Mouse Moves House and So Do We

We are planning to move. It’s not a long-distance move to another country or across our own land. Not even to another state. And we are not retiring to Florida. Why, we’re already there. And we’re not moving to another city. Our re-location involves a move just 9 miles south in the same quadrant of Jacksonville.

But it is a gigantic step for us. We have lived in our current homestead for 37 years. Our children grew up here, and when I open the kitchen door to the garage I see pencil marks revealing Crista and Joel’s increasing heights since their ages of 8 and 9.

People in our age demographic make similar moves, often called downsizing. A Texas couple, Joe and Judy Powell, had a ranch to sell, 20-acre cattle ranch, mind you, in order to move to a nearby college town. Their move involved a huge acreage to a small property, from rural to town.

Photo credit; AARP magazine online
Photo credit: AARP magazine online

 

Of course, Cliff and I have accumulated lots of stuff, which about a year ago we’ve started sorting through, recycling, keeping the most necessary and precious. An art-creating husband and book-reading/writing wife produce/save lots of stuff.

About the Stuff 

Yes, we must cull, re-cycle, throw out, even. We have called the city for bulk recycling pickups.

To save one must value. And to throw out, one must value moving on.    ~ Mary Peacock, The Paper Garden

 

CupcakeQuotation

 

What I’ll Miss

  • My clothesline. Our new homeowners association won’t permit such. I’ll look at old videos of sheets flapping.
  • The dowager live oak tree on the edge of our property spreading its sheltering arms . . .

OakFrontDowager

  • Wall space to display my husband’s art work. Our new home has an open floor plan and limited space for drawings and paintings.

The Emotional/Philosophical Shift

Before, during and after the move, we have felt and will continue to feel out of sync. Our daily rhythms will be interrupted for a time. We’ll have to get used to operating in a new space. We’ll feel out of balance for a while, a sensation I am already experiencing.

In the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory, the transition to a new home ranks # 28 on a list of 43 life events, coming far after major events like the death of a spouse, serious personal injury or illness, change in job or even retirement. Truthfully, I think I would elevate moving to a higher level. Anyone who has changed addresses recently may agree.

Writer and blogger Sharon Clymer Landis discussed an imminent change in her household last year, observing parallels between the physical and spiritual aspects of moving to a new location:

She says, “As we work our way from the comfort of the known, from the cozy nest, inching toward our edges before slipping into the wild unknown, we are usually filled with doubts, fears and dread.  How little we trust the process, or God’s great holding of us, or the drawing towards growth that results in greater love, spaciousness, and freedom.”

When we finally take flight, we realize the air under our wings is the same air that lined our cozy nest. The nest, the struggle to launch, the flying, and the very air around us is all part of the Great Holding. 

 

The Move and Story-telling

As she continues, author Landis draws an analogy between physical moves and good storytelling:

Good storytelling often moves us forward, opens a reader’s heart toward greater understanding or toward something in life’s horizon. Add the element of God, of the Divine Mystery (how do those stories and images end up right where we’ll find them when we need them?) and you’ve got a hint of how things work:  equilibrium to disequilibrium, and back to equilibrium…on and on in the cycle of life and growth – kissed by Eternal Wisdom, a God holding us in Love always. Whether we’re in the midst of being drawn to concepts or changes beyond our understandings, whether we’re dug in and resisting, or flying wild and free, we are equally loved!

 

A Story Told

“Flying wild and free” evokes the image of a bird in flight, not usually mouse movements. But a storybook mouse can go wild and move. Maybe you remember reading Mouse Moves House, a charming children’s book by Phil Roxbee Cox.

Ian's family is moving this spring, mimicking Mouse Mack.
Ian’s family is moving too this spring, mimicking Mouse Mack.

Mouse Mack, backpack in tow, appreciates his friend Jack, who helps him pack and load his stuff onto a moving van named Fat Cat.


 

How have you experienced moving?

You must have some advice for me and other readers. Here’s where to share it.

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68 thoughts on “Mouse Moves House and So Do We

    1. I appreciate your hopeful prediction. Our ties to the homestead here are strong, but I’m looking forward to the change – with a few qualms of course. Thanks for starting our conversation, Lynn.

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  1. Congratulations, Marian! When we were together in March, the move was still an idea. I’m glad you found a place, and that everything is moving 🙂 along!

