Friday, August 28, 2009

The Joys of Moving




by Jean Henry Mead

The words “residential move” strike terror in the hearts of us homebodies—at the least, a number of deep gutteral groans. All that sorting, tossing and packing are back-breaking jobs and saying goodbye to a house you’ve lived in for more than a dozen years is like biding an old friend farewell. Permanently.

To say packing is time consuming is an understatement. My husband and I are the eldest of our families and have inherited picture albums as well as old photos stored in large boxes. You just have to take a peek and wind up spending the rest of the day reminiscing over each photograph as though you had all the time in the world.

I still have my high school and college yearbooks, which I helped to create, so taking a walk down memory lane is mandatory. OMG, is that really me with that huge bouffant hairdo? I also have stacks of campus newspapers that I edited in college while President Johnson was in his waning days in office. I wrote a humorous column about him teaching elocution lessons when he returned to Texas, and my handwriting analysis articles were halted by the professors because their students were critiquing their blackboard writings. But I'm straying from the subject . . .

Bill and I are packrats who can’t seem to part with memorabilia, but moving into a smaller house means that some of it has to go. Not my books or writer magazines and certainly not his museum-sized collections of tools, old guns and miscellaneous "non essentials." I gave most of my porcelain dolls to my granddaughters and vintage clothing to the Salvation Army, but what to do with all this office equipment? We’ll try to cram most of it into a spare bedroom. We can’t survive without our computers, fax machine and other electronics.

Or can we? We recently learned that the telephone company won’t provide us with service until there are four other customers in the area. Not much chance of that because we’ll be surrounded by ranchers who have been there for eons. Cell service is sketchy so boosters are in order but fax machines can be operated from cell phones.

After watching the home and garden channel, we learned what we needed to do to prepare our current house for sale, which was a major undertaking. We bought a large fixer-upper and didn’t quite complete the renovations. So we started again by repainting 3,000 square feet of living space, replacing baseboards and flooring, appliances, siding and windows, roofing and drapes by doing most of the work ourselves.

Twelve years older and a whole lot creakier, we decided that this was our last move. And now that the house looks so nice, I really don’t want to leave it.

Our new place is perched atop a mountain, a stopping place for sheriff’s deputies to report in on their radios, so our house will become an unofficial espresso cafe. I’ll have to learn to make doughnuts and keep the coffee pot perking. But what better research for a mystery writer than to listen to visiting lawmen? They may even take a bead on some of our unwelcome rattlers. . .

13 comments:

Bill Kirton said...

It'll be worth it in the end, Jean. You know it will. But what I think you owe your readers is a glimpse of the bouffant hairdo photo.

Mark W. Danielson said...

Moving's a pain, Jean -- no doubt about it. The funny thing about selling homes is you finally fix all the things that annoyed you. Something's wrong with that, but we all do it.

Good luck resolving your communications issues. If the police won't run a relay for you, I suppose you can do smoke signals:)

Jean Henry Mead said...

I don't think I'll give readers a glimpse of my bouffant hairdo, Bill. In fact, I'm considering buying up all the remaining copies of my college yearbook. :)

Jean Henry Mead said...

We discussed smoke signals already, Mark, as well as tin cans connected with string. The best part of being isolated is that telemarketer calls will be cut to a minimum (as well as junk mail). Mail service is limited three days a week and the silence is nearly deafening. Great place to write!

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Chester Campbell said...

When we moved here nearly ten years ago, we vowed it was our last. But Sarah didn't count on having a problem with the stairs up from the garage. We can't afford what we'd like now, so who knows? I hate to even think about moving, though.

Ben Small said...

I do not envy your move, but this place sounds wonderful. Enjoy! Don't sneak up on the rattlers, and when you walk, pack heat, the kind rattlers don't like... :<)

©DGreer said...

You have the same spammer I get on BBTs! And, Jean, how are you going to blog without even dial-up service? Especially if you ARE the local cafe? Don't disappear!

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Jean Henry Mead said...

Dani,

We can get satellite service on the mountain, but I'm not so sure we'll get reception during a snow storm or heavy overcast. Time will tell. :)

Jean Henry Mead said...

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Thank you!

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