Countdown to Alaska: You can’t go home again

While I don’t head for Alaska for a week, I’ve already moved out of my apartment. For the next six days, I am once more living with my parents.

I grew up in this house, but it is no longer the home of my childhood. The living room has been rearranged several times since we initially moved in just before my second birthday; currently the only furniture that has been present since that time are the carved table, carved screen, and Wedgewood cabinet. The kitchen was renovated during my freshman year of college, trading 1950’s era counters and cabinets for wood and slate and faux-marble.

I’ve helped to make some of these changes. For example, any day that I wasn’t called in to substitute teach I spent painting the living room, dining room, and front hallway. I helped pick out some of the knickknacks that line the hallways, and had a say in what color to paint the walls of the renovated kitchen.

Other changes were made regardless of my opinion, like the re-purposing of my childhood room. I knew that this would happen once I moved out. Where once the walls were lined with shelves of Star Wars figures and books, they’ve been painted a rich cobalt blue. My bed was donated to a child up the street, and a new love seat/sleeper sofa has been moved in. Ultimately, the plan is to move Mom’s desk up from its spot downstairs, but for the time being the room is full of the things I’m packing to take with me.

Still other changes are things that no one really had any control over. In the main bathroom, I feel like I both shrank and grew: While the ceiling and mirror are higher than at my apartment, the sink is lower. I had to go into the attic to retrieve a couple of things, and had to bend nearly double to avoid hitting my head on the rafters. Once upon a time, I could stand upright up there. While we once again have two cats and a dog, they are not the same cats and dog that dominate my childhood memories.

And so as I spend my days packing and playing with the pets and re-packing and visiting with family and friends and packing some more, I can’t help but wonder: What changes will happen while I’m away? I guess only time will tell.

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