing witness to our lives; first days of school (parents and kids), a new dog, anniversaries, snowfalls, prom dates, graduations, and Christmas’.
Most of all, Camrose has seen love. Lots and lots of love along with a dusting of life’s allotted sorrows.
How many times have I cut the grass, laid my head down to sleep, eaten dinner or kissed my wife in that house? How many times have I backed out that concrete driveway to go to work at my job as a machinist, millwright, estimator and finally teacher. It seems that the total of the stars would not equal it.
I don’t know the young feller that bought our house. I hope he experiences all the joy AND sorrow that life provides; both have made us better people and grateful humans. The house on Camrose Road can attest to it. There are some things scrubbing and painting cannot erase.