On Monday I went to my parents house to drop off a gift for my mom. This is the house I grew up in, left at age 19 and never looked back. The same house my parents have lived in for 46 years. The house where improvements were only made out of necessity; installing a new furnace to keep warm; a sump pump to keep the basement dry; and a new roof so pans could be used for cooking instead of collecting water during the rainy season.
Yesterday, while visiting, I was looking around the house trying to find some connection. What I saw instead was clutter beyond belief, not quite bad enough to be on Hoarders, but it's pretty close. The clutter you see is organized. It's neatly stacked on 6 and 8 foot tables, one of which is right in the middle of the already small living room. The "stuff" is also stacked all along the walls in the dining area and kitchen. A few months ago my mom told me they took down the dining room table because they never used it. It's been replaced by an 8' table which has stuff stacked on top and underneath.
I used the bathroom while I was there. The original linoleum is almost worn through to the subfloor. The tub enclosure has many of the original square tiles missing and even more are cracked. I can't see how they can use the shower without water leaking to the basement. The sink doesn't work, there is a plastic tub in it to catch the water that is then dumped in the toilet. I just used hand sanitizer that I carry with me.
As a bonus their 3 cats walk all over the counters in the kitchen... uh, yeah. By the way the coutnters are pink, 1950's pink. Before you get too excited and think, "how totally cool and retro that must be", it's so not. In many places the Formica is broken and peeling away.
When I was about 10 years old the dishwasher broke down. That was 38 years ago. For a while my mom used it as a cupboard. I think my dad finally took it out but it might still be there, I didn't go into the kitchen. There is only so much I can take.
My dad has never wanted to spend money on the house unless it was necessary (read above). Now that he's been retired for close to 20 years, there is no money for improvements. There is barely enough money for taxes and medical bills.
Sitting there looking around I realized I haven't had a connection to the house I grew up in since I left it, I also realized I have no connection to the lifestyle my parent lead and hopefully I never will.