A friend of mine commented on something he had heard about getting into a relationship at this point in life: we are both currently unattached, he is just over fifty, I am forty eight and recently divorced. The comment was from an aging rock star who, when asked if he was interested in finding a committed relationship, said that anyone he got involved with at his age would be bringing forty plus years of baggage to the relationship. Having just moved into an old house, I have been thinking about this comment in terms of the "baggage" of an old house. In this case, however, the house I am now in relationship with, is about forty years older than I am. This house has weathered a lot of storms. Seen a lot of floor traffic, had it's doors opened and closed and slammed - how many times? It's been through drought and saturation seasons, booms and busts. This house is amazingly un-altered. The floor plan is what it was when it was built. The only "remodel" is a wall between a bedroom and the living room that was opened up with french doors. The windows and doors are all original, as is the oak trim - which has never been painted. The doorknobs are all original and intact. The plaster walls are original. The Crown moulding is original, and the bathtub is original. This house is basically what it has always been since it was built. So the baggage....? Yes. It has baggage. Seeped into it's walls. smells and ants. Termites. Residue of old fights. Death happened here. I don't know that. I just sense that this is a place where people died. The mom. Or the Dad, or the sister. Hunger. Fear. Worry. Life.
Eighty years and now I move in. Who am I? Who am I to these floors? To these walls? To these door knobs? Just someone bringing forty plus years of his own baggage.