We are leaving in just a few minutes. I spent the past half hour checking my list. Nail clippers. Snacks. Tire pump. Check. Check. Check. I ran my last load of laundry. We checked our list of passwords. Phone numbers. Maps. Check. Check. Check.

The cats are freaking out, they can always sense change. Cats hate change. So does Bill, but he isn’t here right now, so I’m trying not to worry about him.

Dana is still freaking out about work, worrying if everything will be OK, wondering how often he will have to check in. I am freaking out about the house, which he thinks is silly. May I remind him that, for the last 20 years, this house has been my work? And now I am just walking away from it.

Whenever my grandmother left her house – that would be her apartment on Rockaway Ave. over Reiss’s plumbing supply store, for any Levitsky cousins reading this – she stood on the threshold and said “Goodbye house”. My mother used to laugh at this, until she got old enough to understand Grandma. And then for the last few years of my mother’s life, whenever she came to visit us, she would stand on her threshold and say “Goodbye house”. The day she left her house for the last time, to move into assisted living, she said “Goodbye house”, and I broke down in tears.

When my mother started to understand my grandmother, it freaked her out. And now I understand them both, but I can’t tell if that’s freaking me out because, honestly, everything is freaking me out. So this is it….

Goodbye house.