Sunday, February 10, 2013

Moving on out

I am really appreciating this quiet Sunday. The kids had friends over this afternoon and it was exactly what they needed. They've been a little off the wall lately, and for good reason, so it was nice to have friends here so they could stop fighting with each other for a few hours.

We are in the midst of packing up our house for a move across town at the moment. This sort of came out of the blue so we are living in a state of chaos over here... Excited chaos, but crazy too. We had intentions of putting our house for sale this spring so it shouldn't have been too much of a shock, but when a buyer became interested in our house right now, it was. We are so grateful that it sold so fast, though, however crazy it may be to pack up and move in the middle of February after nine and a half years in this house!

This move has been quite the experience for me. I have an issue with hanging on to... Stuff. Perhaps I could use it, or paint it, or turn it into something useful, you know? And actually, I have been excited over the years to find new uses for random things I've held on to. Makes me feel a bit like my dad to repurpose things and be resourceful. But a lot of the stuff I've held on to is exactly that: stuff. Stuff we don't really need, stuff that could serve someone else better, or stuff that is just ready to meet its final rest. Hah! So as I weed through our possessions, it feels really good to part with the things that are not worth the energy of moving twice. It's been a good lesson for this self-proclaimed pack-rat. Be gone with the junk!

Anyways, the boxes and cartons all over the house are starting to make everyone a little anxious. I can see it in the way the kids are behaving and I can feel it in the form of an almost continuous headache in myself. It will be a relief when we finally make the move and get somewhat settled into our temporary rental house. Then starts the other fun project: building a house... But one step at a  time. First, let's get out of this house.

This home holds a lot of memories for us. We signed the mortgage for it on our first wedding anniversary. When we bought it we were almost twenty-one, expecting our first baby, and so excited to be buying a house. It was in rough shape. Think: bright purple railings, dingy dark brown cabinets, lanolium with cigarette burns, stained carpets, horrible wall paper halfway up the living room walls... You get the picture. But we fixed it up: nothing a whole lot of paint, some new floor coverings, and some drywall couldn't fix. And we made this rough house into our home bit by bit, year by year. 

We brought our babies home from the hospital and watched them grow and walk and talk here. We put a fence around the backyard and spent many summer days back there, and lots of summer evenings around a bonfire. Our kids played house in the front porch, spent days in the sandbox making roads and cakes, colored on the window sills, and rollerbladed through the kitchen. When we ran out of room for beds, Ryan built bunks right into the wall of a bedroom and voila- space where there previously was none. And when our family expanded some more, walls came down in the living room to create more space.

When I think of leaving this house, I am excited for the opportunity it presents to us, but I know when we finally walk out of these front doors for the last time I will do so with a lump in my throat too. It's just a place on this earth, but it was our place for all these years and it's so full of memories. If these walls could talk... Good times and difficult, we've watched it all play out.

We celebrated many birthdays around the  kitchen table, watching the little ones grow as the years have passed.Tomorrow, Hannah turns five- and she is so ready. She has her frilly skirt picked out and her crown is "in her purse". She is my girly-girl, never-know-what-she's-going-to-say-next sweetheart. Does not like to sit still but is so eager for kindergarten (ooh, boy), loves her dolls (barbies, magnet dolls, American Girl, any kind) and taught herself how to braid hair recently. She counts down to Friday every week because that is when she goes to gymnastics, and she cannot get enough of it. She is such a joy.

So the next couple of weeks will be busy... Packing the final belongings and getting it out of here.  The mysterious depths of the attic proved entertaining, and finding out what's hidden in those dark corners of the basement should be interesting. Which brings up another thought... I wonder just what is buried beneath the snow in the backyard?! Oh, help.