This last weekend, we packed up our house and moved it to a new location. Well, not the house, just the stuff inside. I can honestly say that I should be a moving expert. My best friend sometimes shows me her address book where the “B” pages are all full of my previous addresses. Well, now she has to find room for one more.
This is our moving routine. Matthew gets the current house ready to vacate. This usually means fixing or completing those things we have not had time to fix or complete, but now must do before we can sell the thing for what we hope to get for it.
Then the house goes on the market. That means getting it and keeping it show ready, and that means all hands on deck. You never know when those potential buyers want to show up. Have you ever gone to Williamsburg to see the old colonial homes there and the tour guide tells you, “This is a working kitchen”? Well, just because the house in on the market doesn’t mean it’s not still a working kitchen… and bathroom… and den…
Then the house sells, and the reality of “Get your stuff and get out” sets in. That’s my cue. Matthew generally takes care of the fixing and completing, and I take care of the donating, tossing, and packing of our worldly goods. I sort of enjoy this part… to a point. It’s those last two or three days when things start to get a little crossways for me. It’s that last bit of stuff that doesn’t seem to fit into a box, or doesn’t go with anything else that’s left, so things just start getting thrown into a hodgepodge of packing with the hopes of sorting it all out later… and my nerves get frazzled.
Then the moving truck shows up. With four kids… we don’t usually hire movers… we are the movers. This time, though, with our kids being a bit up and out… we were down to two kids still available to help. And help they did! We pulled in a few sweet friends to help here and there, and together we managed over three days to squeeze a four bedroom house into a three bedroom apartment. Mostly.
As I finished up getting the house ready for the new family to move in… I walked through and thought about both the sweet and joyful, as well as the hard times, our family has had in that house. I watched our kids grow to young adults in that house, and those can be some gloriously challenging years.
With us moving all the time, I used to worry about our kids when they were growing up. I never moved once during my childhood, and I put down deep roots in my childhood home. But early on my husband told me this truth… “For our kids, home is wherever we are.”
Saying goodbye to the old can be hard, but sometimes it’s the only way we can say hello to new things. One thing is for certain… whether you move a lot like we have or not… things rarely ever stay the same. We can’t hold too tightly to what we have if we want to have an open hand for what’s coming to us. That’s been a hard lesson for me to learn. I want to hold onto that bird in my hand so tightly that I miss the ones in the bush that are meant for me.
So for the next few months, I am going to embrace apartment living. I am going to live with two open hands and see what new things come. I don’t want to miss anything new because I’m trying to hold on to the old stuff.