Pulling into the new neighborhood, seeing the neighborhood sign and feeling the unfamiliar Pennsylvania senses. I realize that this is my new home. It is far away from my last, but I’m still surrounded by the same family. As we reach the driveway, I see my new home for the first time. The vegetation is blossoming and the woods are thick and dark. My sister and I storm into the house, feeling anxious and excited. Our dog runs behind us, curious and confused. The first thing I notice is the smell; it’s the scent of others. The stench of old firewood and someone else’s home lingers and engulfs the house. Then we walk into the cream-colored kitchen with grape wallpaper lining the ceiling, which is not the atmosphere I was used to in a home. I peek around the corner and find dark olive green carpet in another bare and empty room.
The next thing I know, the doorbell rings. It’s our new neighbors there to welcome us with a basket of flowers. As we begin to meet the people surrounding us in this brand new environment, I feel a sense of comfort. We close the door, and I look to my left to see boxes being brought into the house, all labeled with things from our, what is now, old life. The big brown boxes start to pile up in each corner of the whole house, making the space feel dramatically smaller.
Then, I decide to explore the second floor. With my dog following me full of excitement, I begin to run upstairs to choose my bedroom. Still, everything felt like it didn’t belong and wasn’t ours. I felt like I was intruding into someone else’s life and personal belongings, as nothing from my old house was displayed. It did not feel like home at all.
Then, the doorbell rings again, and it’s our next door neighbor. She welcomed us with a bunch of cookies and flowers. For some reason, this was odd and unusual for my family. We did not expect our new neighbors to be coming over so happily to our house when they see the chaos surrounding the property. As my sister and I familiarize ourselves with our new yard, I see two girls our age on scooters approaching. My sister and I are at the end of our driveway when the two girls stop and introduce themselves as the kids who live across the street. They both had red scooters and their helmets protruded on their heads. My first impression of them was they were very blunt, but seemed to be excited to have kids their age now living nearby. I vividly remember them saying they were very surprised we didn’t have Southern accents because they knew we were coming from North Carolina. Little did I know, we would grow to become so comfortable with each other, through our lemonade stands and backyard games.
The next few years fly by for me, and the next thing I know, I find out I am moving again. One Friday evening, my family was driving along the winding back roads of Southeastern Pennsylvania, when my parents dropped the news. We were going to be moving to Michigan due to my dad’s job promotion. My emotions were all over the place. I didn’t know what to think. I was extremely excited, anxious, and slightly irritated about the situation.
The next week, boxes start to pile up again, ready to be filled with our belongings. The house becomes bare and empty again, just like how it was six years ago. A sense of nostalgia flooded me, and I couldn’t believe I was moving yet again. Our house becomes impersonal, although our renovations are left behind. As we are about to leave one misty and early morning for the long drive up north, our neighbor across the street visits to give her last goodbye with her warm coffee in hand. I flashback to when she brought us cookies and flowers the first day we moved in. A wave of emotions crashes over me, although I hold back the tears. Moving again became a reality. I hop into our cramped car ready for my new journey in Michigan.