    Moving is very stressful. Our moves have not been far either, but we’ve not downsized. Our last move was from an apartment to this house, close to thirty years ago. However, my husband and sisters moved my mom not very far at all from one apartment to another, and that was a bit of a nightmare, even with the professional movers, who were very nice. I’m sure all will go smoothly for you and Cliff, as organized as you both are, and I look forward to hearing and seeing photos of your new place!

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    1. Actually, there are 18 of those big guys, boughs sheltering our house all these years. There is a conservation area behind the new house with a duck pond, so we’ll still be close to nature.

      Leaving friends and possibly family to move out of state would be hard, very stressful at any age. The fact that many families do it doesn’t make it any easier I would imagine.

      Thanks for the good wishes, Jill.

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  2. Moving is HARD, but for my guy and me, extremely positive. Once our kids flew the nest, we first moved from our 17-year-house (that I loved, knowing every whisper in every corner) across the country to a new huge house on 2 acres. Whaaa? But we lived there for 10 years, opening our home to relatives and friends with big parties and celebrations. THEN, we downsized big time. Took me 3 months to donate/sell/get-rid-of extra beds/books/rugs/furniture/kitchen ware. One of the most difficult things I’ve done physically and emotionally, but I felt as light as a feather when I finished. We now live in a two-bedroom high-ceilinged lots-of-space but we don’t have to mow or shovel two-story corner condo and LOVE it. Free to explore on weekends, free to work and write and make new friends/play with grandkids every day. Good luck. It will be a positive move with the right attitude. 🙂

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    1. Yes, Pamela, I do know every whisper in every corner, so true. But I also know the loud call of yard work and three levels of space to keep clean. Your “light as a feather” comment reminds me of Marie Kondo’s promise to her clients which she proclaims in The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, a book I’m now reading and probably will review on this blog one day soon.

      I love your blog and wish I would visit more often. Thanks for stopping by with a comment and encouragement today.

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  3. Marian, As you already know what you are about to do will not be easy. I too would put moving up closer to the top of the list. But there are new adventures ahead and sometimes change, though we don’t want it brings us happiness we can not imagine. All my best to you and yours.

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    1. The move registers as both a want and a need in our case. We don’t want to be in our eighties and nineties (if the Lord wills) and responsible for this house. And we need to move on. Yes, I’m looking forward to adventures ahead. Tomorrow we heave a huge pile of curated books to Chamblin Book Mine where they will find a second life.

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  4. It doesn´t matter how far away you move, it is always stressful. I had to get rid of 75% of my things when we moved overseas. It was very hard. Surprisingly most things I don´t miss, which proves we own way more things than we need.
    I often think of my dad, who owned a large ranch with tons of open space to roam around in. His song was “Don´t Fence Me In”. At age 70 they finally moved into the city, to a large house with a good sized garden, by the river. When his health started to falter, mom insisted they sell and buy a condo, which they enjoyed for 5 years. He ended up in a nursing home his last year, in one small room. His world just kept shrinking and I know he felt fenced in.
    Enjoy your new place, I know you will make it feel like home in no time! ❤

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    1. You and your husband were so brave to move from Canada to Spain with dramatically different climate and culture. I applaud your courage.

      And your Dad, the quintessential rancher who loved big sky and land. When I read your anecdote I had to think that the scope of our lives starts small, expands, and contracts much like an accordion bellows. Thank God, he is now in a large place!

      Thanks for the good wishes, Darlene.

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  5. What a moving post, Marian. 🙂 Full of your usual creative, unexpected, connections.

    I once made a list of all the places we’ve lived, including two stints as leaders of student groups in Haiti and the Ivory Coast. Can’t remember the number, but it was a big one.

    When we moved into this house with its beautiful view of the mountains, I told Stuart: “I hope they take me out of here feet first.” Now, after six years, the view of the mountains continues to dazzle and inspire us every single day. However, the yard work, the anticipated major expenses for roof and HAC, and the unknown locations of family in the future make me less emphatic in my proclamations. Turning 70 in a few years might begin to change me even more. Turning 80, that’s even harder to predict.

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    1. Our forebears moved across the ocean, but I’m guessing your parents, like mine, stayed within the bounds of Lancaster County all their lives. My mother moved from Manheim to Elizabethtown and there she stayed all of her life, 73 years in the same house.

