Last Visit Of The Vista Home I Grew Up In

Vista HouseIt seems as time goes on, the only constant in the universe is that things change. My parents have finally sold the home in Vista, California that they’ve owned since 1988 and yesterday, I stopped by the house to take a final look and hand over my key and garage door opener. I wanted to make sure I got a chance to take one last look at it before it was completely empty and handed over to the new owners this Friday.

When I got there, the movers were there doing the final packing of everything into boxes. They were hard at work packing away the contents of the kitchen when I arrived. Yesterday was just the last day of packing so that it would be all ready for today to make the move to their new home in Temecula, California. I stayed for a little while to visit my mom who was supervising the packing. She showed me pictures of the new home and all the work they’ve done to it in the last couple of months since they bought it. They had done some serious renovations including the removal of some half-walls, completely replacing all the flooring and carpeting as well as giving the kitchen a much needed makeover. I’m sure I’ll see it soon enough with Thanksgiving being next week.

In the mean time it was good to be in the house, a little sad to see it in a packed up state, even thought it wasn’t fully empty yet. I wasn’t really overwhelmed with emotion there, I’m feeling more of it now writing about it. I spent many years living in the house too. I lived there when I first learned how to drive. I lived there through my high school years, and even my college years. I also lived there when I got my first job. My folks bought the house new so I remember moving into the house when there were no fences yet between any of the yards. The back yard was a dirt lot at the time. Hell, even Ronald Reagan was still President of the United States at the time.

To be honest, I’m surprised my folks stayed in the house as long as they did, prior to this home, the longest we’d ever stayed in one house was five years. My folks stayed in this house 21 years. We had many pets in the years in that home too. I went into each room and made sure to look out each of the windows and enjoyed a memory or two that popped into my mind stemming from the room or the view out the window before moving on to the next room. Lots of memories.

In a way it did feel like a permanent address as it’s pretty much been a constant place to come back to even though I’ve moved several times since initially moving out of the house, and then for a brief time back into the house so that my folks could take an open ended RV trip around the United States and Canada. Even though the house is changing hands, I will still have all my memories of that house and will always remember it fondly. I’m just glad I had a chance to visit the house one last time before the hand off to the new owners. I hope that the new owners get as many wonderful new memories of their own living there.



6 thoughts on “Last Visit Of The Vista Home I Grew Up In”

  1. Ryan – I can relate to this. My wife and I had a discussion with our offspring, all now over 21 years of age and moved out of the house. We’ve been considering moving to a smaller place and our kids were horrified – my daughter was particularly vehement saying “But Dad, you can’t sell this house – it is our home.”

    So, once my wife and I decide what we are going to do, my daughter has insisted on getting first chance to buy this place.

    It was very pleasing as a parent that the 3 of them have such feelings about this home.

  2. About four years ago my mum sold the family home I grew up in right up until I moved in with my wife. Whilst helping them on moving day I thought I would be really emotional (having lived there for 28 years)and I thought my mum would be a wreck. However it proved to just be bricks and mortar, and not one tear was shed between us, and home really is where the family are. They settled extremely quickly into their new home and couldn’t be happier. The same thing happened when my wife and I left our first home to buy a bigger house. Despite being our first home together and staying for 6 years I had no regrets leaving it behind and moving on because home is now where my wife is :o)

  3. Hi Simon,

    Strangely my folks aren’t downsizing, the new place is actually bigger. They’re going from a home with 4 bedrooms to one with 5 bedrooms and a bonus room on top of it. But my mom especially loves the view of the new place. It’ll be interesting to see when I finally do see the new house for the first time. My brother and I weren’t particularly as keen on keeping the house in the family I guess perhaps because we had been used to short stays in homes prior to this one and my mom has been wanting out of this one for many years.


  4. Hi Paul,

    Yes, I agree its the people aspect that makes a home a home. Really a house is nothing more than shelter and a place to store stuff. The memories aren’t attached to the building, but the memories of the experiences in the building. The memories come with us, they aren’t locked in the physical building. And I’m sure if I really feel a need, I can always drive by the old neighborhood.

    In a way I kind of prepped for it mentally about a week earlier I had driven by the first neighborhood my family lived in here in San Diego (as it’s less than 5 miles away from where I’m presently living, literally just on the other side of the highway) and reminisced about the memories from that neighborhood even though we were only there our first two years in California. I didn’t intentionally do so, it just happened because traffic didn’t allow me an opportunity to get into the lane I needed to be in to get on the highway so I ended up crossing the bridge over to the other side and on a spur of a moment decided to just check out the old neighborhood. Although it’s not likely to be a “spur of the moment” decision to drive by the old neighborhood as its about 20 miles away, it’s still reasonably close and I do have a PO Box in the area.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to the moment I’m able to purchase my first house.


  5. Ryan,

    I can relate…I am in the process of selling the house I grew up in and that had all of my parents’ belongings, and no matter how greener the new pastures, it is still difficult to say good-bye, especially with so much nostalgia involved/attached to it. I do hope the new owners of both of our houses make them as much of a home as our families did!


  6. Hi Laura,

    I can imagine having to sell your folks’ home is definitely a trip down memory lane, everywhere you look. It’s hard view the houses as just what they’re made of and not the memories attached to them (at least in our minds they’re attached to the houses). On my way home from work the other day I decided I needed to swing by my PO Box that’s near my folks’ home they just moved out of and thought since I was in the neighborhood I’d do a drive by and see if how it looks with the new owners in it. Not much different from how it looked two weeks ago when my folks were packing up and moving out.


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