A childhood house is always home. And now we say goodbye.

This year we sold the house I grew up in. It felt like selling a member of the family.

My late parents were its last residents. The place had been mostly unoccupied for several years, and it fell to my brother, sister and I to sell it.  

Although inanimate objects don’t usually rate obituaries, our house seems to deserve one. Anyone who’s had to part with a family home might understand.

The house is in Holyoke, Massachusetts. I’d not lived there full-time for a half century. But no matter my address, the house was always home — the place where they have to take you in, as Robert Frost wrote in a time before half a million Americans had no home at all.

I returned throughout school and career, then with my wife, and then with our children. It was where we spent almost every Thanksgiving and Christmas.