      You are drinking life “to the lees” with all of your moving/travel adventures. I love your house, your writing space, and the view of the mountains we see glimpses of in your posts. This “Jubilation” period is proving to be more eventful that we anticipated in our younger days, neither of us inclined to sit on a rocking chair twiddling our thumbs – ha!

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  6. If I lived nearby, Marian, I’d meet you at your new home with a loaf of bread, a bottle of wine, and salt, that you would have food and celebration, friendship, and the taste of strength. Imagine that, and know I wish you every blessing, and the joy of new adventures and the making of glorious memories. ❤

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    1. You must be reading my mind, Marylin. I need a “taste of strength” today. Well, more than taste – an injection! Thank you for your thoughtful gesture. The way you describe it seems so real. I have a strong feeling that we will meet one day. Then we can celebrate in a way that sounds a lot like Communion. Thanks!

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  7. Wow, Marian, congratulations on taking action with downsizing! We are in the contemplative stage,vacillating daily on the pros and cons. I know it makes perfect sense to downsize but the thought of actually moving (again) is overwhelming. For now, we have settled on sifting,sorting and decluttering in anticipation for a move. It sounds like you have been doing this. Wishing you the best with your move. Lovely and timely post. 🙂

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    1. You are doing the right thing. Last year I began tossing or recycling a few things each week. Now the pace has accelerated. As you know, it takes a lot of stamina to move. You and Wayne will both know when it’s the right time. Thank you, Kathy, for your encouraging words here.

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  8. Best of luck with your move we are now 13 days in our new home and this is it…..I have never moved as much in my childhood or married life until 5 years ago and I love it…I get excited, scared, but I do let things go more now as they are only possessions with the exception of family treasure and my rocking horse collected and…mmmmm. Did I say I let go easier. Wishing you the very best smoothest move 🙂 All those lovely new adventures you will have 🙂

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    1. Family treasures and your rocking horse collection bring you joy. Obviously, they are keepers. I hope we can let go of possessions more easier now. As you say, after all, they are just things! I’m latching on to your words “smoothest move” and “lovely new adventures.” Thank you, Carol!

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  9. Moving is indeed stressful. It’s been two years since our move back to Canada and, in some ways, I’m just now starting to feel settled. It can be exciting too as you look forward and plan for a next stage in life though. I suspect that when the dust settles you may find a newfound sense of freedom in your downsized abode.

    P.S. I’d miss the clothesline too. 🙂

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    1. “Newfound sense of freedom” – I’ll latch onto that pleasant thought, Linda. With your gardening/canning activity along with sensational photography I observed on your blog, it’s hard to imagine that you felt unsettled for a while. It’s so good to hear from friends like you who have experienced a recent move.Thank you, Linda.

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  10. Best of luck with the move, Marian. It can’t be easy after all those years in the same house, but they do say that home is where you make it and, in our case, where you park it! We have moved several times and, as we plan to leave England next year, we have been selling, donating and throwing things away for the last 2 years. The things I find most difficult to part with are our books, family photo albums and my husbands painting and drawings: I expect some will come with us, even if we decide to live permanently in the motorhome. All the best and be ruthless. 👍👍👍

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    1. The three things you mentioned, photos, books, and original paintings give us cause for pause too, perhaps because of the creativity involved in the making and choosing.

      I want to be ruthless, but it’s HARD. I’ll think of you as a partner with me in this hard job!

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  11. My family built their house when I was three years old in the early 1950’s. They moved from Chicago to a small town in northern Illinois. And they built the house the old fashioned way; the
    family gathered and the house “was raised.” At the time, it was quite rural with many open fields.
    As you know, last year all the siblings in the area gathered following my mom’s death (dad died back in 1999) to inventory, clear and clean our family home. It was an act of love which took months. It was exhausting and overwhelming with moments of endearing finds. And most of all it was very emotional. A house enlivened and made a home with all our memories.
    I also have moved numerous times. The last time from about a 2,000 sq. ft. home to a duplex of about half the size. I discarded so much before the move. I enjoyed giving good furniture (too big for the new space) and other items to my sibs and to nephews and nieces. I continue to shed items (except books I keep adding there) each month.
    One of the gifts in this process is a lightening, creating space for new life. Being in a new location also opens new connections and experiences. Be gentle with yourself Marian in the letting go and open to all the new possibilities. Enjoy!

