On moving

I haven’t written anything in a while, and I have a lot to say.

You’ll have to forgive me. It’s been three days since we said goodbye to our first home.

And I can’t help but be surprised how much I miss it.

Though we spent the past two and a half months working to buy and sell a home, the move crept up on us. Despite the culmination of events – events that led us from desperate to frantic to endlessly busy in just a few weeks – I am still shocked by how empty our house could become, how it happened so fast, how I was completely unprepared to let go.

How, despite spending months trying to get rid of it, I still wished we could have made it work out. Stay a little longer. Hang out one last time.

It took two trucks and a handful of eager movers to completely gut our house. When it was finished, I walked from room to room, snapping pictures of my favorite features, taking it all in – as empty and clean as when we moved in, with little change aside from seven years worth of wear.

Kerrie shed a few tears. But I kept myself insulated from it, fearing that I’d shed the same tears. I looked forward, not behind; blinded by anticipation, I did what I could to grind out the hours. I unpacked the house several times in my sleep. I imagined where things would go, what I could do, what surprises were in store.

But that last night, I couldn’t help myself. “Here I am,” I thought. “My last night in my first home.”

Our first home. Where we planned our marriage. Brought home a dog. Trained a dog. Nursed little nips from a dog. We got married and bought cars and became adults. We formed our careers though several hiccups. I began writing in the dormer. I began reading again in the dormer. I learned about my new job in the dormer and privately celebrated in the dormer.

It was Sierra’s first home. Our first child. Her first steps, first words, first teeth, first joys and pains. She learned how to be a person in that house. She fell into our lives in that house.

There are a handful of things I’ll always remember. The creaky floors outside of Sierra’s room. The nights sitting in a rocking chair, with only the glaring light of the hall illuminating my book as I lulled Sierra to sleep. The night I listened to John Edwards and Dick Cheney as they debated in the summer of 2004. And the night I watched the first politician I truly believed in elected President four years later.

A lot of life was lived in those walls. But I’m thankful for one thing: the first years in that house were something Kerrie and I had to ourselves. They are memories we hold closely, memories that only we can claim. And likewise, that house is something that we can share with Sierra – a reminder of the days before our family had become four, something special that Sierra gets to remember, to her ability, in the upcoming years.

This new house begins a new chapter. In a few weeks, baby boy will be born. Life will get more complicated, will require more time and more space. And with our new home, we have it. It’s the perfect marking point for what we had and what we are about to become.

We are lucky. We found a house we wanted, put our house on the market, and were lucky enough to still snag it months later. We were able to make it quick. Harried, but painless. We were able to find people to help us – people who we thank for all eternity, from our families to our friends, from our Realtor Briana to the kind souls who owned our home before we moved in.

I miss the old house. But I love this one just as much. And once I come to grips with the idea that my memories are still around, despite the new location, I’ll slowly forget about what we had and focus on only what we have.

All of our stuff is here. It’s strewn across the house, scattered throughout each room like beads of mercury, dispersing in every direction, seeking level ground, but it’s here all the same.

And room by room, things are looking more comfortable. More like what we left behind. More like home.

Really, it’s already there. We’re here. We’ll continue to grow here, will celebrate new lives and new milestones.

This is our new base. Our new home. All that’s changed is the location.

This was lovingly handwritten on May 17th, 2009