I thought the name of the street was prophetic. Rising Road. Our new address held the promise of good times with its 2 car garage and beautifully landscaped garden. Our guest house, Bryan joked about the inherited birdhouse in the back. I laughed. Of course! Our guest house!
And then at Christmas! The tree will go here! I remember turning around and around in the large empty living room after we had bought it, like a kid with a bag full of candy, cramming imaginary gumballs into my mouth already hungry for the next. And the front porch! Perfect for jack o'lanterns! When we unpacked our boxes in the kitchen, I just knew this was the house in which I would make my own soup.
This past weekend I packed up the Cuisinart somebody gave us for our wedding. Discard plastic film before using, the blades still in the box. It's funny how houses have personality, how they can define an era. I will always wonder what would have happened if we had just stayed in the funky Scenic house of my childhood. Surely my parents never would have gotten divorced? Because Stuyvesant-- Stuyvesant was a house divided, a 3 bedroom with separate pool house and black out curtains that sealed off the sunlight via a bone colored remote control. No family could have lived through Stuyvesant without falling apart.
But that was then, and this is now. My family. For the next 30 days we have no house keys. And I have to wonder how I will look back on these past few years. Remember when we lived on Rising Road? I might say to Bryan. Or to Zoey: Ah, yes, that was when you were little and we lived on Rising. I wonder what the conversation will be about, if she will remember it, the black and white linoleum kitchen floor, or the vintage wallpaper giraffe in her room. Maybe one day I will ask Zoey about her earliest memory, and she will surprise me by conjuring up the pyracanthus tree in the backyard. I remember how I used to push the berries into the wooden knots on the deck, and when she says that maybe I will remember the way the sun felt from that angle beneath the tree, the warm smell of yellow. Or maybe I won't. The thing is, with houses and time, you just don't know. You have to wait, and look back, just a quick glance and it all becomes clear. Yes, I will tell her, that was at the house on Rising, that was the house where we learned what was important. And grew stronger for it. At least that's what I hope. Now, from a day when I have no key on my keyring.