For the past 22 years of my life, my “home” has always been the same house in Rockville, Maryland. Just 20 minutes outside of Washington, DC, and down the street from Bethesda. Aside from it being in the perfect location, it was a house that was more than any other ordinary house in the neighborhood, let alone the area overall. Last month, I traveled from Bulgaria to the US to say goodbye to my childhood home.
Even though I’ve been living in Bulgaria for more than 2 years already, my “home” has been in Maryland. I’ve lived there my whole life and it has been my primary residence. However, with me living in Bulgaria at the moment (and eager to continue doing so), and with my older brother and my twin sister moving out, my parents were left in a huge (and empty) house by themselves. Most people would consider them to be “empty-nesters” at this point.
A Tough (But Much-Needed) Decision
Not only does a big house with a large landscape, like ours, require constant and consistent maintenance, but it can also be too much to handle for just two people. My parents made the tough decision to sell our house of 22 years.
I have to say that I didn’t agree with it and I still don’t. However, I do completely understand their side of things and I fully support their decision. It’s just hard. My childhood home is so unique. Not only to me but overall in the neighborhood. There’s no other house that looks like it. Not one house close by resembles it even the slightest bit. It’s a 100-year-old home and my parents were only the 3rd owners.
Improving the House
Over the past 22 years, both of my parents worked hard to renovate and improve the condition of our house. That’s something they’ve done multiple times and in most cases little by little. The final renovations to the house were completed only about 2 ½ years ago. My dad did all of the renovations himself since that’s what he specializes in. Each renovation has turned out amazing and it made the house that much more special.
The landscape around our house has always changed. We’ve done many improvements, installed fences, took down old fences, installed gates, patios, a hot tub, planted flowers, cut down trees, and more.
This year, the landscape has looked the best it has ever looked – at least, from what I can remember. Maybe it’s the nostalgia, but it definitely looks incredible with all of the blooming flowers, greenery, and the vegetable garden.
I’ll only include some of the photos because there are just SO many.
The Memories at My Childhood Home
When I came home last month, I walked in and saw that every room in the house was either empty or close to it. It was perfectly staged with our furniture in a way that would make the house look even more appealing. But, it was empty in my eyes.
I walked each room individually, and like the movies, I had flashbacks to my childhood and some of my longest and most favorite memories spent in each room. Some memories that I didn’t even know I still had rushed back and tears started to fall down my cheeks.
So many people have come in and out of the house. From birthdays, celebrations, parties, holidays, sleepovers, family visits – 22 years of memories have been created there. That house is where we brought home our first dog, Gibson, and where he passed away. It’s where I lost my first tooth. It’s where I started elementary, middle, high school, and where I left from to go to university.
Saying Goodbye to My Childhood Home
After 22 years, I had no choice but to say goodbye to my childhood home. It was hard, it still is. That house was a big accomplishment for my parents to purchase and it was even tougher for them to sell.
During my last week in the US after selling our home, I ended up driving past it on 2 separate occasions. It felt incredibly strange driving past and not recognizing any of the cars parked in the driveway or not turning into the driveway as if I’m going home. The lights were off and it was pitch black, which was strange to see.
You know the saying “you never know what you have until it’s gone”? It’s kinda like that.
I can only hope that the new owners enjoy it as much as we did. But to be honest, I don’t think that’s possible.
One day, when I start my own family, I pray to find a house like this one and make memories that are just as good, if not better.