It’s one of those days when I need to be writing with my academic hat on but it’s being blocked by other thoughts and words and memories. In order to find room on my head for that hat, I’m spreading the other words out here.
This weekend was filled to overflowing with emotion. My parents have decided that it’s time to make the move into condo living. It’s a good and healthy decision and as their children we want to support the transition every way we can. They’ve found a beautiful spot on the Bay of Quinte and we know that it will afford them a rich quality of life as they ease further into retirement life. Truth be told, we may have experienced a twinge or two of jealousy as we toured the property on Saturday afternoon, wondering whether it’s appropriate to fantasize about moving back in with our parents at our age…
But for me it’s also an important personal moment – the Kirkland Treehouse as it’s been called was also a place I lived. It was my home base as I made that tricky transition from childhood into adulthood. I spent my last years of high school there and every subsequent trip “home” from university. And the nostalgia billows up all around me when I think about the “remember whens”. Parties and dinners and sleepovers and late-night studying and wine-laden confessions and first cigarettes and long autumn walks and not-exactly-clothed tanning sessions on the deck. And love. The falling into love. The falling out of love. The falling back into love. The falling back out of love. And in the not quite so ancient past, there has been the renewal of childhood dreams as the next generation of Kirklands has experienced holidays with the never-quite-straight-Kirkland-Christmas trees or the badly hidden Easter Eggs that were never part of their parents’ childhood or the newly inaugurated Thanksgiving Football Revival games.
It’s amazing how much emotion can be tied to a bunch of brick and mortar assembled on a certain plot of land. And it’s amazing how many people were welcomed (and perhaps a few unwelcomed) there. This weekend I allowed the memories to catch me up in a cloud of nostalgia. Eventually I’ll have to settle my feet back on the ground of the here and now. But maybe that can wait until tomorrow.
If you have a story about the Kirkland Treehouse that you’d like to share, I’m hoping to compile a mini-anthology to accompany Marg and Kent on their move. And don’t worry – we asked and then breathed a sigh of relief – they are getting professional movers so you don’t have to worry about being roped into packing, carrying or loading boxes!