5 Overbrook Road. Randolph, NJ. I had always imagined it would be home forever. It didn’t matter that I went away to college, got different jobs, had apartments of my own, eventually got married, bought my own house and had kids. That red Colonial on the hill was always going to be there.
But no more. After two years of thinking about downsizing, it took just three weeks for my parents to identify and buy their new home and list 5 Overbrook Road.
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage agent Deb Sprung is maybe too good. My parents got legitimate offers only hours after she put up the “For Sale” sign. I think I need a moment to take this all in.
I’m assuming it’s natural to have mixed emotions. Sure I want my parents to be happy and I know it’s time. But after 41 years of that house being home, I realize by September I will never be able to visit my old room, play ping pong with my boys in the basement where I once routinely crushed my sisters, walk in the backyard woods to the small stream.
Memories are roaring back. I had just finished second grade when we moved. The house was a new construction, so from somewhere deep in my subconscious, I now vividly remember seeing my room for the first time …as wood studs! I remember the hours I spent shooting baskets on the driveway where I assumed if I could grow 12-18 inches I might have had a shot at the NBA.
I remember Grandma Lulu high on a chair as our last defense against an ant invasion crawling high in the cabinets. And there is Grandma Rose sitting in the family room knitting one of the hundreds of sweaters for me, my sisters and cousins.
I remember the stereo in my room where I played the Rocky theme song to get pumped up for a school test. I remember the tiny black-and-white TV that if I held the antennae correctly I could get Notre Dame games from channel 29, 90 miles away in Philadelphia.
I remember laughs, fights, the good and the bad. Admittedly, I’m not sure what category to place my little sister throwing meatloaf on the ceiling that stuck and left a meatloaf stain that might still be there.
I’m sure my parents will have a tough time making the transition, we all know it is time. And while I will probably shed more tears than I expect, I realize I will always have 5 Overbrook Road.
This structure built with metal and wood, held together with nails and screws and with amenities powered by a series of wires and pipes, actually never was an inanimate thing. It wasn’t a house. It was a home. It was, and will always be, my home.
I assume I’m not the first, and won’t be the last, to go through this. Got any advice?