Thursday, November 12, 2015

In which we move the vast difference of one mile, sell our old house, and all grow slightly older

Goodbye, old girl.
In August we moved across town. The move was arduous, in part because we are no longer invincible twenty-somethings, and in part because we had intended to grow old in this house and we had stopped keeping portability and future moves in mind when we purchased furniture and items for our house.

The new house is amazing. A larger footprint, with closets and a basement that has never ever flooded. A safer neighborhood that has streets that are easy to push a baby carriage in. Ceilings with right angles were confusing the first few mornings when we woke up.

In October we closed on our house sale. Our house was a unicorn (in a Concord suburb, 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, move-in condition, in the under-$150K price range) so it went very quickly, and to a nice family that knows how to keep up an old house and do things like trim doors so they fit in settled door frames. I hope they enjoy the park across the street. I'll miss that park.
At a paintbar for 30th birthday celebrations.

The morning of the closing I dropped by the house to walk through it for one last nostalgia trip, and to drop off muffins and a 'Welcome home!' card for the new buyers. I walked through the front door for the last time. I admired the tall windows for the last time. I hung out in the bedrooms where we had had plans to raise our children, and looked at the closet I had designed. This was the room I was going to grow old in. Here was the lovely large bathroom. I looked out the back door at the beautiful private deck surrounded by rhododendrons, and remembered how I had received the screen door as a gift for my 28th birthday. I stood under the graceful maple trees in the wide backyard, and remembered how the front pear trees showered petals in a fluttering white rain in the spring. I have fond memories of the beautiful kitchen, with the polished and glowing wood ceiling and the expansive counter space. I had doubts about selling.

Upon completing one full revolution around the sun, Calvin was rewarded with cake.
And then I tripped over the sloping floor, and whacked my head against a slanted ceiling, and caught my hip against the ancient door latch catchplate that sticks out an obscene amount, and the door knobs wobbled in my hands, and I remembered how cold the tile floor was in the cold cold bathroom. And how the kitchen needed that much cupboard space because there was NO storage space in the whole house except a difficult to reach attic with nail tips reaching out to scratch at your scalp and face if you dare to try to stand. "Charming" sloping ceilings where you lost about 20% of usable space. Doors that didn't shut.
At Ryan's wedding in June.
The move was not fun, but it was over in a day. And while we're still digging out from the boxes (let's not talk about unpacked boxes), we have closets and a basement, and the only thing we've whacked our heads on is the chandelier in the dining room, before we put a table underneath it. The strong water pressure is lovely, and I remembered what it was like to live in a warm and well-insulated house*. Living out of boxes while my parents finish moving 30 years worth of their life into their apartment has been a challenge, but it also shows you what you are really able to live without**.

Since we still live in the same town, every now and then I find myself by the old house as I'm running errands, and take that street instead of the more direct route, and I smile to see how quickly the new owners have made it their own home. There are blinds in the big picture window now, and pumpkins on the stoop.

What else did we do this summer? We went to weddings, we flew kites. Calvin turned one, and followed his cousin, Bryce, around at the family Fourth of July get-together. Elisabeth turned 30 and got a visit with her cousin Thad for the first time in over a decade. (Liam also aged, of course, but he didn't hit a milestone birthday, and he dislikes celebrating his birthday.)
Silly cousin pictures are more interesting than serious cousin pictures.

*when I was growing up, I thought that people wore long sleeves in the winter because long sleeves in the summer were too hot, so by default you had to wear them in the winter. I also wore short sleeves in the winter. I wore whatever struck my fancy. It did not occur to me that most people wore long sleeves in the winter because it was cold, and you NEEDED long sleeves to stay warm. This is a testament, I think, to the excellent insulation in my childhood home. Moving out after college showed me that pretty much everyone else spent their winter in a permanent state of almost-shivering. And that was when I started wearing socks around the home instead of bare feet and short sleeves.

Let's go fly a kite, up to the highest height.
**Except my knitting needles. Where is my binder of circular knitting needles? We haven't found the box that it's packed in, and I'm getting antsy to start new projects. I have a dragon wing cowl I would like to start knitting. Replacing $200+ worth in knitting needles (accumulated over twenty years) wouldn't be fun. It seems something goes missing with every move. We never found out what happened to that drill five years ago, or why ALL of our pie pans that disappeared seven years ago. We still haven't remembered to replace our pie pan, although we discover its loss and complain about it every few weeks when we're trying to make dinner and end up using a rounded casserole dish instead.