Greetings from the new house! I went the better part of a week without DSL so that really blew, but it gave me time to get things done around here. Now I'm back, although I am a wee bit concerned that I can't access my blog through AOL. Especially considering it's an AOL Journal. Hmmm. Maybe that's why it's free now?
But on to the move! I simply cannot convey how happy I am in this house and how thoroughly convinced I am that this was the right move for us. (Of course, that gorgeous SALE PENDING sticker on the sign next door helps quite a bit.) I'm still discovering light switches and trying to operate the blinds (I managed to completely break one the other morning. Yep, still got that magic touch.) but almost instantaneously this house felt right. Despite all the moving around we've done in 15 years of marriage, this is only the third house we've owned. The first one, in North Carolina, was a lovely house on 3/4 of an acre of land. We lived there for 4 years and painted exactly two rooms that whole time. When it came time to sell, we put money into sprucing it up and it looked better than in all the years we'd lived there. We vowed then that we would spend the time and money to make our next house our own. And we did. Every room but one got repainted. We replaced countertops, put in new carpeting, updated light fixtures. We even worked with a decorator to choose fabrics, paint, and window treatments (I love to say window treatments. It's such a ridiculous term.) for our bedroom. The changes looked great and I was pleased that we'd made it a space we could enjoy, but it never felt like the perfect house to me. Living in it was like wearing ill-fitting clothes. There was always a certain level of dissatisfaction. But this house.....this house is just right. Even though we've downgraded in some ways (back to the old tile and grout countertops, no ceiling fans, wallpaper that needs to disappear), I have no complaints and I'm in no hurry to change anything. I'm starting to think that maybe the impetus to do work on the old house was a lot about trying (unsuccessfully) to make it into the "right" house.
When we moved here 4 years ago, I thought we had ruined our lives. I was so unhappy for so long. It took 18 months for me to stop thinking it was a complete mistake. Those were long, lonely months when I felt disconnected and friendless. Things started to change when David got to first grade and I enrolled Juliana in a co-operative preschool. As a first grade parent, I met the people who turned into my core group of friends. And at the preschool I connected with like-minded parents who shared my committment to children. Fast forward three years and you would have to drag me from this community kicking and screaming. Last Thursday we had a moving party. We provided beer and pizza and our friends came and helped us move. We paid two really scary guys I found on Craig's List to do the heavy work, but our friends finished the job. They moved our three bookcases full of books and transferred the entire contents of my kitchen. Some of the things in my kitchen were so dirty and nasty that I was embarrassed but they just carried them next door without a word of judgement. It was overwhelming and exhilirating all at once. This has been such a stressful summer and I couldn't have done it without my friends. Friends who let me and the kids show up at the last second because we'd come home to a realtor's car in the driveway. Friends who let us mooch meals all summer when we were displaced due to showings. Friends who listened to me talk about real estate obsessively. My GOD I bored even myself with all that conjecture, but I didn't seem able to stop prattling on.
The summer seems to have slipped through my fingers, what with all the disruption and stress. School starts in two weeks, but I had to be there this evening for a volunteer job. I smiled as I walked through the halls. I'm looking forward to being back there, working as part of the community, amongst friends.