I closed on my house today. It’s a bittersweet end, for many reasons. That was my first house; my only house. I moved there with my dogs after living in Turkey. My dogs had become senior citizens – too arthritic to climb stairs or sit in dog carriers traveling for 24 hours. They needed a place to retire with no stairs and their own space. The house offered that. It has a big yard in a nice neighborhood down the street from a lake and across the street from a walking path. It was perfect for them and for me. And they did live the rest of their lives there. Now, my dogs are gone and so is the space I shared with them.
Of course, it’s not just the memory of my pets that makes me sad to let go of the house. It was my space. That I owned (well, along with the bank). And I planted mint and rosemary and cilantro and the avocado tree. I have left them behind. I cut the grass every week, sometimes twice a week, and edged and weedeated (weedate?) and swept and trimmed and raked. I replaced the mailbox and the roof and the shed and the piping and remodeled the bathroom (well, I paid others to do these things). I made it my space. And now someone else is in my space.
But I also realize how incredibly lucky I am. Lucky to have had that space, my dogs, fantastic neighbors, and fresh herbs. And now lucky to be free of them. To live overseas without that stress and responsibility. To start over, knowing that when I am ready to return, I can go back to that place, or anywhere else in the country. I am definitely fortunate.