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    1. I hear the wise voice of experience in your comments here, Audrey. My sisters and I too cleared out our parents’ home – exhausting, overwhelming, but with endearing finds as you mention. So, I have some inkling of what we are tackling with this project. I like to think that what I discard will find new life in others’ hands, especially my books.

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  12. Wow, moving is a huge deal, for sure. My husband and have only moved twice: from our newlywed haven (tiny mobile home you recall I wrote about) to the place where we brought all three daughters home from the hospital, and saw them off to college. Lived there a total of 30 years and I’m still tearing up just at the memories. My husband and I went back to the empty house the Monday after our final big move on a Saturday, and both wept like babies, and held each other. But we do love our new place too–but getting there was so much work, especially since we were having it built. I know you’ll miss your tree and the memories, but you are plugged in to bigger things that will see you through, I’m sure. A surprise post, this!

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  13. This is our third move in 49 years: From our newly-wed garage apartment to our first house, a ranch-style, to this one from which our children took flight. Fortunately, we are not having our new abode built although it would be lovely to choose all the surfaces and finishes. I appreciate your assurance that I am “plugged in to bigger things that will see [me] through.” Yes, indeed!

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  14. A timely post for me! I do wish you well in your transition. Change is difficult, but as the others have said, there are so many positives. It opens our mind, unclutters our heart and makes room for new possibilities. My husband and I are struggling with the possibility of moving. Historically I loved to move and wanted nothing more than to leave this place ten years ago. It’s never felt much like home to me. We always planned to fix up and move on, but life hit us hard and now we’ve been here 25 years! I’ve always longed to be somewhere higher up – closer to the sky – with a view. I have no need for lots of space. Our 1,900 sq ft feels wasted now that the kids are gone. I see people like yourself taking these bold steps, making the decision and I wonder how I might do the same. Was it circumstances that prompted you? A necessity? A gut intuition? Or a reasoned approach? I have no doubt you will land on your feet and gain greatly from the experience. You clearly have the guts and tenacity it takes to make the best of any and all situations. I look forward to following your progress, both inside and out!

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    1. How to answer: Yes, it was circumstances that prompted us – our advancing age, upkeep on a large corner lot, need for ranch style instead of a tri-level with stairs. All that. I have thought about the move for the past few years, but only recently has my husband gone “all in.” He has said, “I don’t want to move until we can find a house we BOTH like.” I bold the “both” because Cliff wants to be assured he has enough space. You’ll know when it’s time.

      I have planned a few blog posts about the move, saving them in a queue when time for blogging will be scarce. Thank you for your interest and concern, Dorothy.

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  15. Marian — Len and I did two years of research before moving two years ago. As you know, we moved cross-country from Crystal Lake, Illinois (where we’d lived in the same home for 20+ years) to a 500 square foot carriage house in Boise, Idaho. The relocation was, and continues to be, EXHILARATING! In fact, I can honestly say it’s one of the highlights in our 36+ years of marriage. And it’s not just because it provided the opportunity to pare down to the gnat’s whisker. But because it was, and continues to be, a change—one that’s been positive, uplifting, and constructive in every way.

    You’re going to find the same thing to be true. Yes, indeed!

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    1. I can still see the windshield wipers flopping back and forth on the video you posted about your move on Facebook – and on your blog. You and Len in tandem following your next dream. We won’t be paring down to a gnat’s whisker, but we are clearly making a dent in the stuff we have amassed over the years.

      I’m so happy to hear your move has been perfect in every way. Not many can say that. But, after all, you are the woman who says, “Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” And you make wise choices, Laurie. Thank you for the affirmation here.

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  16. Moving is a challenge. No question. It’s also a great opportunity to let go of what no longer interests us and to find those treasures we’d forgotten held such meaning. Even remodeling my office last year felt in many ways like a move, but out of the process I re-discovered my long-held interest in drawing, an interest I plan to pursue in the next phase of my life. I wish you well as you make this move, Marian. Bittersweet letting go of a place that holds so many memories, but the memories are easy to pack and take with you.

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    1. How right you are, Carol. Memories are feather-weight and portable, unlike much of the stuff we are sifting through right now. I look forward to seeing how your interest in drawing develops. Several of my other writer friends are finding joy in the visual arts too. (Joan Rough comes to mind.) I’m going to leave that to my artist husband Cliff, for now.

