OK, I’ll say it. I’m over sixty years old and this is the first time I’ve ever lived in the same place for ten years. I remember putting my tooth through my lip at age six while playing jump rope with my sister. I tied one end of the rope to my bike and twirled the rope while my little sister jumped, and our neighbor Joey took my bike as a joke. I fell, in the driveway, and missed my class trip to the zoo the next morning. But I can’t look out the window of that family home and say, it was there, right there! I don’t even have a photo of it but I do remember playing touch football in the street with the neighborhood kids, and then the country house climbing a rope down the 150′ cliff by our front door (my parents made us use the back door) to play in the creek. But I can’t see it for myself. Even my husband’s family’s farm that they built fifty years ago has recently been torn down for “progress” that is Dallas needing more and more miles to grow northward.
Now my husband and I have been in the same place for ten years and I’m about to learn a new word, again. Purge. I’ve ten years of stuff to purge so we can move in five weeks time. We’re not going far, same town for now, even. It’s even smaller that that, or bigger, both. One tower to another. Bigger.
Purge, once begun later today, will probably become my favorite word for a while, because I want a shiny new home with everything in its place. But I’m scared to take that first step, our closet. Then begins the separation, as we’ll each for the first time, have a separate office. I have to “divorce” our books. Software manuals in his office, cookbooks in mine. We’ll each have our own sanctuary and the dog, who must be by one of our sides at all times, will have to choose.
COVID was a prime instigator of the move. If my husband’s clients are not back at the office en masse yet, he has to professionalize his home office to be able to Zoom well, and that includes equipment for meetings and for teaching teams. He much prefers one-on-one training sessions but this’ll have to do until everyone’s vaccinated. That and my need to change things up a bit.
When we brought home Lulu at eight weeks, nearly three years ago she inherited our old dog’s beds and food bowls. I never removed the few “doggie nose” prints on the lower windows from Zoe, our fifteen year-old Aussie mix who died, because I thought the pup might need to know the best places to lay her head. Now, she does. When I see Lulu lying in the guest bath door a few feet from the front door with her head in the hall so she can make sure no-one comes or goes without her OK, I see Zoe’s head in the same location. Or propped up on the radiator looking out the 15th story window to life below, all the birds and squirrels and doggie friends. Fresh paint on the walls, new carpets and appliances, and a few new things and it’ll be a jump-start that we need after twenty years together. Yep, we met at a TGI Fridays 20 years ago today, over 2,000 miles away. We’ve lived in seven places together, so far, since that day. This’ll be lucky number eight.
We’re not getting any younger, so this will be another stepping stone to our forever home, where we can retire and enjoy our time together and apart. When he was a kid he built himself a workshop, while his younger brother concerned himself with outdoor activities like canoeing. I see a large workshop for him that he can tool up for whatever he wants to build. Rockets? OK, but only if you aim them away from the house. That’s fine, dear.
I’m content with an eminently workable kitchen, pantry and garden and look forward to having a shady, verdant back yard with quiet spaces to enjoy and entertain with a woodburning stove. And a separate space to throw a ball or do some agility with the dogs. Whoops, did I say dogs? Nothing, honey, I didn’t just say that, really. Yes, when we get Lu a little sister. But that’s the future, this is now. Consider this boot camp. Before Thanksgiving we’ll have a new HQ. You’ll still know where to find me and I’ll try to check in from time to time. Hope the Fall is treating you kindly. Cheers! Dee