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Dear New House Owner!

In a few days, I am going to give you the five keys to your new home. Actually, there are six keys, and you will have them all, but the last key is my brother’s, so he’ll bring it to you. I know you are a small, young family, so the six keys will probably feel a bit too much.

I wanted to write this letter to tell you the tale of the six keys. Because when we meet, I expect to smile a lot, and talk a little. Talk as little as possible, smile as much as possible, and deliver the keys.

There are six keys to your new home, because this house has been our family home since 1985, February 1st. I was the only child still living at home when we moved in. I decorated my new room in pink and white, and got to use my brother’s old furniture. My sister-in-law helped me repaint them in white, and I remember how proud I was to put all my books into a bright newly painted shelf.

My brother didn’t need his furniture, because he went to university, and lived in a student dorm the next couple of years. His key will look neutral when you receive it tomorrow, but when he got it from my dad, it was chained to a little, perfect Swiss army knife. I remember feeling a bit jealous of that key ring with the knife, but it was understandable that my brother got it. He was staying away from home for the first time of his life.

My key was on a green key ring witch someone had gotten in the bank. There had been a picture with the bank logo on it, but I managed to open the key ring and change the photo. I had to glue it back together, because it wasn’t meant to open. That’s why I went true my high school years with my key attached to the photo of Morten Harket, the lead singer of the Norwegian band A-ha.

My eldest brother had been out of the home for seven years when we moved. He never used his key, because whenever he and his wife, and later children, came for a visit, he always rang the bell. And my parents were always at home. They knew he was coming.

The forth key had a red bow on it, and eleven month a year it was hanging in the key closet. My sister lived a long way from home, but spent her every summer holiday visiting with her husband and children. They also came for Christmas, as often they could afford it. They hardly used the key, though. My parents were always home when my sister were home, they didn’t want to miss a minute of her time.

My dad was the owner of the only key that had an additional key attached to it, the key to the garage. It’s still hanging from the old key ring he had purchased in Scotland. If you look closely, you can see the A from Aberdeen carved into the leather.

My mom’s key had sparkly rhinestone on the key ring. I remember playing with that key ring, pretending the stones were diamonds for my dolls. She used to keep her key in her handbag, and didn’t use it to much. My dad always had his key available from his pocket, since she searched for hers in all the different rooms of her beautiful handbags.

My student brother used his key over the weekends, when he came to stay with us, to be able to spend time with his friends. He used his key to get in late at night, or early in the morning. I remember my mom always asked when he had arrived, and his answer was constantly two o’clock.

There you have the tale of the six keys, the early years.

Later, some of the keys got more work to do.

The key with a red bow on, were put to more use after my mom got sick. My sister came home on a more frequent basis, and added a trip during autumn and spring. She came with all of the family at Christmas too.

My eldest brother started using his key after my mom continued her life in a wheelchair. My younger brother finished his studies and started working. He kept using his key during the weekend, but not staying out with his friend. When he left the house, it would be to keep my dad company running errands.

When my mom was hospitalized, we all used our keys to fetch what she needed or wanted. And we took turns in helping out with the garden and general things needed done. Since my dad rarely left his wife’s side, we all needed to step up our game. When the grass was cut or the living room was dust-free, we spent a moment on the balcony, admiring the beautiful view.

For the last four years, I’ve had the rhinestone key ring and key in a little box. I found it in mom’s handbag when I emptied it after her funeral.

A couple of months ago, I emptied the key closet after my dad moved into his new apartment. We moved everything he needed to the apartment. And we took care of all the rest. I put the key with the red bow into the same box as the one with the rhinestones.

The last thing we moved out of the house, was moms piano. We stored it in the garage for the night before the moving company came to drive it to my sister in the south of France.  That’s why I have my dad’s key, he never asked for it back. I don’t think he want to see the empty house. I don’t think he should. My eldest brother has not been back, either. I have his key.

In a couple of days my brother and I are going to meet with you, and give you our six keys. Along with the keys you’ll get a big house were you can start collecting your memories.

And I’ll keep the box that now contains the several old key rings and one single red bow.

Kind regards

EllenGry