For a few minutes, I was immersed in a cascade of memories, made more poignant by the knowledge that we would never again be enjoying the pastel wash of morning light or the vivid sunsets over the bay from this special place.
I didn’t have long to linger on memory lane, though. Eric was sitting in the truck, engine running, waiting for me to hop in and head to the lawyer’s office to transfer the house to the new owners.
The truck was stuffed with the dregs of belongings that hadn’t yet made it into the storage unit. We were hauling our trailer into town, because we hadn’t had time to drop it off at our friends’ house where we would be staying for a few days. And Magnolia was riding shotgun, protesting about being rudely removed from her beloved screened porch.
It was not a graceful leave taking.
Moving Is Horrible
I think I’m ready to admit that I’m unreasonably optimistic. “This is going to be an easy move!” I told Eric. He did not agree. He told me I was unrealistic. I told him he was worrying about nothing. We went back and forth about that a few times.
I was wrong. It was terrible.
When I was 19, I moved out of my dorm at Florida State University for the summer. I lived on the fifth floor, with no elevator. I dragged a giant refrigerator-sized box up the stairs and stuffed all of my belongings into it. I thought I was being very efficient packing everything into one big box. It must have weighed a couple hundred pounds.
My dad and my boyfriend arrived to help me move. My dad eyed the box. “You know, it would be a lot easier if you used smaller boxes for packing,” he said.
Since then, I’ve packed things in smaller boxes. Lots and lots of boxes. All carefully packed and beautifully labeled. Until I get to the final few boxes, and I’m just throwing random crap into them because I’ve been working since 6 a.m. and it’s now 11:00, the closing is at 11:30, the buyers are arriving for the final walk-through at noon, and I am just so over it and I don’t care AT ALL anymore.
It All Seemed To Be Going Well…Until It Wasn’t
Honestly, I don’t know how everything went downhill so quickly. It all seemed to be going so well in the days leading up to the move. We sold the house furnished, and only kept personal items, kitchen stuff, and a couple of small pieces of furniture that will fit into our new tiny house. Our stable of lawn equipment and our grill went to various friends, and numerous truckloads of random household items and clothing went to the thrift store of a local church.
We even hired a cleaning crew for the first time, thinking it was going to make our lives easier. It didn’t. Their idea of cleaning involved a big bottle of Windex and a microfiber cloth for everything from the toilets to the refrigerator. I ended up spending several hours meticulously cleaning on the last day when I should have been finishing packing.
We spent part of the next three days in our storage unit, organizing and trying to make sense of our lives in boxes. It is a very random assortment that we are dragging with us to North Carolina: Kitchen appliances, a million baskets, artwork, tools, my grandmother’s crystal champagne glasses, and the 60-pound concrete pelican that my parents had for at least 60 years. (I love that thing, and the ones they make now are nowhere near as nice.) We’ll pick up our treasures as we head north in late March.
It has been exhausting and stressful, all of it. The good news is that we’ve officially turned the page, and are beginning an entirely new chapter in our lives.
Feeling Ready To Move On
On a very happy note, we met the buyers for the first time last Sunday. We spent a couple of hours getting to know them and sharing information about the house, the landscaping, and our carefully curated list of favorite helpers—the eccentric electrician, the landscape crew who only work for people they like, the best dentist we’ve ever had (it’s NOT the one in town), and a dozen others who have made our lives easier in this remote locale.
The new owners love the house and the property, are delighted with their new home, and were generous with their praise. (Their first words: “It’s so clean!” LOL.) It felt as though we were meeting old friends, kindred spirits who share a deep appreciation for nature and this very special piece of property. We’re leaving it in good hands, and that makes it infinitely easier to say goodbye.