A Hole Is To Dig: A First Book of Definitions. As kids our copy was tucked into our bookshelf right next to Winnie The Pooh. Well worn and well loved. Not sure where it got to but apparently if I were inclined to get another first edition, with those great Maurice Sendak illustrations, I could spend as much as $4,950. Pricey little piece of literature. A face is something to have on the front of your head. Mashed potatoes are to give everybody enough. The ground is to make a garden. Grass is to have on the ground with dirt under it and clover in it. The world is so you have something to stand on. Mud is to jump in and slide in and yell doodeleedoodleedoo. Simple wisdom in child voice. Simplicity I appreciate in this complex journey we call being an adult.
Houses are for living in. Not one of Ruth Krauss’ original definitions. But one I would add. The realtor just called. “You don’t own a house anymore,” was her way of telling me Dad’s house had closed. As is the way of these things it’s been a long process and the house sat empty for nine months. Yet not really empty with thirty years of accumulated furniture and furnishings still inside until the recent liquidation through commission sale, estate sale and storage. As is, I suspect, also the way of these things there was some resistance to selling, to letting go. Letting go of the memories. Letting go of a convenient place to stay when we go home to visit Dad in his new apartment. For the past many months Dad’s place had become more museum than house. A museum of relics and artifacts from his life with Mom.
Houses like Dad’s were built to last longer than those who live in them and they were built to be lived in. It’s their purpose. It’s what houses do. In letting go, the prior owners created the space for my folks to enjoy their last thirty years together. In letting go, we now create the space for that wonderful house to continue to be a home. A home for love and sanctuary from the world. A home for making memories. In letting go we honor this house and its reason for being. Houses are for living in and this house is one of the best.