Search This Blog

Monday, 1 July 2013

You CAN go home, just maybe you shouldn't

I've been spending the last couple of days at my mum and dad's home---now my brothers' home.  It is strange and sad and warmly nostalgic.

Lots has changed here, but lots is still the same, and being here makes me ache.  It also makes me happy, especially when I see all the photos of family and touch the books I had as a kid, and wear my mum's bathrobe.

This is an old, old house, with outdated wiring and plumbing, leaky roofs and a pleasantly (in the summer) cool basement.  The guys find it hard to manage the upkeep both inside and out in the 1/2 acre yard, so things are a bit overgrown out there and gently worn in here.  It still reflects our parents' taste although there are lots of technoadditions.  Because there have been leaks, some things are long gone.

More than anything, I'd like my brothers to sell the land and make a new place for themselves.  I understand the wish to continue what made our parents happy, but I'm not sure that it's possible.  Definitely, it's hard; it's expensive; it's infuriating when improvements are needed but not possible except in the most hobbled-together way.

And also definitely, I know the decision is not mine, but I can only live with it when I'm not here.


  1. Your brothers seem to have an attitude that is typical of farm families: they want to hang onto the "ancestral" land for sentimental value, no matter the cost or impracticality. A second job off the farm? Sure! What else could we possibly do with our time and money! They almost feel they're letting their grandparents and parents down if they leave the farm or sell it to find a new and more comfortable life for themselves.