Sunday, July 13, 2014

Goodbye, old house

So long, old house.
Typing this while Maty nestles down for the evening. She's been packing all day and she's exhausted. I'll join her shortly. The electric fan is droning away against the humidity, but it is much better than last night. Our new place will have central air.

It's our last night in the house on Southeast 36th. Tomorrow, we change residence. This old house is a great old house. But just like old people, old houses need more and more help to keep going. It's time for us to part ways.

Allow me a little nostalgia, will you? I've been nearly 15 years at this address. No other home has come close.
More blueberries than ever before
The blueberry shrubs I planted about 10 years ago have not been very productive. At least until this year. Our biggest shrub produced several pints of big, fat berries. And there are more coming. The new folks, the folks who bought our home will get to enjoy them, I hope. 

The canebrake of raspberries continues to thrive. A bumper crop came in mid-June, and then disappeared quickly. It was a short season, but a heavy one. To think that the entire bramble came from just two stocks that a coworker gave me in 2000. Fifteen years later, they've spread to the neighbor's yard. I view them as my endowment to the neighborhood.

Family gathering, 2013
Between Maty and me and the ten roommates who've come through, we've filled this house up with many good memories. It's sad to leave them.

And it's really sad to say goodbye to our good neighbors. Fifteen years of three to five minute conversations add up. You come to like the easy feeling you get from knowing everyone around you.

Maty's new kitchen, 2012
This afternoon, I made a last quick trip to Freddie's to get Maty some mango juice. I walked past the waffle window, where folks were lined up for waffles. The tables outside the Baghdad were full of young people enjoying the aftermath of the brief thunderstorm earlier in the day. I ruminated on the thought that I'd made that walk maybe 5000 times over the years. And this was the last.

As recently as 4 months ago, I'd imagined that I might stay at this house through my someday retirement. Funny how things can change so fast.

But I've got a lot of memories that I'll be sorting through well past my retirement. Memories about this house on 36th Avenue in southeast Portland. And about the young man who came there in 1999, hopeful and fresh from a vision-quest tour of Europe, firm in his convictions and his optimism. And about how he changed over the years. And about how he found the woman that would save him.

So long, old house. So long, old neighborhood. So long, old life.


Monthly family dinner, 2010

Jabañero peppers grown in pots on the back deck in that summer to beat all summers, 2009
Neighborhood block party, 2010

Maty comes to the house, 2006
Mahatma Candy, hanging out in the stairwell, 2001
Hannah (front) and Roxanne (rest in peace, girls), hangin' in the office chair, 2003

Gathering friends to join the great war protest of March 15, 2003


Tracy dee said...

Ahhh such and emotional time. i hope you and Maty got the new house of your dreams and let the memories begin. Missed you at the Fair!

Dan Binmore said...

Terrifyingly sad. Most of my life has been the incomprehension of other people deciding to be old.

Unknown said...

It must have been a bittersweet farewell to you. Fifteen years of memories is not easy to ignore. I hope you will have the same vibes to your new haven, just the same as this house had given you.

Terry Kenedy @ Deadwood Real Estate Center