For the past decade or more, our kids have made a practice of showing up at the house in Boothbay for the 4th of July. When I said to them, “This year we’ll be renting a place. We can go anywhere. Where do you want to go?” they said, “Boothbay Harbor!” Unanimously and enthusiastically.
So we rented the place right next door to our former home, a beautifully appointed three-bedroom apartment, which I heartily recommend if you are in the market.
I thought it might be weird to be next door to our old house, but it wasn’t. The people who own the place we rented are also the general contractors for the renovation of our former place so we got to walk through it. The new owners have gutted it back to the studs and are doing a beautiful, amazing job including all new systems and a new foundation. We were excited to see the house so well taken care of and happy that it will continue as a family home and gathering place.
We did all the Boothbay Harbor things.
We went on a Damariscotta River Cruise.
And to the Botanical Garden.
And of course there was a lot of porch sitting.
And then we turned in the key and left, which was also pretty cool.
On the 4th of July, the fireworks were directly in front of our old house. Even the forty feet to the left in the rental didn’t provide quite as good a view. So I wandered over there and sat on the porch steps. The fireworks were perfect. Directly in front. And I did have a moment, realizing that next year the renovation would be done and a new family would be there and I would never do this again.
We we sold the house in Newton, Massachusetts we brought our kids up in, I balled at the closing. Even though I wanted the move. It was pretty embarrassing.
Bill, always trying to help, said, “It’s just a house.”
I said, “It’s not the house. I miss the thirty-three year-old me with the two little kids who walked into this house and the forty-five year-old me with the teenagers and the crazy job. I miss all those mes.”
So on 4th of July I missed the big family gatherings at the old house in Boothbay Harbor, and my mother-in-law. But I was happy, too. Happy to see the family moving on. The kids having kids.
We’re talking about Sebago for next year.
All photos by my daughter-in-law Sunny Basham Carito, which is why she isn’t in any of them!