As my sister and I turned right onto the empty suburban street I looked up and saw the house that raised me for ten years: 6545 Witherbee, Ada, Michigan, 49301. The stained red brick seemed to be slowly deteriorating. The once white siding defiled by the many years of Michigan weather. The basketball hoop, my once glistening escape, disintegrating rapidly. The only thing distinguishing it was the white rectangular board holding a thin wired rim with no net. The swing set looked like a few decaying boards of wood tethered together with a few rusty nails. The sandbox now just four pieces of two by fours lying on the ground, the sand all washed away. My mind flooded with memories as I thought back to the house where I spent most of my adolescence. It wasn’t there; the spot it once inhabited was now just a house that resembled little of what I remembered.
As I went back to that neighborhood and saw all the changes that it has endured, I couldn’t help but think about how things might change next year. Next year I’m going to be off at college and during that time things will change. When my sister went off to college, the one thing she always said to me that everything was different and she pointed out that a lot had changed in a year. This house was the perfect example of this. I did not remember the characterless house that stood in front of me. I remembered studying, playing, reading, and eating at a house that was full of imagination and happy experiences. I remember playing on a basketball hoop with perfect net. And I remember shooting on it everyday. I remember playing in the warm sand. I remember the people I was with, too. But none of it seemed to be there anymore.
Next year, what else will change? I could come home and not recognize my own house, a store, a park or parts of the school. Any one of those things can change in a year. Seeing this house made me realize that even though it’s unfortunate to see a place you love change, the memories you made there are the most important.