I have been back home in Hawaii for a couple of weeks now after spending the holidays back East with my family, and my world has shifted on its axis. We are moved into the new place completely now. After nearly 17 years in that house, I do not live there anymore.
I’ve spent many long, grueling hours the past couple weeks moving furniture, making trips to the dump, clearing out the old place and organizing in the new. Last year I did a major clear-out and garage sale and got rid of what felt like 80% of my stuff and STILL there is SO MUCH STUFF. How does that happen??
First world problems I guess. I’ve been very selective about what I bring to the new place, but even so, one day with a moving truck was not enough. I’ve done countless carloads too. It has seemed never-ending, and yet as I write this, I am seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
All the furniture is gone now. Only my water purifier is left upstairs, waiting for my plumber friend to come unhook. Downstairs, a few choice items I have listed on Craigslist remain. Interestingly my attorney has let me know the bank wants to come do the final inspection early next week. So the timing in our move has been miraculous.
So now, it is ghost house. A shell containing the echoes of 12 years of memories with my dear departed husband, and five more years of memories without him. The suffering, the tears, the grief…and the new people, the new experiences and events. The new guy.
The first morning I woke up in the new place, I opened my eyes and for a full, long five seconds, had absolutely no idea where I was.
Every night after work the first week in the new place I drove, on autopilot, home to the old place and had to turn around and drive back to the new place, which is, thankfully, only up the street.
The new place, by the way, is awesome. The first night, I brought the dogs over, after having prepared their little fenced yard and bought them new dog beds. They had been left in the old place for many hours on their own while we moved, and were shocked to be taken to the car with me.
Their excitement was palpable. I led them in the gate, and their happy snorts didn’t stop for the better part of an hour. They had to sniff every corner in every room at least twice, and I’m telling you, they were seriously smiling…maybe, in some dog way, laughing for joy.
I could see their brains computing that this was a big, new, happy place, with familiar smells. They knew this was their new home and like me, perhaps felt it was the start of something good.
They won’t be going back to the ghost house. I have a few more trips to make. I am both eager to be done with all the moving and clearing out, and yet I am dreading that final goodbye. The moment I must put the memories in a box too, pack them up and take them with me.