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Full Circle: Our House
We say goodbye to the house that was our home

Our new house is a real hole in the ground. Yes, construction has started and beams are rising almost as fast as the interest rate.

The last time we moved, Richard Nixon was president, gas was 36 cents a gallon and our new, five-bedroom house cost a whopping $33,500.

This move is a big move for us. A whole 2.5 miles away from where we raised the kids. When we first moved to Marlton, there was a taxidermy shop at the corner of Main and Maple. There wasn’t yet a Banana Republic. And a diner named Olga’s served the best Boston cream pie this side of Fenway.

As we go, we have lots of memories. The yellow plaid wallpaper, the harvest gold appliances, the black-parachute cloth sectional sofa. “Best of Philly” was born here. So was “Best of SJ.” “The Daily Show” shot a segment here. But, most of all, this is where Paul and Scott and Dan grew up. We still have the baseball cards to prove it. And we still have the memories.

This is where Dan hid under an old rocking chair at Paul’s bar mitzvah luncheon, because he didn’t want his overbearing aunt to find him and kiss him.

This is where Scott locked Dan in his room for no reason by tying a rope to the bannister and jamming the doorknob.

This is where Paul slept through a hurricane.

It was here that Scott and Paul were ordered to take all the centerfold posters off their walls because their grandparents were coming to visit.

It was here that Sue asked Dan to anchor the pull-down stairs when she went up into the attic. And where Dan fell asleep on the landing, leaving her stuck up there for hours.

It was here that, for a story I was writing, Paul was sent to his room and ordered not to come out until he scored a million points on “Donkey Kong”.

In this family room, we watched the first LaserDisc player and projection TV. It was like we had a movie theater in the house.

In this bedroom, the kids jumped on the waterbed every time we left them home alone.

In this living room, we came home early from a party and found Dan, dressed in his underwear, dancing like Tom Cruise in “Risky Business”.

And it was in this living room that the kids were never allowed to sit on the pink sofas because a fancy designer had put them there and they cost more than the original house.

This is the kitchen where we often ate breakfast for dinner, and where kids came from miles around to sample Sue’s gourmet grilled cheese.

This is the kitchen where I almost lost a finger one Thanksgiving when the electric knife slipped off the turkey leg and sliced into my hand.

This is the bedroom that Paul walked out of when the FBI knocked on the door to investigate an Internet hacking mastermind and left embarrassed by the fact that the alleged hacker was only 12 years old.

This is the garage where we hung all of Scott’s crutches. He broke seven different bones at seven different times.

This is the front lawn where no good football game ended without blood.

Here is the backyard where, in 1984, complete with a uniform stolen from the U.S. Olympic team, we held the first Levy Olympics. Scott won. Dan said he cheated.

Here is the kitchen sink, where the kids dyed their hair orange and purple and blue.

Of course, the kids are grown up now. Two of them still have hair. And two of them now have kids of their own.

And now another family will move in here, a family with kids and wishes and dreams. And they will be very lucky people. Because, even though the front door sticks a little and a couple of the floorboards creak, our house is a very, very fine house.

October 2013
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