Saturday, July 16, 2016

     Three weeks ago, we moved into our new home and community in another state—the 4th state, the 19th move for me in my lifetime. If you have ever moved, particularly as a child, you undoubtedly remember what it feels to be “the new kid.” Well, at age 73 next week, I am once again “the new kid on the block.” If you were an Army brat like me, you know that moving was a given, and adjusting to new schools, new neighborhoods, new clubs was exciting and traumatizing. As I look back on all those moves, I don’t remember anything negative about the adjustment, although the mind works in strange ways when recalling various events. As “the new kid” here, I am happy to report that the kindness of neighbors, the friendly attitude of merchants so far has made the transition very pleasant. This is not to say that this has been a stress-free experience. Just ask our bank account.

     On face book last week, I mused at a post from a former colleague who is also buried in boxes as she moves her family to a new town, for her, close to home. I would never

minimize a move of any kind, but moving out of state is even more unsettling, as so many things are unfamiliar. She posted a photo of walls with paint splotches all over them and a comment something to the effect of “Help!” I responded with what I hoped would be a comforting, “Didn’t we learn in our teaching career to begin with the end in mind?” I think it was written on one of those flip charts in some faculty meeting. What ever happened to all those flip charts? Maybe they were called “flip” charts because you knew you would “flip,” if you followed the bullet points.

     Anyway, with a dozen contractors due to arrive next week, the piano movers moving my baby from one room to another (again), the tile guys coming to rip up the carpeting and lay grout-infested tile down throughout our little home, I don’t wonder why I am writing this at 3:56 a.m. For Type As to live in chaos for more than 24 hours is a terrifying thought, and in this family there are two of us. Staying on the same page is crucial, and sometimes the pages get bent.
That’s when he must take me to dinner to keep peace. It’s amazing what a bowl of lobster bisque can do for frazzled nerves. (albeit side effects:  fat fingers)

     So what’s the point, and what lessons can I share?  The point is, if you ever decide to move out of state, here are some useful tips:
  1. Think twice.
  2. Clean out everything a year in advance.
  3. Decide what you absolutely must take, and then get rid of 2/3 of it before paying to move it.
  4. Check storage in new home, and be realistic about how much shit you can pack into it.
  5. Pack plenty of Vodka.
  6. Do all repairs, painting, flooring, remodeling BEFORE moving in. (not always possible)
  7. Add at least $2000 to the budget for set-up costs, “Oh, I forgot about that” costs, and more vodka.
  8. Make at least two friends in the new city before arriving.
  9. Get all doctors and shrinks lined up well in advance.
  10. Know that your body will be traumatized by lifting boxes, reaching for things, tripping over shit and working till all hours of the night, and accept the bruises and exhaustion as part of the adventure.
  11. Expect the unexpected.
  12. Do not expect that the house will look like what you had imagined for at least one year.

    For those of you who will never move, just think of all the adventures and fun stories you will miss if you had dared greatly like us crazies. 

*Photos above:  Top photo - former custom home
                           Photo below that - trade off in new home
                           Left photo - former custom home and view
                           Right photo - entrance to new-UN custom home (We bought a garage with home and pool attached:)