It should be compared to a lengthy, difficult labor. Except there’s no newborn to smell, swaddle and nurse. Besides the good Lord gave new moms the ability to gradually forget about those perfectly timed, excruciating pains when you shouted the Hubs name. Claiming if he ever comes near you again, there would be hell to pay. Hell. To. Pay. Nope, not going to forget this for a quite a spell.
|1979 with newborn Adam…|
The week everything fell into place for closing on the long awaited sale of our house, not exactly everything fell just right. Just fell. Three sprinkler heads went kaflooey, dribbling water like a little boy with bad aim. Who wants a new owner to start off with that mess? Growing grass is tough enough here. You’re trying to have a lush green lawn on about 4 inches of topsoil covering 2 feet of sand. Besides it’s a Hot August Night (Neal Diamond) and the lawn is already stressed. John hopped in the truck, ran to the hardware store and bought some new heads. Terrible to admit, but I always kind of get a kick out of watching him change heads. He digs up the old one, replaces it, then has to set them. Exactly right. So every stinking blade of grass gets equally covered. He gets utterly saturated with sprinkler well water. When he’s absolutely sure the rotation is perfect, he’s covered with mud, sand, water and mosquito bites. I wouldn’t do that job if you paid me. But Hubs has always been anal about his grass.
|Muskegon Lighthouse looking west towards Milwaukee, 2015…|
The evening Hubs changed the sprinkler heads, he sauntered in, filthy and dripping wet. While he scooted upstairs to shower, I made supper. We ate, then decided to go for a little ride. Stopped at our favorite ice cream joint (we knew our 2 visits a week were going to end soon) and each got a twist cone. Meandered home and settled in the family room. John reached for his iPad next to his recliner. Which was setting on the hearth. Behind his iPad are a set of fireplace tools you use to arrange wood and stoke the fire. Like a gentle breeze, one of the tools (fireplace, not Hubs) slowly started leaning. For 21 years we have had those fireplace tools flying, falling, and flipping through that room. Nothing has ever happened. But this time there was a sharp crack as wrought iron nuzzled the fireplace’s 4 paned glass doors. Actually sounded kind of neat. Tinkling little shards of glass sprinkled the hearth, my sandals, the carpet and an open lock box of old pictures I had been delving through for blog pictures. We just sat there, looking back and forth at each other, 12 feet apart. Watching as the few remaining clinging hunks of glass made their way to their final resting place. What are the chances? What was the tool (fireplace) doing there anyway? We usually put them in the garage for the summer. We hadn’t burned the fireplace in months. Why hadn’t the tool (Hubs) moved the dang thing? Burning questions and you want answers. Got nothing. Guess we didn’t move them to the garage because it was already bursting at the seams. We both assumed they should stay with the house.
|Lake Express arriving daily from Milwaukee. Our lake home was behind that out crop of land in left corner…|
Well, the new owner was expecting doors on the fireplace, so John took the measurements, and zipped upstairs to the computer. Searching, he found a set just like ours, but with glass. He ordered new doors while I cleaned up. A fluke. The doors came a few days later, and didn’t take Hubs long to install. All shiny and new, looked good. The tool (fireplace) was then put out of harms way. A day late and many dollars shorter.
|Fireplace now has a new set of doors…|
Closing went without a hitch, giving us 14 days to move. Seems like a long time doesn’t it? Holy Hanna, it went fast. We blew 2-1/2 days house hunting when we should have been packing in earnest. But finding a new crib was much more fun that going through drawers, cupboards, closets that held items from the Eisenhower administration. I jest. Well, most of our furniture was born about the time of Eisenhower, but we weren’t. After looking for a house the second time, we decided that had to be put on the back burner or we’d never be ready when the moving van parked in our drive.
|Seagulls get cold feet too…|
If you’ve been at an address for any length of time, take a mental walk through a couple of your rooms. Notice the painted rocks your granddaughter made for you awhile back. The magnet pictures on the fridge, box of colors, a few crayons short. The Northern gar pike hanging on the wall. Remembering 17 year old Adam excitedly calling you at work one day many years ago. Begging you to have it mounted for him.
|Neighbor’s lab Junior, Adam with speared gar pike, 1997…|
Who doesn’t have at least one junk drawer? We have 3. Every bit of string, dried out tubes of crazy glue, wandering nails and an obscure coin from a Las Vegas trip 20 years causes reflection. Most must be weighed in worth. Smiles, tears, pros-cons. I tossed or donated items I could barely part with by day 6.
