Home is Where the House Is… Sometimes

Craig removing loose paint from the foundation in the basement stairwell, August.
Craig removing loose paint from the foundation near the basement door, August.

One year ago at this time, we were packing our two-story-plus-full-basement-and-attic house in preparation to move 200 miles away. We’d already sold the house but were waiting for the buyer’s lender to complete all the details before the deal closed. That finally occurred on October 11, and we closed the sale and took possession of on our new place on October 16.

Almost as if to commemorate that event for its anniversary, Craig’s mom is selling her house, and has to be out by October 17. She’s in the Cleveland area, and we’re here in Maryland. We’ll be going to Ohio. Craig has two sisters and a brother in the area, as well as two nieces and a nephew, so it’s not as if Mom has to deal with everything herself. However, we’d like to participate, too, rather than leave it all to them.

She’s been in that house since 1957. She’s complained about “this dump” for the nearly 40 years that I’ve known her. Nevertheless, she’s not happy about leaving. It’s a big change for her, and I appreciate that it’s difficult emotionally. She’ll be moving in with her youngest daughter, Gail, and her three kids (teen and pre-teen), which will be a huge adjustment for all of them. But they’re delighted with the prospect and will make her very welcome there, and as happy and comfortable as is in their power.

This year's garden in its prime, August 15. (All that's left now is peppers, tomatoes, and green beans.)
This year’s garden in its prime, August 15. (All that’s left now is peppers, tomatoes, and green beans.)

I’m not fond of moving. It’s a lot of work! But I do enjoy the excitement of new people, new places, and new experiences. Both Craig and I are very happy we made the move last year, and we anticipate his mom will be glad, too, once she’s finally settled into her new home.

Our situation is very different from hers, of course, in many aspects. In some ways, there’s no comparison (except for the actual work involved in both moves). Rather than selling the house to avoid having to keep it up, we bought a house with the intention of changing it to suit us.

We have, in fact, made some major changes over the past 10 months. I showed you before-and-after pictures of the kitchen, our first big project, some time ago. This summer, we put in a garden, Craig built a new shed, and he (along the help of a professional tree-removal service and also from Scott, our son-in-law) did some serious landscaping work. You’ll see various pictures scattered throughout this post.

Front of house in November, 2012 (taken by the listing realtor)
Front of house “before” (November, 2012) (photo taken by the listing realtor)

I’ve discovered one unexpected consequence of this moving experience: it’s almost turned me into a neat freak. How so? Well, at first, we worked on the old house and fixed everything we could possibly fix (I give Craig the credit for this), even so far as patching and painting or wallpapering the inside of all the closets and built-in cabinets. When I say everything, that’s exactly what I mean. Then, of course, we had to keep it spotless for a couple of open houses and frequent showings. (This was much easier than last time we’d sold our house, as we had no small children or pets to mess things up.) After a while, I grew accustomed to having everything neat and clean.

Front as of September 25. Next year there will be flower-filled planters there, but otherwise, this is the "after" picture.
Front as of September 25. Next year there will be 3 flower-filled planters there, but otherwise, this is the “after” picture.

Then, we cleaned everything in the new house before moving in, such as washing walls, woodwork, windows, shampooing carpets, etc. Once we got settled in, every closet, drawer, cabinet and cubbyhole was clean, neat, and organized.

Now, it’s beginning to get that lived-in look—and that bothers me! Yesterday morning I defrosted and reorganized the deep freeze (which needed to be done whether I wanted to or not) and my spice cabinet in the afternoon. Over the next month or so, I hope to do the same everywhere throughout the whole house. Because, after having things clean and organized for so long, I’ve decided that, though I still don’t like the act of cleaning, I do like the result. And, much like with defrosting the freezer, it’s far easier to do it before it gets out of hand. So I might as well just keep up with things instead of waiting until things fall out of the cabinets when I open the doors.

Another view of the new-and-improved front
Another view of the new-and-improved front

For now, though, I think I’d better pack and prepare for our trip to Ohio tomorrow. Another moving day is coming up.

Oh, by the way: I’m still on schedule to release The Last Toqeph, the fourth and final book in the Gateway to Gannah series, in October.

Stay tuned for more news on that front soon!Lost and Found



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