A Big Move

This is the photo we’ll call BEFORE:

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And this the photo which can only be called AFTER:

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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:

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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:

 

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There used to be books on all these shelves, of course; my books are all packed up in boxes. And boxes. And boxes.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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15 responses to “A Big Move

  1. Julie! You’ll be closer to 🇨🇦! Come visit. Seriously. The welcome mat is out and the coffee’s perking. Books await on just about every table.

  2. I moved from out home a few years ago, so know how you feel, and although I sold some books in an estate sale, I still have them waiting in every room. Your new home looks wonderful, Julie. Enjoy unpacking those books!

    • Thanks, Linda! My books are telling me to stay calm, too, and I’m trying. But ouch. One good thing about the move: It’s a diversion from my daily meltdown about what’s happening in D.C.

      • Yes, many of us can use a good diversion! Best wishes for the move and diverting you mind!

  3. Oh, Julie! What a change but knowing you, you’ll make a grand adventure out of it, especially once your beloved friends–I mean, books–are in the new home and all settled in. My husband and I are talking more about this kind of move in just a few years, with him retiring in a year. It terrifies me (same situation, lived in the same house for 30 years and raised our son in it). Please keep us abreast of the move and how things go. I need to hear so I’ll know how to proceed when it’s my turn :). Safe adventures!

    • Thanks, Terry! My posts here at BATT will track our progress, I’m sure. I think the word “calmly” has just enough m and l sounds to be a soothing mantra.

  4. laurakvasnosky

    The photos tell the story. Great adventures ahead, books leading the way. We look forward to visiting you in beautiful Bellingham. But oh how I will miss you. Know there is always a room waiting for you two in Seattle, should you need some re-city-afying. (it’s like recidivism)

    • You have such a beautiful home, Laura – I would be lucky to stay with you once in awhile for my City Deprivation Therapy sessions. Thanks!

  5. Nancy J Johnson

    Giddy with joy to think you’ll be living in Bellingham! Where’s your new place? When will you settle in? Let’s set a date to meet for coffee or even something stronger.

    • Nancy, we hope to be in to the new house by Memorial Day, though we have until the 20th of June to be out of our house in Seattle. I’ll email you with the new address and our phone number. Yes to coffee!

  6. Where are you moving to in B’ham? Neil and I are making a temporary move to Blaine. . .

  7. Hope the temporary move to Blaine is for happy reasons, Kirby. Let’s definitely connect up there! I’ll email or PM via Facebook.

  8. Good luck with your move. It’s always hard to leave a place filled with so many memories, but new adventures await in your new home. Hope it’s not too long before you get to unpack your books and really feel “at home” again.

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