Packing up the old homestead

By Dennis Minich

It was a little more than 28 years ago I first saw the house 1007 Smith Circle. If it were a person, I would say it was love at first sight, but since it’s an inanimate object I will just say I knew it was right. I realized recently I have lived at that address longer than any single home in my life, which was quite a revelation in my mind. Perhaps some background will help.

I lived in my boyhood home until I was 17 when my parents moved – four houses down the street. From there I went to college and during the next few years I moved fairly regularly, but through it all, I kept my parents address as my legal abode. I was a boomerang child so several years later I was back in my old bedroom. One advantage was I had virtually nothing so moving was no big deal.

When I got married, we had five domiciles in the first three years. First in Overland Park and then in Harrisonville. The first was a duplex on Blueberry, which if I had my way we would have lived there for a long time. It was a nice place with great landlords and everything was taken care of. But my wife, Debbie, wanted a house so after the first year we rented a house not far from the duplex. No sooner had we moved when she decided renting a house was not enough and we had to buy a house. Home ownership was never my dream, but I also know “happy wife, happy life” so we started looking for houses.. I saw an ad in the newspaper for a home on Smith Circle and I drove by and without going in, I knew it was perfect.

It was a nice-looking neighborhood and a cute house, but the selling points were a basketball goal out front, a swing set and monkey bars in the backyard, perfect for my 2-year-old son, a nice deck and pretty trees providing lots of shade. Our hunting was over and we moved in as soon as the paperwork could be completed.

Our little house on the south side of town saw lots of family history. My son grew up in the house. My parents came and lived with us so I got to spend a lot of time with them in their golden years. It was where we celebrated many events like graduations, birthdays and anniversaries. It was where my wife wanted to be as her time on earth came to a close. It was home.

At first, we were the ideal homeowners. We spent many hours landscaping, renovating and decorating. if something broke, we fixed it. If something was less than ideal, we improved it. Debbie had family who was quite handy so if we needed a new door or new trim, they were right there with us. But as years progressed, our enthusiasm and ability waned, my in-laws became less responsive and some minor issues got left alone. In recent years I’ve had handyman chores I needed done, but I had trouble finding handymen so some issues went uncompleted. But no matter what I still loved my little home on Smith Circle.

My life has changed and when my fiancée decided to move to town, she wanted a new place to call our home, so we looked and found a new Harrisonville abode. The details were fairly simple: I found a buyer willing to bring the old homestead back to life. But the move has been less than thrilling. Between the garage sale and citywide trash haul off, we managed to dispose of a lot of items, but many things had to be moved. After 28 years at the same address, it was unfathomable how much stuff had accumulated. Once upon a time I could move all of my items in a few hours. This time hours became days and days became weeks. But finally, the job is done.

I now have a beautiful home. I get to share it with my fiancée, Leslie. I have lots of time to go through all of my stuff and redisplay it in our new house. But I will still always remember that first look at the pretty little house on Smith Circle with the basketball goal, swing set and monkey bars in the backyard. It really was love at first sight.