More than forty years ago, my parents put down a small deposit on a
newly built five year old $16,000.00 three bedroom split level home on what was, at the time, the outskirts of Saint John. It had a big back yard that flowed down into a gully and offered a view of an oil refinery. They weren’t sure if they would get a mortgage or of they could afford the mortgage payments even if they did. But they did and stayed there until today.
Last week, it was sold. This weekend, when we visit for my mother’s 70th birthday, it will be our last visit to the house I grew up in.
Now, when we do (eventually) move to Saint John, everything will be different. I won’t have that sense of entitlement to walk in and start eating stuff out of the fridge as they’ll be living in a granny suite in my sister’s new house.
But then, things will be different anyway. I have a family now and I’d like to think I’ve grown into a reasonable mature adult. Nobody knew me in Montreal so there was nobody to remind me of that stupid thing I did when I was 19. Or 20. Or 27. I have no such guarantees in Saint John.
But then I think of how much has changed in the past almost ten years in terms of my friends, family and my old city. I can’t help but wonder if the city that I’m returning to, and the people in it, will be a much different place from the one I left.