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Two weeks

October 14, 2012

I’m sitting on the porch, watching the leaves sift down. This view–across the yard, under the copper beech tree, over to the edges of what my children have always used as a baseball field (from here, you’re looking out from the cheap seats between home plate and third, all the way across to the first baseline, with a partially obscured view of the batter’s box)–is awfully familiar. It’s both warm and chilly, and I’ve got a blanket and a cat on my lap for warmth. It’s windy. Sunny, in a hazy, autumnal way.

The porch, as I believe I’ve mentioned about six thousand times, is my favorite part of the house. And today may well be the last day it’s usable till spring–the weather has been chilly–so it’s a good time to move. I’m thrilled to be moving. I cannot even imagine how undone I’d be if the miraculous British renters hadn’t saved me from another winter (and the attendant doomsday feeling that the house would never, EVER sell). Did I mention that I lowered the price again, by a lot, and there was not even a flicker of interest? The realtor is baffled, she says; no one seems to know what has gone wrong. Whatever buyers are out there right now are not the kind of people interested in my kind of house, is the best I can come up with.

Right this second I’m a little daunted, though. I have to pack everything up–I have a big headstart, it’s true, because I stripped things way down to get the house ready to show. But there’s still a rather unfathomable quantity of stuff from eleven years of living here. (Is this what happens to everyone when you never move?) Stuff belonging to my ex-husband, stuff the kids don’t use any more, and of course (I can only blame myself) a million, or perhaps a trillion, books. Bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, linen closets. My office. And there’s no way I can shoehorn everything into the new house, which is one fourth the size of this one. I packed till bedtime last night, and started up again this morning, but my heart wasn’t in it. I drove my boyfriend to the train station, drove home feeling rather dull-witted and sleepy. Cleaned out the spice cabinet, carried another bursting bag of crap out to the trash. The sky was blue. The leaves are turning. I stopped, there in the sun by the garbage cans, and decided what the hell.

It’s a pretty day. The wind smells like leaves. The kids are with their dad. The porch is open. I’ll get everything done–I always do. But let today be the last time I fritter an afternoon away in my favorite spot, with my feet up and a cup of tea and a good book. Let the rest of this particular day–the last peaceful day for quite a while, I suspect–pass in idle solitude.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2012 3:25 pm

    Ahhh… Idle solitude is just as much a part of the process (of moving, writing, being married, having children) as the sweaty work part. Enjoy. I raise a cofee toast to you.

  2. October 14, 2012 9:32 pm

    How sweet! It was absolutely the thing to do – enjoy your favorite spot on the porch! Happy packing! I know it will get done and get done well!

  3. October 15, 2012 8:18 am

    I’ve moved with rocks, and I’ve moved with books. Books are heavier. My mom has often said that she will have to die in their house because she can’t imagine trying to move the number of books they have. So I wish you the best of luck!

    Enjoy the porch. Hope everything goes smoothly.

  4. Was Living Down Under permalink
    October 15, 2012 10:57 am

    Sounds idyllic. Glad things are moving forward for you! Moving is a great time to not just start anew but to also free yourself from the “stuff” that accumulates when you’re in one spot for too long.

  5. Kymmi permalink
    October 15, 2012 1:04 pm

    I am thrilled for you that you found the British renters! Getting out from under the house, even though it is still tethered to you, will but a huge relief. The book issue is a tough one. We have boxes and boxes of books on top of multiple bookshelves in multiple rooms – it’s a little ridiculous. I even pay for a storage space to keep stuff I know I will never use again. I wish there was a service where you could pay for storage space with a contract that they will come and remove everything in the space in 6 months. If you want it, you have to bring it back in your home.

  6. SarahB permalink
    October 15, 2012 2:38 pm

    Yes! Enjoy it one last time. Our last move was so stressful that I felt I didn’t get to properly say good-bye to the place–indeed, I never fully appreciated it and said farewell until our short sale was done two years after we moved. It’s hard to do when something’s such a source of stress. Find those moments to remember–and enjoy your new place too!

  7. October 15, 2012 2:54 pm

    Ah, I am vicariously enjoying your rest. As I am vicariously loathing your upcoming bout of packing. As a reader, I’m not sure which is more enjoyable, actually – imagining the joy of a solo afternoon, a cup of tea, a book and a wonderful porch? Or imagining the pain of moving and then remembering that I don’t have to do that, right now?

  8. October 15, 2012 4:04 pm

    Just catching up on this….wooohoooo! Moving sucks, but being a landlord isn’t that bad, and you get to write off everything on your taxes (we rented our old house because it wouldn’t sell)! In fact, you might be able to write off some of the renovations you did prior to renting it…I vaguely recall reading something about that the first time we did our taxes with a rental. In any event, a cute house with a pig for a neighbor sounds awesome. Congratulations!

  9. Claudia permalink
    October 18, 2012 9:09 am

    I’m so happy for you! I stopped by during my lunch break (wich is now almost over) and saw the news. Congratulations!

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