The House

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.


5 thoughts on “The House

  1. For what it’s worth: I think it’s a lot different, and those our age who are choosing either to stay or to return are doing some really cool things with our community. It doesn’t feel as negative as it used to… or maybe I’m just getting older, and the escape impulse is less strong.

    • It seems that way whenever I’m back there that the city has moved on a bit. And I’m looking forward to the possibility of actually owning a home. But I get what you’re saying about the escape impulse ebbing with age. It may be because what you need out of your environment becomes less complicated. I like everything Montreal has to offer but there is very little here that isn’t available to me in Saint John.

      Except for cheap beer in supermarkets. I will vote for the party who includes this in their platform in the next election. Even if they’re Progressive Conservatives.

  2. I’ve never understood people who’ve always lived in one town. It’s just foreign to me. That’s what growing up a base-brat will do to you!

    When I first saw SJ, I thought it was smelly, dirty, and kind of run-down. I also thought it was very small, in every sense of the word.

    Having been there a few more times, I’m very much looking forward to moving there. I’ve been introduced to wonderful people and have grown to consider the town ‘mine’ even though, I’m told, I’ll always be a CFA.

    Living in a town where I have extended family and friends who’ve always lived there and who know the area inside-out will be a new experience for me.

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