I moved out of my parents’ house in 1990. My parents sold their house and moved to a new one in 1991. The people who are living in my old house right now are the third owners of that house since my parents sold it. And the house is up for sale again.
This past Sunday, it was an Open House. I had no real desire to walk through and look at the house, because it’s not mine anymore and there would be no point. After 17 years, many things would be different and it just wouldn’t be the house that I remember…so why do it? You can’t go home again.
But…..my mom wanted to go have a look so I said that I would go with her. The changes that were made were quite glaring. But that was to be expected. My mom, however, seemed distraught by the changes. It had hard wood floors instead of carpeting, our living room is now the dining room and vice versa, the bathrooms and the kitchen had been TOTALLY redone. My mom was particularly concerned with the whole living room / dining room thing, and kept lamenting about it long after we left.
But I was surprised at some of the things that were exactly the same as I remember. For instance, the carpet on the stairs going from the 1st to 2nd floor is the same carpet (and it looked like it), the wallpaper in the closet of the room that was mine was the same, as was the glass covering of the light fixture in the upstairs bathroom.
But it’s what I saw in the basement that was really unexpected and surprising to me. Above the little storage area underneath the basement steps, hung on a hook, was my old, plastic, personalized light switch cover plate. It has a drawing of a boy on the left hand side, and above the little rectangle where the switch would be is my name. Of course, this is not where I had last seen it. When I moved out, it was still performing its duty as a light switch cover plate in my old bedroom. My mom said that they never took it off the wall when they moved out.
So to sum up…through 3 different owners and over the course of 18 years, that plastic wall switch cover plate of mine has remained in that house. I don’t know if it’s been in different places in the house over the years, or if the people who bought it from my parents put it there. But it is nothing beyond stunning to me that after all this time it’s still there and in a quite accessible place.
Yesterday, I e-mailed the realtor who is selling the house. I told him who I was, why I had gone through the house, what I had found, and asked about the possibility of reclaiming that personalized, plastic light switch cover. Today, I received an e-mail from the realtor telling me that he’s forwarded my e-mail to the owners of the house and will let me know. It would be the coolest of all things cool if I’m able to get it.