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. . .