Moving Out

1202 Hillside Ave, March 1978

1202 Hillside Ave, March 1978

I have lived in this house we’re moving out of my entire life. Minus a handful of years when I was 15 and my mother and I moved across the street and then when I left to go to college in New York and travel through Italy and Eastern Europe and worked for short stints in Colorado, Arkansas, and Alaska. And, other than the times when I lived with my dad in the fan or north side or south side or the east end. Other than those times I’ve lived in this house forever.

My parents’ marriage blossomed and ended here. My mother became a full time artist here. She lived here with other boyfriends. I've lived here with other boyfriends. I got sober here, and married here, and raised my son here. I became a full time writer and writing teacher here. I've often wondered if my mother buried my placenta under a tree, my roots are so deep and so tied. Lifetimes of beloved pets are buried in the backyard.

Stan and I have replaced the floors, the ceilings, the windows, the bathroom, and the kitchen. We’ve built a fence. We’ve knocked down walls and bled and cried and fallen in love and gone to therapy and grown up here. We are leaving behind my parents’ house, the house of my childhood, Henry’s childhood home, and the first house of our marriage. We have survived multiple lifetimes here. And at last it is fully and finally clear, within my head, my heart, and my bones, it is time to move on. To expand. To try something new. I feel like I'm graduating from high school, getting my first job, falling in love, growing up, getting ready to at last leave home.

1202 Hillside Ave, May 2019.

Valley HaggardComment