Yes, it looks like the longest chapter of my life, one that began more than forty years ago, has just ended. On Tuesday, March 27, my brother Chris was in Winter Park, FL to close on the sale of my father’s house, where he and the family have lived since May 1967. Here’s how he described the experience. Quote:
“Having the estate sale, then cleaning out the house and closing on it was about the most difficult thing I ever had to do. Taking apart and disposing of the house my family lived, the amazing things Dad built, and all the memories of 45 years there. The Kimball estate is now history.”
Unquote: When I first moved out of Florida in 2006, I said I was pulling up some very deep roots; the family connection with the state was one of the deepest. if there ever was a family headquarters, our large house in Winter Park was it. The original house was built in 1927; when we first moved in there were some features Dad did not like, so he did some remodeling right away. Then between 1973 and 1978 he built a new addition that changed the structure’s appearance completely. Some visitors have had trouble telling whether it was one house or two, others have remarked on the unique character Dad gave to the place.
I lived there until 1988, and was close by it for the next 18 years. Unfortunately my Dad lost the ability to maintain it even before I moved out of Florida, so by now it was literally falling apart. I expect the buyer will knock it down and split the property into two smaller lots, so if I come back the house probably will not be there.
I say “if I come back” because the family is so widely scattered these days. As recently as 2005, most of us were in Florida. Now my mother and grandmother have left this world, my sister is in Wisconsin, my daughter is married and living in Georgia, and my wife and father are in Kentucky. The only relatives left in the Sunshine State are my brother in Naples, and a great-aunt in Delray Beach. And in the Orlando area the only tie I have left that could bring me back is the church I used to attend, because I still have many friends there. As for me, here I am in Connecticut, the state we lived in before we moved to Florida, working a temporary job just 25 miles from where we used to live. That’s another case of coming around full circle for you!