|Sailboats on Muskegon Lake behind our house, 2013…|
Finally in Jackson, I looked at my holy mess of a Jeep and slowly started unpacking. Most of it are things I need until we buy a house. Clothes and toiletries. Still off to one side of the mountain of miscellaneous crap, I find 3 small Meijer bags. Filled with empty pop cans. A whopping $3.40. Are you kidding me? I lost more than that when I pitched the new jar of Hoisen Sauce from the fridge missing 1/2 cup from the last time I made broccoli beef. Ugh.
|Sunrise looking east at Moorings Court, 2013…|
I wasn’t dreading this move at all. It was anticipated wholeheartedly. But I could not fathom exactly how much stuff had to be plucked, pondered, and plunked in a box. While I was super diligent at first, it didn’t take long before that over exuberance waned dramatically. The clock was ticking faster than a speeding bullet. No time if a pair of my Keen sandals were in the bathroom. Mentally, I’d take make a note. Keen sandals in with 2-36 packs of Northern bath tissue. As if. There were numerous things to decide on and delegate, and too little time to devote anything to memory. I’m lucky I could remember where to turn off I-96 to head south on 127. Someday I will get to that huge box of toilet paper. Hope it’s spring so the sandals are right on time.
|Lake Michigan. Breathtaking beauty…|
By day 8, most of the stuff I was packing, I never wanted to see again. It’s like you become desensitized. I was a packer in zombie mode. Only one purpose. The finish line. Which was before the movers arrived.
|Left Muskegon Lake, right, Bear Lake, top magnificent Lake Michigan…|
The most unappealing aspect of this is NOT that we have yet to find a home to buy. All of our belongings are safe. Secure and stored for now. The key word here is: stored. Meaning, lucky us, we get to do this again. Yay us. But this time, without the massive amount of help from the dudes from Allied. Who, by the way after 5 hours of backbreaking work in hot, humid weather conditions, were still taking the stairs, 2 steps at a time. And singing. And joking. All the while hauling out our antiques that were barely recognizable. Which accounts for the secure part.
|Deep water channel to Lake Michigan, looking west…|
These moving dudes know their way around old furniture. For example, my stacking oak bookcase. This exquisite piece was willed to me several years ago. Really, one of my better stories. Titled Mildred and Charlie, in October of 2014. The bookcase is actually 7 separate pieces. After John and I picked it up in 2008, Hubs had a heck of a time putting it back together. The 5 bookcase sections are all just a bit different in size. By maybe half an inch each. Plus the bottom section is a drawer and the top fancy part. So I numbered them from 1-7, making life easier for The Hubs when it came time to slap that sucker back together. Little show off mover guy had other ideas after thanking me for the great idea of numbering them. He secured (“we don’t use tape Denise. If this piece sits in storage even a few days, when you try and remove it, the finish comes right off”) cardboard to the front, protecting the glass doors. Proceeded to haul out a huge roll of Saran Wrap, which they prefer to call shrink wrap. Show-off-mover-dude ran around the bookcase a minimum of 648 times. With the Saran Wrap at warp speed. Top to bottom. Gave a little whistle, another mover (there was only one show off) with a carrot top (Red) hustled over. Both picked up the bookcase like it weighed 5 pounds-tops and zoomed it into the truck. All my antiques were treated this way.
|Bookcase snugly stored. Waiting to come back home…|
The hardest part is done. Moorings Court now has a new owner. I’m so glad. I hope he enjoys the house and living on the lake. For this homeless couple, we are filled with hope and anticipation of where we’ll be hanging our hats soon. Still, absolutely no regrets. Only got choked up saying goodbye to my dear friend Jo. I will miss her. And Lake Michigan. One unparalleled body of water. Some of the most spectacular sunsets, ever. But the bennies about living here. Within a few minutes from my 3 grown children and 4 grandchildren. That too is unparalleled. I think they’re all excited that we will be living closer. Maybe they’ll show more excitement in a few months. After the dreaded call and some time has passed. The recent unpleasant memory has faded a bit. We have moved every one of them too many times to count. Hauled furniture back and forth. They owe us. It’s pay back time…
|Lake Michigan. Simply stunning…|