Oh, that house. The house Andrew bought when we had only been dating a few months. The one he saw so much potential in. We went through a phase where we imagined what a deck would look like, and what we wanted to see, and then reality and cost smacked us in the face and we never really spoke of it again.
This is the house where I attempted my hand at gardening. I bought flowers and watered them religiously until they started looking tired and I let them die. We replaced the decaying wood around the flowerbeds, brick by brick, getting dry hands in the process. We got a couch stuck in a hallway and nearly got a van stuck in the garage. I moved in, and Andrew worked nights, and there was my room and our room, until there was just our room and it started to feel like our house.
This is the house Baby Bauer came home to. I still remember going to dinner at The Melting Pot (my, how things have changed!) and coming home to his little face peering into the entry way for the first time, the way he has done nearly every day of his life. When we got laminate floors, the click-clack of his paws on the floor was new to us all; now our house doesn't feel complete without it. The garage is where we spent some of our most trying times, trying to get Jake to eat in his last days. It's where we learned teamwork and compassion and how to say goodbye. I'll miss the duck pond that Duncan and I visited so often in those first few days after his buddy was gone.
We painted the rooms, replaced the sink, and made a home. The attic housed my engagement ring for so many months and I didn't have a clue. This is the home we came home to post-honeymoon, decorated by my maid of honor with rose petals and champagne, and the place where all those DIYs happened. We've celebrated all of our Christmases here so far.
I'll never forget the pattern in the ceiling that I stared at so intently the morning we woke up and Andrew suggested I move in. The familiar sound of the screen door opening that lets the pets know not to worry, it's their people who are home. I'll always have a scar on my right forearm forever tying me to this house. My father-in-law accidentally broke the lip on the globe on our ceiling fan, but it was still able to hang. It started falling down one night and I reflexively tried to catch it. It slashed my arm instead, and the scar will forever remind me of him and the room where it happened. And my floors. Oh, those floors. I never knew I could have a love so deep for laminate, but I do.
The house that was ours is on a ridiculously-named street often confused for "peppermill." I hope the new owners have fun spelling it out every time they give their address over the phone. I hope they bring home a kitten or a puppy or a baby for the first time to this place and make their own memories. I hope their meals are shared with people they love and they quickly learn that the oven runs hot. Christmases will be celebrated and I hope they put the tree next to the fireplace - it really does look good there. Maybe they'll have their own vision for the huge yard and they'll execute it, and they'll paint the house colors I never would have dreamed of but wish I had. Mostly, I hope they're lucky enough to build a life and memories there as great as the one we've worked on the past few years.
So, house on Peppermill, this is goodbye. I've hated you and wanted to leave you for as long as I can remember, but now I realize I'm going to miss you and your quirks (except your low water pressure - not going to miss that!). May our life and memories in the new house be even better than those we shared with you.