August 30th, 2007

Moving day: these I can unlearn to love

A while back I wrote about my plans to move. I put my house on the market in late spring, thinking—the current housing market being what it is (I seem to specialize in buying in a seller’s market and selling in a buyer’s market)—that it might take a year or so to sell.

But it sold almost immediately, and today is moving day. I’ll be putting most of my stuff in storage, temporarily staying with friends not too far away, and traveling around a bit while I ponder where to go next. Posting should continue relatively uninterrupted; laptops and wifi are ubiquitous enough to take care of that.

Packing up a houseful of goods makes one realize how much stuff is hidden in closets and cupboards and basements and garages. When it’s all laid out, the bulk is almost overwhelming: how could I have amassed all of this? Even after I threw about half of it out? Next time I’ll do better. Next time I’ll get rid of three-quarters of the junk. Next time…

But for now, it’s time to say goodbye. Not to friends here; I assume we’ll see each other again, although not as often as before. At least for a while, till I make a bigger move.

But to the garden. Actually, I started saying goodbye as soon as I knew the house had sold. Here’s a photo from a day or two ago:


And this is the peegee hydrangea that was about six inches tall three years ago when I planted it, and is now about as tall as I am. I love these plants, especially in the fall when the huge flowers turn pinkish/violet/brown. But this year when that happens, they’ll belong to someone else. In fact, as of tomorrow morning, they will already belong to someone else:


And, of course, goodbye to the house itself, the one I fixed up six years ago when I moved here. Here’s a photo of the living/dining room in its prime, part of a series of pinups taken for advertising when it went on the market (if you look carefully you can see some of those hydrangeas, cut and dried, near the fireplace):


It looks a tiny bit different today:


The task, of course, is to say goodbye and then look forward to what lies ahead. A cliché, but like so many clichés, true.

For a less-clichéd viewpoint I’ll turn to one who knew a thing or two about moving, and about change. I refer, of course, to Robert Frost:


Well-away and be it so,
To the Stranger Let them go.
Even Cheerfully I yield
Pasture or chard, mowing-field,
Yea and wish him all the gain
I required of them in vain.
Yea, and I can yield him house,
Barn, and shed, with rat and mouse
To dispute possession of.
These I can unlearn to love.
Since I cannot help it? Good!
Only be it understood,
It shall be no trespassing
If I come again some spring
In the grey disguise of years,
Seeking ache of memory here.

16 Responses to “Moving day: these I can unlearn to love”

  1. Teresa Says:

    The trick to accumulating less stuff… move to a smaller place. It’s the only way. Best of luck finding what you want!

  2. Tatyana Says:

    Yes, tearing myself away from my garden was the most painful part of selling the hous.

    Good luck with your move.

  3. Mark Says:

    Will the Sanity Squad disband?

  4. neo-neocon Says:

    No Mark, we are planning a return. The Sanity Squad members all live very far apart from each other. Geography is not what unites us—ideology, friendship, and technology does.

  5. Doug L Says:

    New England is so expensive. There’s a good chance real estate has further to go south. Don’t hurry with your decisions.

  6. Harry Says:

    Thanks. I didn’t know of this poem, neo.

    Frost later gave directions back to his old Derry farm in “Directive”,one of his very best.

  7. beckyj Says:

    Good luck with everything. And have fun making the decision.

  8. Donald Douglas Says:

    Best of luck to you!

  9. an unrepentant kulak Says:

    Wishing you all the best, Neo! Parting is such sweet sorrow, but change grants us adventure and new experiences to savor.

  10. Webutante Says:

    How courageous of you, Neo, to be willing to make this move before knowing exactly where you’re going. It takes guts in a world that (wrongly)demands certainy.

    You know what they say about getting rid of all our accumulated stuff: three moves are as good as a fire…I take it to mean be an encouragement to keep simplifying and lightning up.

    Hope you enjoy this process and do keep us posted.

  11. Keith_Indy Says:

    Congratulations on your sale.

    We did much the same, waited for an accepted offer on our house before seriously looking for a new house. Of course, with the internet, we had already narrowed down our search, to the general area, and size of house/land we wanted. With our 2nd Realtor we sold in 7 weeks, and found our new house the weekend following the accepted offer.

    We moved into our new house 2 weekends ago, and last night we made our first big accomplishment, we unpacked all the boxes for the kitchen and dining room.

    I would say, our garden was the hardest thing to part with, 2nd would be the garage. But, now we’ve got plenty of room (2 acres) for building both of those new. Bigger, and better for both.

  12. Ottavio Says:

    I too would experience similar thoughts when moving, something we are contemplating at the moment. Enjoy the process of looking for a new place. Great blog, I have not visited for a while … always something to learn, reflect upon.

  13. Cappy Says:

    Good luck with the move! You may do OK on real estate as a buyer now.

  14. bird dog Says:

    Leaving a nice hydrangea for new people is a fine gift.

  15. Vanderleun Says:

    Screw that! Dig ’em up and plant ’em in the back seat for traveling companions say I!

  16. Ymarsakar Says:

    Looks like you got a new spambot design, Neo. The one where it uses Google terms to say they found you.

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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