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The House on the Lake

Saturday, July 10th, 2010 at 22:50 ET

Today I listened to a podcast episode of This American Life from away back in 2001 that was rebroadcast in February. The setup was great and it pulled me away from cleaning and laundry and FB and Yammer and everything else I was doing. For the first time in a while, I just sat in my house and listened to the radio (well, you know what I mean.)

The podcast description says, “Our entire show this week is one long story, sort of a real-life Hardy Boys mystery.” It lived up to the hype, and it fascinated me. Recently I’ve been trying to get ready to imitate my best friend Mike, who not so long ago went on a quest to rid himself of all the extra stuff in his life. Believe you me, there sure was a lot of it. The TAL story immediately finds these kids exploring an abandoned house, and they find all this stuff.

Well, most of my friends know that I don’t like to give away the ending of things, so I won’t say more about the story, but you really should listen to it. I think the other thing that really got me was the story made me think about my Grandmom’s house. I was thinking about that house just last weekend after realizing that my mom’s house really reminds me a lot of her mom’s house. Not in tangible, this-or-that-is-the-same kind of ways — it’s more subtle. Grandmom’s house was on a river; mom’s house is on a lake. We used to sit and eat outside on Grandmom’s porch; we sit and eat outside on mom’s porch. Grandmom’s house had wood-framed sliding-glass doors; mom’s house has wood-framed sliding-glass doors. Grandmom’s house had windows in the vaulted ceiling to let in extra light; mom’s house has windows in the vaulted ceiling to let in extra light. My sister didn’t see it, but my brother and I think it’s kind of spooky.

So I listened to this story and thought about Grandmom’s house. I was trying to remember a trip I took out there after she died because my mom was the primary executor of Grandmom’s estate. It was billed as a treasure hunt — I think Grandmom would have liked that — but it was just a time to be together, say goodbye to the house, and clean out some of the stuff. I don’t think we found one unexpected thing that could properly be called treasure, but it was nice to go there one last time.

I think my mom said that Grandmom’s house got torn down to make way for something bigger and better. That’s typical for her neighborhood, but the picture on Google Maps still has her house, which made me feel better.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/199/House-on-Loon-Lake

Grandmom's House

Grandmom's House

Filed under: My Life

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