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  17. We moved across province in 2008, from Ontario to Manitoba. I always felt that the house we found in Ontario after returning from Africa was a gift from God. Our children were early teens and preteen when we moved there and this house held many memories and many dreams within its walls. I always said they would have to carry me out, but when my husband turned 70 and retired, we realized the yard and the house were too large for us now. We moved back to Manitoba where I have four sisters, and my mom was still living, but she did pass away just before we moved, and I could not properly grieve her death until months had passed because of this move.
    We love our new home and our different place of worship, but when I return to Ontario where we still have a daughter with four children, I feel as if I’m coming home.

    May your new home be a blessing to you, Marian. May the memories you make there be filled with love and laughter.

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    1. It’s good to hear your heart has a home in two places, Ontario and Manitoba. Also, that you found a place of worship with kindred spirits, I sense a very important aspect of the move for you.

      Thank you for the blessings. I feel buoyed up by all the goodwill here. Thank you, Elfrieda.

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  18. Oh boy, do I identify! Although we did a lot of downsizing when we moved here from the big house where we raised our five children, that was 19 years ago and a lot has accumulated over these years! But life is good! Change is good! I wish the best for you.

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    1. You’re right, Anita. We pad our “nests” with so much stuff. I doubt that it’s strictly a maternal instinct though as my husband has the same tendency.

      I wonder whether we will pay closer attention to what we accumulate after we move. Hmmmm . . .

      Thanks for cheering me on – your kind words so appreciated!

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  19. Golly Marian, this is HUGE! What life changes aren’t? But, one step at a time, evaluating what’s to go and what to stay. Some who I know who’ve downsized, rent storage facilities just in case. Though they’ve kept the storage facility for a very long time.

    It’s quite something to move even if just down the road, as we know when we moved from a large property to much smaller 3 years ago. Do start as soon as possible. Maybe think of it as shedding an old skin, one that’s been very comfortable indeed, but a new one will emerge, allowing for energy to create in a new space.

    All the very best Marian –

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    1. This is huge – You’re right, Susan. We have started months ago, but after 37 years it takes time and emotional energy to curate all our stuff. We are downsizing, so I don’t see a storage facility in our future. In our case it would be an expensive crutch.

      I love your metaphor of shedding an old skin. It fits perfectly with the theme. I appreciate your comment and good wishes.

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  20. Many blessings to you as you move through your transition, Marian. It is significant moving after 37 years in one place! I’m still amazed that my husband was willing to move after 60yrs on his family farm homestead. I really enjoyed your blog, especially the photo of Ian reading Mouse Moves House! I agree with you that moving should rank higher than #28 on the life events scale. Mine felt way up there – though we moved, left our family, and semi retired all at the same time.

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    1. Your post hit a chord when I read it months ago knowing a move was on the horizon for us, so I saved it for this strategic moment. Your reflection adds spiritual insight to an effort that is physically and emotionally taxing, as you well know.

      You may have noticed my lineage is Lancaster County Mennonite too. My maternal grandma, Sadie Hernley Landis, married Abram Metzler; they farmed in the Manheim. This blog is a repository for family history, but sometimes current events sneak in, like this post. Thanks for commenting – and for your fine contribution, Sharon.

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  21. Good morning new beginnings are always exciting. Yet leaving a place of 37 years have to be hard. All the memories created there with your children grandchildren family and friends. Things could come and go but are memories are forever. Hope you get adjusted to your new place fast and create new great times with your family.
    Gloria

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    1. The house we chose happens to be closer to both children, so it may be easier to get together. I’m not sure how fast the adjustment will happen, but I do appreciate your positive outlook.

      If you are still planning a trip to PA in June, remember we have set aside some of Mom’s cooking items for you. They are at Aunt Ruthie’s house and ready for pick up. I can send you details via email.

      Thanks, Gloria.

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      1. OK thank you. Yes I’m still wanting to go even if it’s for weekend. Still wanting on city and dept of health to start work on restaurant.

