There is something about being in another person’s house. What I noticed about all of the houses I went to in North Carolina last week was that they were homes. Here in Atlanta, and even in my hometown in Florida, a lot of the houses I went to were temporary. They were sitting areas until the next one, or they were longtime homes with little distinction from magazine homes, personality-wise. In North Carolina, instead of stock photo IKEA frames, there are mix-matched decorative frames with school portraits and kids’ drawings; there are wicker baskets, yellow light, overwhelmed storage rooms, well acquainted furniture, trinkets, and candles; there is an aura in each house.
There is something even more touching about being in a house that belongs to someone who has transitioned. Memories left behind, objects with no owners, haunting portraits that somehow make you want to smile and cry. That was my experience being in Oak Ridge, North Carolina; the hometown of my boyfriend’s grandmother. Though her body has retired, her home and spirit will continue on in pictures, trinkets, drawings, furniture, and all else that moves on with the family.