Moving takes guts. Truly. No matter what the circumstances…first home, newly built home, eviction, foreclosure, downsizing, retirement nest…it is hard stuff. Packing up all your belongings and memories in a box is like peeling off a layer of your soul. Oh sure, new adventures await, but it is a bit like being off balance. Familiar surroundings is a big deal in life. Routines bring a calm and steady dimension to ourselves. I know this to be true, for I have moved a lot…in fact every circumstance I referenced above I have lived.
Have you ever driven by a former home? It is nice to try on the overcoat of yesterdays, just for size. I found out the house where I raised my kids is for sale. So…I did what every nosy female does: I called the number on the sign. I got to hear this nice stranger telling me about a place I knew intimately. He described the new landscaping. I pictured the tree house that used to be in the Magnolia tree. He described the privacy fence and I counted kids from the neighborhood squaring up before home plate. And I know that the new energy efficient updates are grand; but I savored the warmth that four energetic kids brought into the house after sledding. Yes, as he mentioned that the property was a “must see” I was seeing Christmas mornings, and birthday parties. I saw spilled milk and anxious nights with sick kids. I saw marks on the wall where we had measured growing sons and remembered artwork on the fridge. New carpet throughout? Cool. But the stained stuff was unnoticed by giggling kiddos rolling around on the floor with their Basset Hound. “Very homey.” Well of course. Why else would two little girls beg for ‘rockins’ (being rocked in the old wooden rocker) if it wasn’t homey? Curb appeal? Yeah, the curb was very appealing when I sat down and watched them get off the bus.
The kids know the house is for sale. We may go buy and see it. I may even come clean and tell the seller, “We aren’t in the market for a new home, but we are hungry to see the old one.” And I can imagine we will tell story after story, and recall this and that as we walk through the place. It might happen. But no matter where we move to and from, it is not the address that makes a home. Nope. We carry that within our souls. Home is a state of being and if we are really rich, we realize that the location of our shelter doesn’t matter. So, if you are moving, be brave. It will be fine. Oh….and welcome home.