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  22. Well done for making the decision Marian . We all need change , you won’t regret it .
    I would have moved many times in our lifetime but my lovely husband was a bit of a ‘stick in the mud’ . We lived in our old house in the Midlands for over twenty years . Until that wonderful day I was here in West Wales on my own and I saw a piece of land perfect for us . I phoned my husband and told him …he said put in an offer. Well Marian I ran to that estate agent yelling it’s mine I want it …I wasn’t going to leave it too long cos he’d change his mind.
    I have to be honest it did shake us a little , the move and the fact that to begin with we lived in a caravan cos we were building from scratch but now it’s fine and I don’t regret anything , l love it here …good luck to you I ‘m sure you’ll love it .
    Cherryx ❤️

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    1. I assume your fine husband heard the “Wow!” in your voice about the new property and knew contesting it was a lost cause. HA! You certainly made your real estate agent’s heart happy on that day. Building from scratch sounds scary and exciting to me because of all the decisions and length of time to get your dream house, obviously worth the effort. All the photos of Wales I’ve ever seen are “Wowza.” Thanks for the boost here, Cherry!

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  23. Oh goodness yes Marian. I’ve moved too many times to count, and each time I dreaded it. Years after we built our dream house ranch bungalow we decided it was too big for the two of us to upkeep, and subsequently, we’ve moved 3 more times since then. Each time we downsized a little more. I’ve learned not to become too attached to a home or a car, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t leave a little part of my heart in that ranch bungalow.
    Some things we can take with us if they don’t take up a lot of space. Those are things we can keep in our hearts. 🙂
    Enjoy your new life. 🙂

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    1. Actually, I remember at least one move (maybe two) in the short time I’ve known you. Each time you seem to do it with aplomb. During your last move as I recall you kept blogging as you packed and moved, a feat I marveled at – still do. The purging is a good thing and giving away mounds of books as I’m preparing to do tomorrow is freeing, but I may need a hiatus sometime during the transition.

      Memories are portable. I’ll carry many with me as you have with your dream bungalow. Thanks for the consolation, Debby

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      1. You’re welcome Marian.
        And yes, you do need a hiatus because it is one of the most overwhelming projects. I’ve actually heard that moving was the #2 most stressful things, after divorce of course. 🙂
        Now I envy you because every time I moved, the books were a nightmare, something I refused to give away lol. I’ve trotted these books with me in every house. Thank goodness for my Kindle lol, there are another few hundred books on there! 🙂

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        1. Books are the big thing for me right now. Some have been ear-marked for the public library and Goodwill. A precious few are going to friends. A heavily annotated Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in Middle English is thrilling the heart of a young student. I love when these tomes find good homes.

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  24. Wow, Marian. This is a big deal. It’s obvious (to others) that I should move from my old farm house 18 miles from town with a huge barn, tractor, stack of firewood, flower gardens, vegetable gardens, and 71 acres of land. I thought I would move, too, but eight years after Vic’s death (8 years next week), I’m still here. I pulled on my boots this morning before breakfast and walked through lupines and buttercups and other wildflowers with my dog Willow. I see a sunset from inside or out whenever it isn’t cloudy. I have a great helper.

    Driving home after my brother’s death, I felt next in line. I’m on a campaign to clean out and sort, give away and recycle. I’m not a pack rat, but I’ve lived here at least part time since 1972. Whether I move soon or not, this has to be done. I don’t want my sons to have a mess on their hands if I sicken and don’t have time to go through things. So I will do it. Yes I will. I am doing it.

    I’m putting this quote on the refrigerator: “To save one must value. And to throw out, one must value moving on.” ~ Mary Peacock, The Paper Garden

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  25. I think fairy dust from nature is keeping you young and wanting to keep plowing. Willow helps too.

    Others have hinted long ago that we need to move. I know that feeling. Still, it’s a personal decision. Sorting, discarding, and recycling can happen whether you move sooner or later.

    After we cleared out Mother’s house, I vowed to begin the “cleanse.” Like you, I don’t want our children to sort through decades worth of stuff, much of which would have little value for them. It’s a slow process. So be gentle with yourself. The nudges may come when you feel an impulse to pass an item that someone else values as much as you do.

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  26. We have been in the same house for more than twenty five years. It’s the house I grew up in too so has lots of memories, good and bad. One day I know we will have to downsize but the thought of it is frightening. Good luck with your move 🙂

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    1. Yes, the whole idea is frightening, and actually doing it is overwhelming. However, I must concentrate on enjoying a property that will require less upkeep, I hope. Besides, we will be closer to my daughter, a plus for both of us.

      Thanks for reading all of these posts – much appreciated, Marie. 🙂

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