i just came back from spending ten days in ontario, where i helped my parents do some final sorting and packing of their home of 26 years before their move back to edmonton.
every morning, my mom and i would go for a long walk along the lake, and then we'd spend the day packing and the evening drinking wine and watching a movie, with the occasional foray into sunset country. overall, it was a great trip, though it reminded me again (mainly via my mom's mouth and the words that came out of it) that they were getting on in years. i never think of my parents as particularly old because they are so spectacularly fit and hip and with it, but i guess when you start pulling up to the dreaded 7-0 it doesn't much matter what i think: the world sees you as old. even if you're a young old. at any rate, my not-at-all-old parents had done a bang up job of ridding their house of superfluities - a job i started last year, thinking it would be beyond them to continue (not an age thing at all - more of my dad's inability to get rid of stuff... until he discovered garage sales!), but alas, their house was almost empty.
it's funny - they moved there when i was 19, and since that time i would go visit them at least once a year. and each time i went to visit, someone was bound to say, "oh, you're going home!" and i had to explain that no, this place wasn't my home, that my parents had moved away, etc. etc. yadda, yadda. well, surprise. after 26 years in one place, even if you only visit it once a year, it becomes something akin to home. it is the place my parents have lived longer than they had ever lived anywhere else ever. EVER. and so i was shocked to discover a twinge in my heart when i said goodbye to the house. not full out sadness, mind you - i'm thrilled they're moving west to where everyone else lives - but an acknowledgement of the part the house played in my life. goodbye house. goodbye lake. it's been good knowing you!