Well it's finally happening. My dad is selling the house that we grew up in. Time flies so quickly. Driving home, I rounded the corner of the street that I lived on for so many years, I saw the for sale sign and it definitely hit me hard.
Over the past years, the house has been more of a maintenance headache than anything else. When my dad is in Colorado for the ski season, I end up taking care of the parakeets and plants, shoveling the driveway, going through all the mail, and keeping the boiler full. When he's in Florida I do all the yard work. However it always felt nice having that feeling of coming home every once in a while. It will be tough to see this house go to someone else, but it's definitely time.
It is definitely hard on my dad. I hate seeing him close to tears every time he talks about the house, or the viewings scheduled by the realtor for the next day, or packing up stuff to move to storage. I can tell he takes it personally when someone comes to see the house and leaves after two minutes. How can anyone not love the house that he's lived in for 30 years?
Got my dad to go out to dinner, which is something not easily done. He is always worried about spending money, and has been known to collect empty pizza boxes from the neighbors' recycling when he goes running in the morning, because if you collect enough of the barcodes from the boxes you get a free pizza from the pizzera in downtown Summit. Yes, I worry my dad will get arrested for stealing garbage.
We both got the same....his favorite Italian dish. Shrimp Fra Diavolo. We had our typical conversations about the stock market, skiing, work, selling the house, etc. I know he worries to death about me and my personal life, but he never brings it up with me, worrying even more that he will spook me into not speaking with him. I wish he wouldn't worry about me, but I don't think that will ever happen.
I always end up hearing something new from my dad. He is full of surprises. I've always been bugging him to go back and see his family in Slovakia, but he is always worried about ticket prices and the house. This year, his old college ski team from Brno is having a reunion in Brno, and he has decided to go. I am so excited for him. He even has old friends that he will stay with while he is there in Brno, before taking a train over to Kosice to see his brother.
While he is telling me about his itinerary, he remembers that his old professor got in touch with him and will be at the reunion. He tells me a story that he stuck at a international ski race and was going to have to miss this professor's exam. Missing the exam would have resulted in him being kicked out of "college". He uses the term loosely as college in communist Czechoslovakia is much different that what I was used to. More of a forced technical school...the government decided what you would be good at and what you would study. Evidently my dad was to be an electrician. So getting kicked out of school would have been a very big deal. This professor ended up filling out the exam for him and turning in the results. My dad says he owes this guy his life. Who knew...my dad cheated in college. I would have loved to have this piece of information as I was getting yelled at for failing intro to electrical engineering in college. I had a good time at dinner, and wish I could go to dinner with my dad much more than I do.
Coming back home, he'll start going through all the stuff he needs to get rid of, but every once in a while he'll give me something that he wants me to keep.
He found this cigarette holder and insisted that I keep it. Not sure what I will do with it, but it is made of pure silver so I'll hang on to it. I'll decorate my bookshelves with it.
I have no idea how old these cigarettes are, but they look pretty old.
Selling this house will be very difficult for my dad. The whole process will be draining for him, but in the end he is happier when he is skiing at Copper Mountain, or spending time with his friends and family in Florida. I will miss the house I grew up in, but I know it's time, and for the best.