My parents wanted to buy a country house 16 years ago. Weird idea we said to ourselves with my brother, for them who had made us leave the Normandy countryside 10 years earlier to move to Lyon. And then each of us got married and had kids. And this country house has naturally become what is customary to call a family home. This house where we meet during the holidays, or we celebrate birthdays, end-of-year celebrations, because very quickly, it’s the only place big enough for all of us to get together.
This family home, it has experienced events in 16 years. The birth of my nephew and then his first steps. My marriage to Papa Genial, and the year after the birth of my niece and num1, then their first steps. Num2 and num3 obviously, their first steps there again. The more or less acrobatic falls of all this little world naturally: opening of a chin – and visits to the emergency departments of Pont de Beauvoisin, who have only the name of the emergency despite the obvious sympathy of the medical staff – falls of balance bike, then cycling, falling trees, in short, the whole range of possibilities. It was the base camp for our ski holidays, the meeting point for weekends with friends, the nerve center for family celebrations.
And then the death of my mother changed the situation, my father no longer wishing to spend part of the year alone in this house. The idea of selling it was then imposed, to reduce costs and souvenirs. At the time, we said to ourselves that yes, obviously, that was the best solution. That we would end up somewhere else, that we could do the pending work at home and that it would still be nice (yeah, clearly, rooms and stairs, it would be nice).
Time passed, the house was still there. A first Christmas, a second, two summers fled with the children who continued to run in the garden. We thought we should take advantage of it, that it was the last time … while admitting that it was still nice to have this house.
And then on January 5, we had an offer. A couple of future retirees fell in love with the house, they have 5 children, grandchildren to come, they wanted a place to be able to bring all these little people together. We jumped for joy, opened the champagne, celebrated our future rooms and stairs. We set up a schedule to make the boxes, we chose the furniture we wanted to keep, the ones we had to take to Emmaüs, to the recycling center, we planned the moving weekends as we go to war.
We returned from skiing, the first wave was planned for this beginning of the week. We emptied the library and num1 said: “it’s still weird the library naked”. Yes my chick, it’s weird you’re right. But we also laughed when we came across old photos like my dresses (I KNOW that the real expression is old like Herodes), we went back into our memories, we inked our children in their history by showing them the photos wedding of their great grandparents and by finding old letters dating from the beginning of the century (and prom notebooks As Gone with the Wind, chic to die for). We also realized that everyone keeps their own memories: my mother had kept hundreds of photos and papers of my grandmother, which unfortunately are no longer of great interest to us and which we chose to throw away, after sorting anyway. (I also cried a little on my young girl line, but hey, Papa Génial remains convinced that I will find her by searching well, I no longer try to disabuse her).
Well, we are not going to hide it, we have again realized that we pile up far beyond reasonable in a house. There will be many laps at the recycling center and we are far from finished. Surprises are still to be expected and other memories will resurface, to the delight of children (who would like to keep everything you think. If we listened to them we would just empty on one side to fill on the other ).
In the meantime, we take advantage of every moment, as if we did not have time before, in the ignorance that we were one day having to give it up. Anyway, num4 will not take its first steps in this family home, it is a pity, the circle would have been completed.