After close to 18 years in our home, we are moving. It’s funny how goals and priorities change. When my husband and I purchased the house nestled between two cul-de-sacs in 2001, I wanted to stay forever. I wanted to give our children the security of knowing they could always come back to their childhood home because I didn’t have mine. I went to 4 different elementary schools, three different middle schools which were called junior high schools, before settling into one high school. I don’t know what house I would consider my childhood home. However, Parker was the closest thing, and that is where my husband, Duane, and I planted our roots.
I wanted our kids to have the house that built them. But like the Miranda Lambert song, they will have to come back and knock on the door on Snowcreek to walk back into it. The ashes of our beloved Loki girl, a Boston Terrier who passed when she was too young, planted deep under the maple in the back. We would take that tree with us if we could. Duane wants to pull her out, but she runs deep with the root system and pulling her out could kill the tree. It would be like killing her all over again. Our Loki tree will live and provide shade for the next family, and Loki will always be in our hearts. The tree also has a tiny nest. We think it might be a hummingbird nest, which is super cool—I love hummingbirds. Along with Loki, the handprints of our children will remain in the tinted cement on the south side of the house. Duane said he would remove them, but cutting them out would only make a mess. As long as the new residents keep that cement, our kids’ hands will remain.
I want to turn back and never put that for sale sign in the yard. The house on Snowcreek Lane filled with memories built all of us, not just our kids. When we moved in, it had too light of carpet and plain white walls. We dirtied the carpet until we had to change the flooring to something that suited us better—wood laminate flooring and tile which took the beating of kids and dogs. We painted and repainted walls to change with our ages, moods, and the times. Emily’s once pink room is now a turquoise, which will be painted over when we leave. We finished a basement, which once was a concrete slab. The best day in that basement was before the remodel. Taking cover because of tornado warnings, we took our two kids, two dogs, and one cat to safety. I was terrified, tornadoes scare the living shit out of me because of the 1981 tornado that ripped through Thornton. Andrew, our son, found a box of Halloween costumes and entertained us. As always, his humor made it all better. This tornado passed without hitting us or doing damage to the town.
Trees, flowers, and bushes will have to stay. I pulled some bulbs up last fall, knowing I would want to take with me. Especially the Iris that came from the house on Rodeo Circle. We leave a solid house, with good bones in a great neighborhood. The houses are turning. Out with the old and in with the new. Kids are playing in the street again and the new owner has a couple children of her own. I hope she lets them all hang out in the front yard. We have a large lot and it’s always been full of neighborhood kids, which is the reason the Blue Spruce is a little cockeyed—the lower branches took a beating when we first planted it from kids with a kickball. That tree is sturdy now and holds a few nests. Our big yard kept all the kids safe.
I tell myself MY birds will find me 17 miles southeast, at our new house. My yellow finches who are all named Charlie and the hummingbirds who are all named Gwendolyn and Oscar will know I’ve moved when they return this spring. The chickadees who are all named Sallie aka Darlin’ will follow the truck on moving day. I will miss my walks along the trails where Babette the Heron rests in the pond, but I can always drive to the trail and walk it. Maybe we can build a small pond on our five acres and she will find me too. Duane would build it if I asked. I won’t ask. Babette will give me a reason to return every so often.
I believe what we leave behind is not as important as what we are taking with us. We leave behind a house that helped build us, but what we take is the love in our marriage that makes the home for our family. Duane reminded me, we make the home—he’s right. Now, Duane and I are starting a new adventure for us. We are excited to move where we will have five acres with gigantic pine trees and a gorgeous view of Pikes Peak. For me, this view is a reminder of my grandparents, who lived in Colorado Springs. And as I write this, I realize their house, the one they bought when their sons were grown, was one of my many childhood homes.
Let the adventure begin. City girl to rural girl. Going back to a place where I lived 28 years ago. Elizabeth, Colorado, here we come!