This afternoon I found out that my mother and stepfather bought a new house in Maryland. This news means that the home in which I was raised will offically leave the family. After my parents divorced in the mid-70s, I was essentially raised by my mother and stepfather in Allendale, New Jersey. For around 20 years, this white house, built in the late 19th century was my home. I grew up with my older brother, younger half-sister and I have thousands of memories from this three-bedroom house in the suburbs of Northern New Jersey.

My memories of New Jersey are essentially mixed. That said, I'm ready to bid farewell to this home. And I'm ready to bid farewell to New Jersey. There's little question that the years spent in this home shaped who I am today. We had a fairly tight family, though all told, it was a pretty quiet household. Over the past few years, since leaving New Jersey, I've actually grown a lot closer to my mother, stepfather, and most recently, my sister. I think we're all ready to bid farewell to the house on West Maple. We'll all take some great memories with us, but the time has come to move on.

When I spoke to my mother and stepfather today I could sense growth in their voices. I know they'll miss it, but it was clear by the excitement in their voices, that they're ready to move forward. I will head home one more time for my sister's wedding in the fall. Following that, my new home away from home, will be about 500 miles to the South. And at the age of almost 60, my mother finally has a swimming pool. She's dreamed of this day.