Can’t go home again

One of the reasons that I started this project is for that very reason; I can’t go home again.  Of course, it’s nothing as dramatic as it sounds, especially when I say it out loud.

I haven’t had a falling out with my family.

The house hasn’t burned down.

I’m not lost in Western Delaware wondering “Why God, Why?”

This past weekend I took a sojourn back to Carmel, NY.  Home of…well, come to think of it, there isn’t a whole lot that Carmel is home to.  It’s a little hamlet of a place at the ass-end of NYC’s Metro North commuter line.  In retrospect it wasn’t really that bad a place to grow up either.  Relatively low crime, easy access to a major metropolis and school system that wasn’t overly terrible.  Of course, when you’re actually growing up only one of those things matter worth a damn.  Either way, it was where I lived before I bolted for college.

It was also where I always returned to during breaks, time off of work, weekends when I needed to decompress and holidays.  It became a beacon of comfort.  Sort of a solid rock in the occasional sea of shit.

On a hill, there sits a house

My folks bought the place, moved in about 32 years ago and then figured that for the time being, that was that.  Over the years they managed to turn an unremarkable raised ranch into something we could easily be proud of.  I mean, when they bought this thing it had green shag carpeting and gold paint on the walls.  Liberace would have called it gaudy.  Thankfully, my mother has a few hints of style about her and my father would happily sweep up Bob Villa’s sawdust for a knowing wink from the handyman hero.  That being said, they both (cliché ahoy!) turned the house into a home.

This weekend was spent moving them out because they’re getting set for the retirement lifestyle in North Carolina.

Look, if you’re reading this then there’s a fair to middling chance that you know me.  This whole list thing is intended to be as open a representation of what I’m feeling and doing as I can possibly express in whatever words come to me at the time.  So, if you’ll indulge me, dear reader, allow me to express the following sentiment regarding packing up years of history and comfort in a few words: It really sucks.

Deep, right?

Depending on how you think about it, I haven’t actually lived there, full-time, since 1999.  That’s a lot of years.  But there is still something that is so visceral about being able to go home and have it be your home…at least for me.  I tried to come to grips with it on my drive up.  I failed.  I tried to come to grips with it during the day moving.  I failed (though that was because I was too busy crippling my back.  Do you have any idea how heavy ugly furniture from the 70s is?).

It hit me when I went back to the house and it was empty.  Hell, maybe it would have been better if it was totally bare, but there were still remnants of the lives that once dwelt within.

Don't cry, emo-boy.

Yes, home is where the heart is.  Yes, home will be where my loved ones are.  Yes, none of that matters in the briefest of instances when you realize things are, once more, forever changing.

Thus…the list and purpose of this site.  Things change, it’s either for the better or for the worse so you might as well make the most of it.  God, now I’m blathering on like a crappy after-school special.


Here, have a picture of our family cat, Casey Jones.  He’s more awesome than any pet of yours… and he knows it.

Driving that train...

Majestic as all hell.

6 Responses to “Can’t go home again”

  1. Jenn Long December 13, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    Nice that you could spin some humor into an otherwise crappy experience. Wish I had some words of wisdom but they would just seem empty. :(

  2. Julie December 13, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    Laura and I felt that way about Gram’s place- since we moved so much it was our rock.. our “home”.. Defiantly missed..

  3. Debbie DuPrey December 13, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    Hi Steve. Sometimes it sucks to be a grown-up.

  4. Sarah Yohe December 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    As you know – I just went through this with my parents this summer. It was my safe place. A spot where I felt like a kid again. Safe, secure, protected. All of my grown-up troubles seemed less like issues when I was home. People keep saying that the memories will stay with you and that it doesn’t matter if the material things are gone. But it’s tough. Imagine the people who never had a place to say farewell too? That would suck even more. Thanks for putting a little humour (American spellcheck keeps underlining my Canadian spelling of humour – but I don’t care.) into my day:o)

  5. Laura December 13, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    Yeah – Ditto what Julie said. And my own two cents – it really sux.

  6. Jess December 14, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    After school special or not, that is one awesome kitty. Hugs!

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