Boxes are starting to pile up in front of the shelves, furniture and walls. The pictures are down, leaving empty frame hangers; the pottery and books are packed; and my winter clothes are too. The change of address form is filed with the United States Postal Service, and the new phone is set up. It’s official and becoming real: we are moving.
Oh, we are not moving far- it’s literally less than two miles. But I still have to pack everything so that it won’t break, and I still want to organize my clothes and kitchen supplies so that it will be easier when we get everything to the new house. That way when I unpack, it will be less painful. For someone who does not consider herself materialistic, we sure have a lot of stuff.
This is our tenth move in our thirty two years together. Try to follow this: we moved into our first little love shack on Water Street in Tucson in 1979. It was as big as a two-car garage, and the queen size bed took up the entire bedroom space so that when you opened the door, you had to crawl onto the bed. In 1980, right after we got married, we moved into a bigger house down the street with a close friend, because we could not afford the rent without her. Within a year we bought our first place- a 1950 travel trailer that had been parked and affixed onto a small addition. It was out in the boonies, and we hosted many a gathering with music and bonfires. After a couple of years, my husband’s business was beginning to pick up and he built a spec house to sell. Well, we got thinking about having babies, and we moved into that house. We lived there for several years and then, as I said in another post, we picked ourselves up, dumped all of our worldy belongings and our jobs and business, and hauled ourselves back east. In New York City, we rented an apartment, then moved to another apartment and then bought a house in Westchester County. We intended to stay there for a long time, but after three years we became disenchanted with the neighborhood and schools (the neighborhood was hit with a violent crime wave, and the schools were dismal). So we moved into our present home.
This is the only home our children really remember. It was here that they had all of their birthday parties, with piñatas swinging in the trees; here that they learned independence as they walked into town and later to the train station for their first forays alone into the city; here that we took the photos before proms; here that they packed their belongings into crates and boxes for their moves to college and the beginnings of their own adult lives. Here were the family dinners, the puppy and several kittens, the games of catch and frisbee on the street, the block parties, the family gatherings, the winter nights sleeping in front of the fireplace when the electricity went out, the gangs of gangly teens chowing down pizza in the basement, the ping pong table, the snowmen and snowwomen and snowball fights, dad’s toast platter breaksfast before school, the homework and the home-cooked meals. The house itself transformed over the nearly sixteen years of our occupation-we added a two-story addition on the back, and a patio, to give us more family spaces as the kids grew. But now opportunity has come knocking, and even with all the nostalgia, it is time to move on.
So off we go, once again, to make a new home for ourselves and our family. This new place will be warmed by the new gatherings that will happen here. A house is just a house after all. Home is where the heart is.