My dad’s house was supposed to be a different house. The one he bought had a large backyard resembling a forest. I don’t know the rest, that’s the only picture I saw. But this house was in Ft. Collins and to two children in Boulder, Ft. Collins felt like code for “you’re never going to see your dad.”
People tell me I was a dramatic child, but I still don’t understand why.
After crying on the phone to him, my dad ended up purchasing a house in the reasonable and not-yet-up-and-coming Broomfield. He will argue now that with as much travel as he did, the constant drive from Ft. Collins would have gotten old, but like every decision my dad has made, he cared about the opinions of his kids – no matter how uninformed they were.
After living in two apartments and one townhouse, getting to visit my dad in a house with a backyard overlooking open space was pretty exciting for two kids who lived in another house with a backyard overlooking open space.
Conor and I got to pick the paint colors of our rooms – I went with the definitely timeless color of a light lime green complete with yellow, blue, and green striped curtains. I did not get to pick the curtains for the rest of the house, which were this hideous tan featuring some red and green plaid detail. I don’t even know how to properly explain them, but they were bad in every way.
I have never once walked into that house without commenting on those curtains – and this past weekend I found myself missing them. Because I’ll never get to walk into that house, in the way that it was for all of my childhood, and tell my dad I hate his curtains.
He’s renting it out, which makes perfect sense as he’s only used it as an office for the last few years. & with the renting process comes the estate sale. & with the estate sale comes me getting upset that my dad is selling all the things I have made fun of for my entire life.
I wanted all the things in that house, but I wanted them exactly as they were.
I wanted them as the items that made that house into a home.
The hideous couch that was the first piece of furniture my dad bought after the divorce. It was small enough to fit into his apartment and it made out into a bed. I have a scar on my elbow from one of the cushion zippers and no matter how you sat in it, it was never comfortable.
The triangle shaped hightop I believed was special-made since it sat three and there were only three of us at his house. (It wasn’t.)
The globe made out of stones that never sat upright, ever.
The tall candle I knocked over as a kid, resulting in the first time my dad ever yelled at me, that I would go on to spite for the rest of my life.
His two desk setup, where he spent most of his time. Where I stayed up way too late playing The Sims and eating cookie dough.
The sage green plates that served a lot of artichoke, tomatoes, steak, kebobs, and, for a brief addiction in my childhood, catfish.
Even the signed Cindy Crawford photo my dad got when working with her, which came in handy when I would trick my guy friends into thinking they dated.
There are the items I can’t take with me, like the built in window seat from my room, or the tree I climbed to jump on the trampoline, or the shed I briefly turned into a clubhouse until I realized how many spiders had already started a club of their own. The blue garage lights I begged my dad to get because why would you want plain old yellow lights. The Mexican floor tiles with one lone dog foot print. Or the small fenced area in the backyard I always wanted to turn into a vegetable garden but never did.
Instead, those items become stories, they become memories stored away with other memories.
This weekend, I wanted all of those items exactly as they were.
Even those damn curtains.