We’ve got a huge moving van in front of our house now, and we have until Friday to pack it with all the boxes of stuff we’ve been preparing for months. Although my husband’s new job has given us some support for our cross-country move, it’s not enough to cover the full expense with movers so we went for the option of packing the truck ourselves over the course of the next three days and then we’ll fly out and greet it on the other side (we decided it would be too hectic to drive across, so our car is shipping too). With the $5000 we save maybe we’ll splurge on a hot tub, or (more likely) at least we can upgrade the insulation in the new house and buy a washer and dryer.
Moving is a sad state. We’ve done all the fun stuff, visiting an amusement park with friends, between our two kids they have hosted and attended 20 sleepovers in the last month, we threw ourselves a huge and awesome going away party. Now the kids are in a holding pattern as here we are, doing the intensive packing up of our old house a week and a half after all their friends have gone back to school (schools start much later out west!) We keep putting off packing up the pictures on the walls to make sure the house isn’t too dreary to stay in. In times like this, I wish there was a fast-forward button, as I know it’s going to be mighty painful to say our goodbyes.
We have a lot of exciting things to look forward to. Some great new schools (we’ve been in touch with some inspiring teachers and principals) and a huge new backyard with apple trees, pear trees, plum trees, figs and raspberry bushes and a shed where perhaps we will raise quail. Camping in our new living room as we wait for our furniture to come - the idea is to put up our tent in there, where we’ll all sleep. My husband looks forward to the start of the semester at his new job (with some trepidation). While I can keep my contract-based work and work with my collaborators at our old university going, I am considering a request to teach a course at the new university, too. Our 13-year-old asked for a facebook account; we’ll soon look into that together. Our 9-year-old is carefully planning out a mural of a giant hamster that she wants to paint on the wall of her new bedroom. Hard to say no to that.
We’ve planned and planned, and now after 20 years of scheming on how to move back to the west where both my husband and I grew up, we’re doing it. As we jump into the next chapter of our lives with gusto, we’re not closing our last chapter: our treasured friends and memories that have made our years here so special will be part of our new lives, too.