Saturday, August 27, 2011

Of moving

Moving sucks.

But, that’s been my life for the past month-and-a-half. After 12 years of living in our cozy-but-crowded, L-shaped ranch, Betsy and I packed up our stuff (more on that later) and moved across town to a house we’ve been building for the past year.

I’m just not skilled enough as a writer to describe the range of emotions we’ve felt over the past 13 months as this project took shape. Along the journey, though, apprehension alternated with excitement, great joy often morphed into gloomy dread, while utter frustration casually danced with euphoria. Throughout the roller coaster, I’ve sought solace in the similar experiences of others, and haven’t had to search very far to find it. Almost everyone who moves goes through this schizophrenia. In the end, though, we’ve realized a dream too long in the making and are very happy with our new place.

It’s been a little life altering, too, but in a good way. Mid-way through the move, we realized one embarrassing thing: We’ve got way too much stuff. Not riches, mind you … just stuff. Clothes, tools, cooking utensils, fishing equipment (can’t believe I just typed that), “fine” china (do not get me started), linens, CDs, etc. We’ve unloaded a great deal of the surplus, and in many cases, given it to those in need. Weeks after meandering my way through the “mountain ranges” of stacked boxes that remain in our house, I wonder if we couldn’t have unloaded more. Again, relying on those who have experienced this same realization, one of the best things about moving is getting rid of stuff you don’t use or need. So far, the only argument I can find against that statement is one can never have too many guitars. Or fly rods.

We’re settling in, though. I’m typing this on our screened-in porch. It’s a bluebird-sky morning, the westerly breeze is trying hard to become a northerly wind, several hummingbirds are well into their daily dogfights over our strategically placed feeders, the nearby oak trees are whispering and creaking as they sway, nuthatches are politely taking turns eating sunflower seeds and a woodpecker is hammering away on a cedar tree in the woods. Betsy’s sitting in a wicker chair with her feet up on some stacked pillows, surrounded by her cats and reading a magazine. I’m on my last half of a cup of coffee and making mental lists of all the things we need to do today and for the next several weeks/months to make our new house feel more like our home. Inside, the little 13-inch TV in the kitchen is perpetually locked on scenes of torrential rain and wave-swept beaches, reminding us that things aren’t so rosy for some this morning. The pomp and circumstance of the sensationalist news coverage of the hurricane is actually keeping things in perspective for us. I sure hope the storm moves on quickly to better things.

The coffee cup is empty, signaling an end of my morning. It’s time to go unpack that box labeled “Dan’s winter clothes.”

One of our new neighbors