“I bought the house I grew up in.” I’ve noticed that no matter whom I say that to, there’s a similarity in the expression their faces take on: a hint of a smile mixed with a hint of wistfulness; a faraway look in their eyes. They’re thinking about the house they grew up in. Then they almost invariably say something to the effect of, “That is so cool!”
Is returning to one’s childhood home a primal desire, I wonder? At least for those of us lucky enough to have had a happy childhood?
Anyway, I’ve gone and done it. Or more specifically, we have. My husband, Raymond, is the other half of this possibly demented venture. But he didn’t grow up in the house, obviously. Which makes his willing-bordering-on-enthusiastic participation all the more winsome. Raymond is the best husband ever.
We bought it today. This very day. Monday, January 30, 2012, for the record. The call from our lawyer saying that the deal had closed came shortly after 12 noon.
We are now the proud owners of the Manse (as everybody calls it) in Queensborough, Ontario, Canada. It’s a manse because that’s one of the names for the house that the minister/priest/vicar/pastor of a church lives in; in some denominations it’s known as a rectory or a parsonage. For the people of St. Andrew’s United Church in Queensborough, and everybody else in the village and the surrounding area, it was, and is, the Manse.
My family moved into the Manse on a sunny day in 1964. I believe it was July. I was four years old. My father, Rev. Wendell Sedgwick, was beginning his first appointment as a United Church of Canada minister after graduating from divinity school at Emmanuel College, University of Toronto. He was just shy of 33 years old.
All the world was young.