ON RETURNING HOME

I've been gone for another year, this time without my family. When you come back, you notice the little things. So. Much. Nostalgia!
  1. My first impression was how ugly and tired the house looked. Then my mom pointed out that the renters had taken the shutters off to repaint them. The house needs a new coat too.
  2. The next thing you notice is that the trees are taller—all those that haven't been trimmed, that is.
  3. Then you look for your handprint in the sidewalk. I forgot it's gone. I found one of the leaf imprints though.
  4. One of the gardens was overgrown—but with wildflowers. It felt like something that would happen in a storybook. (The Secret Garden, maybe?)
  5. The treehouse my dad built is still there, perhaps a bit more dilapidated.
  6. Inside, it is instantly clear (although I knew this) that the renters are a family of hikers. All these shoes and only four of them.
  7. My books are still on the top shelf
  8. But also things are different; new wall hangings from the renters
  9. So much is different
    Furniture in different places, different decoration, a wifi password TWO ENTIRE SENTENCES LONG
  10. But some things are still there
  11. Our Dutch take on the painting of Christ the Lamb of God is still in the kitchen (it's blurry but besides being in Delft, the background is swapped out for cows and windmills)
  12. I'M still in the kitchen
  13. The stairs still creak in the same places
  14. BOOKS
  15. André's tiny opinel
  16. The 4,999 piece puzzle (long story)
  17. My Axis & Allies ceiling painting which I totally forgot about!
  18. It was strange for me to have all these emotions over such little things
  19. I thought that I connected with people, not places or things
  20. And while I definitely do connect more to people I realized that the place and the objects there mean a lot to me too
  21. I guess amidst the flood of nostalgia I learned something new about myself.