First, begin by remembering the house in its heyday. Skip-Bo games prompting shouts of victory or loss, the front door clapping with entries and exits, onions and green peppers sizzling in cast-iron frying pans, and the comforting smells of buttermilk pie drifting from the still-warm oven.
Remember the tiered garden replete with small explosions of marigolds. It might’ve been a fountain, at one time. There was a patio, cleared of the vines and stray saplings covering it today, and a deep koi pond filled with cold water. The fish may or may not have been there. You can’t remember. The grass of the wide lawn was cut short, except where there were bluebonnets blooming.
Remember a long day when you were younger, shoveling dirt and stacking blocks, working hard to get everything in order for Grandma. The apparition of your cousins flashes briefly across the stone patio: skinny arms lifting blocks and putting them to one side, sunburned limbs draped across lounge chairs, blue eyes and straw hair reflecting the sun.
In your memories, the walls of the garage are still standing; inside the garage, the tools and boxes neatly labeled and put away, the floor swept clean. The backdoor steps had a railing you could hang on to, and the clothesline hung securely between two trees. Next to the cat food in the back of the house, the washing machine would whir, tumbling the day from your clothes.
Once you are done with your memories, and only once you’re done, put them behind you. There is much more to do if you want to be rid of this house.