I got this idea from Mimi’s blog. (And by the way Mimi is a very talented artist.)
Dear 75 Hall Lane,
For 23 years I knew no other home. For 21 and a half years I lived in you, leaving only for nine short terms at university. Always, I returned to your cold, stone embrace – comforting but lonely.
For ten years, I had the little room, squeezing my games into the floorspace between the bed and the wardrobe, opening out the bureau desk to do my homework. After my brother married, I moved into the big room. I wallowed in the space but felt lonelier.
You changed over the years. A knocked-out wall, fitted furniture, central heating. Outside, you metamorphosed from an almost country dwelling, your tranquility broken only by the occasional passing train, to a noisy, suburban house, bordered by main roads and topped by a motorway.
We’ve met twice since my parents left, but I haven’t seen inside or behind you. Your walls have been painted white. Your front garden has been concreted over, the pink hydrangeas gone. One time I saw a Christmas tree behind your front window, where my parents would have been embarrassed to light our Chanuka candles.
I can’t say I miss you. The house I live in now is bigger, has a larger and more beautiful garden and is quieter. Besides, the life I lead now is much, much better than the one I lived in and out of your confines.
I hope your current occupants are happier than I was then, and that you share their happiness. I’m far away from you now, but I haven’t forgotten you.
4 replies on “A letter to an old house”
This is wonderful! hello 75 Hall Lane!
This is a beautiful letter and interesting way to visit past memories with a familiar structure as the foundation guiding the trip down memory lane.
Poignant. I felt this strongly. I too recently looked at an old family house and these mixed emotions. Yes, very poignant Miriam and beautifully executed.
This is a sweet thing to do for the old house. My old house got tore down and now there’s a Wal-Greens where it used to stand. That was a big change. I don’t think I’ll ever write a letter like this. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.