This is the photo we’ll call BEFORE:
And this the photo which can only be called AFTER:
My husband and I just sold our house in Seattle (bought it in 1987, raised our three kids in it, still love it) to start a new phase of our lives 90 miles north in Bellingham, not far from the Canadian border. We found a new house to fill up with old stuff (I mean, treasures….) and I know I should be thinking of this as an adventure. Still, it’s hard to empty out a house you’ve lived in and been happy in for thirty years. The bedroom that was once my youngest son’s room now looks like this:
When I say something in it, my words reverberate and echo across the space, which hurts.
I hosted my last Books Around the Table meeting here on Wednesday, having kept one tablecloth in reserve for the occasion. Haven’t packed up the kitchen yet, so dishes were available for our lunch together. It felt almost normal. And not all the shelves are empty; some are actng as Grand Central for the fragile stuff, waiting for bubble wrap:
There used to be books on all these shelves, of course; my books are all packed up in boxes. And boxes. And boxes.
I own a lot of books, as do my BATT friends, as do most readers of this blog, I’m sure. And I like them to be everywhere:
I feel like telling my books as I pack them, “Hold your breath, stay calm, see you soon.” Crazy, right? But we’ll be moving into the new house slowly. Here is the BEFORE photo. So empty.
We need to get the carpet up, re-do the mantle, lay down maple flooring, paint the walls. It might be awhile before we get to the bookcases, and to putting books on the shelves. Once books fill the house, I’ll believe it’s home. Then I’ll be able to go out on the deck with a cup of coffee, sit down, look out at the view, and think about the future. I know, the sky looks threatening. But I’m hopeful.