Sunday, July 26, 2009

If only moving house and home was literal

I know I shouldn't complain about the toils of moving, seeing as how I have not personally schlepped a box from one house to another in more than 15 years, but having done none of the effort and experienced all of the angst, I just feel as if I’ve missed out.

My husband, you see, is an efficient mover. When we moved from our last apartment about a decade ago I came home from work to find only the “essentials” were left for our last night at the first-floor abode: a lonely old futon mattress, a television and a bag of tortilla chips.

My couch and every other stick of furniture in the place was gone.

My husband’s friend had arrived early and they had nothing to do but get to work.

In no time they’d packed all the possessions in the four-room dwelling and driven them the three towns over to our first home.

It was a big deal.

Almost as big as the first Christmas in our new home, during which three generations of family were invited to attend, and who bought our first tree and decorated the room with lights — without me.

But I’m not bitter.

They saved the decorations for me to hang … alone.

Again, not bitter.

This time, however, as we spent the better part of six months renovating a new house and settling into a new venture, I have no excuse beyond denial.

In as much as I liked the new house for all the normalcy it offered — two floors, front porch, bathtubs — I loved the dwelling we were leaving; our barn. My children were born and raised in that house. We buried a beloved dog in its backyard and planted a tree on my first Mother’s Day in the front yard. I had envisioned ribbing them as they tramped through the second-floor apartment with muddy shoes and flaunted unclosed doors: “WHAT! Do you think we live in a BARN?!”

I know it’s for the best: The new house is better sized for our bigger family and also comes with an expansion for my husband’s business; a chance we couldn’t let pass.

But I can’t help but heave heavy sighs as I belatedly start the process of purging the things we don’t need and packing the things we do. There are two piles of everything: Clothes to keep, clothes to donate; papers to file, papers to recycle; trinkets to save, trinkets to sell.

The process takes forever.

Boxes I haven’t touched in years now hold treasures that spark my memory. I can’t believe I saved all these brochures from our honeymoon … Oh, will you look at that … a matchbook from our first date.

I toss them into the bag that’s headed for the dumpster; a bag that’s leaning against a wall with the tell-tale hatch marks of a growing family – pencil dashes with names, ages and dates.

I know soon that wall will soon get a fresh coat of paint, just as surely as I know I’ll probably find a dozen things that were lost over the years when we move the couch.

As I stand there looking at the smudge-covered partition, I know the reason I’m stalling: I’d rather put that wall into the moving truck and leave the couch.


Kelly Anne said...

At one point during my youth, we renovated the stairs in the basement of my childhood home. My grandfather took the chance to paint four smiles into the two posts for the railing - three boy faces and one girl face, with my and my brothers names.

My grandfather is no longer with us, but we did take the posts when we moved out five years ago. It broke my heart that we couldn't take the tree we planted in his memory.

I can relate to wanting to take the wall :)

Whirlwind said...

We have the same hatch marked area of our house - a door frame with all the girls listed on it. When we move, that frame will be coming with us and a new one put in it's place.

It's hard to leave a place, a home you've made. We've entertained the thoughts of leaving our home for a new one - bigger, a bit more space, a place where our girls can ride their bikes and run through the grass (and maybe swim in their own pool). But as we spend time making this ours - the painting, the renovating, the yard work, it makes it all the harder to want to leave.