Movin’ on out
For the past few years, the Lish and I have been discussing and debating what to do about our house. We’ve lived here quite a few years, but over the years certain things have irked us about it. The list is long, from the poor layout of the house, the washer/dryer being in the tiny kitchen, one child having a bedroom with no windows, to other stuff like high taxes and a less than good school district. We considered renovating the house, but that only solved the bedroom problems, and created more in the way of an extra 3k a year in taxes. In the end, we decided that the time had come to sell our house and look to move elsewhere. Now while this may sound like a win overall, it doesn’t come without its share of ‘ugh’.
You see, this is the house we made our HOME. Many years ago, I suffered through a bad anxiety disorder, and we went through some really bad times. It was in this house that I really found my footing. We started our family here, and it’s all the Beast and the Peanutty have ever known. We said hello to another, our Sully man, and goodbye to both Sully and Cosmo. (both are dogs, in case you’re new here). We’ve had epic parties, amazing BBQs, and a shitload of great times. We really made this place our own, and most would agree that our house is very “us”. So many mornings were spent chilling out in the sky chair on the back porch in the summertime, having our coffee, just talking. So many summer days spent in the yard with the kids, hanging out in the kiddie pool. Easter egg hunts. Christmas morning. Birthdays. Joys, and sorrows, celebrations and solemn occasions. We did it all in almost a decade of living here.
For me to say that I’m very sentimental and emotional would be an egregious understatement. I tend to hold onto things and not let them go, many times for purely sentimental reasons. People say that no matter what, you always have the memories. Problem is, my memory has issues, lots of them actually. My long term memory is plagued with vast holes where I can’t remember anything, even if shown pictures or told stories. What makes it easier for me is to physically be in that location. At that moment, the memories flood back to me, and for someone with a problem like that it’s almost like a drug. I get a rush from it. Once we leave, though, I won’t have that opportunity anymore. The wonderful memories will sift through my fingers like so much sand, as if I was a 4th dimensional being, lost forever as they disappear through the cracks in the floor. There is so much I’ll miss, so much I’ll likely never have again, and some things I will lose. Chances are I’ll have to sell off a few of my arcade cabs and pins, hopefully I won’t have to sell all of them. I also highly doubt I’ll find a place with a covered back porch where I can put the sky chair, or a yard with such privacy in such a quiet area.
Sounds like a fuckin’ falcon punch to the feely parts, right? Well don’t worry, there IS a silver lining here. First, we’ll end up in a better school district. We’ll also likely end up paying less in taxes for a slightly larger house. The kids will have a play room with their toys in it, instead of just the one common area in the house where all of everyone’s shit ends up. We won’t have to do the laundry in the fucking kitchen anymore. Peanutty will have WINDOWS in his bedroom, and natural light and stuff. We’ll likely be on a street that actually gets plowed consistently in the winter, instead of me having to do it with my snowblower all the time. Our kids can ride their bikes around the neighborhood and not have to worry about ending up going 100mph down the huge hill we live on, only to crash into the traffic at the cross street. Speaking of which, we won’t have to worry about whether they plowed AND sanded the main road, since it’s so steep that if it wasn’t sanded we’d have to park at the bottom and walk all the way up. We wouldn’t have to worry about the carpenter bees every year, or the odd electrical issues in the house. There really is quite a lot to look forward to. The only problem is keeping that in the forefront of our minds.
When it all comes down to it, we’re grieving in a way. This is the end of an era. We’re leaving a home we love, even though there is so much we dislike about it. It’s still OUR home. We built our lives here together, as a family. The house itself is much like an adopted family member. We poured some of ourselves into making this place our own, making it our family home. When we leave, we leave that part of us behind, buried in the bricks and mortal like a mausoleum for our first true home, one we can no longer visit and pay respects to.
The other side of this is that the true center of our home, the part that makes it truly “home” for us, is us. Wherever we go, we will make it our home. We will move Bag End to a new location under the hill. We will have more epic parties, more joys and sorrows, more milestones, adventures, and life experiences. It’ll always be us, which we’ve seen when we go on vacation. No matter what, where we stay on vacation always ends up feeling like a home to me, and most of what I long to return to isn’t really the house, it’s the dogs and perhaps some of my stuff or routines. When all is said and done, we will make this work, and we will weather this storm and get through it. Hopefully things work out for the better, and we sell quickly. We’re gonna end up in some debt for sure, but we’d have been in just as much debt if we decided to stay and renovate. At least this way we have a chance to take a step in the right direction. Here’s hoping it all works out for the best!