In November, we sold our home. We lived there for ten years. It was a great home, yet about two years after moving in, I got the job I currently have, which meant everything we did was in a town 12-miles away. It’s only 12 miles right? But that means about 20 minutes. In good weather.
We live in Michigan.
And that’s one-way.
So, a good 45 minute round-trip to let the dog out, pick up a change of clothes, retrieve a lunch bag left on the counter. Those trips we didn’t usually take. It meant Wednesday night dinners of Crock-Pot mac and cheese eaten in the teacher’s lounge because we’d have to turn around and come right back to get kids to AWANA on time.
Still, we managed and we made some fabulous memories and kept the sale of our home as a constant prayer. Then, after having unsuccessfully listed before, we listed again in August. Four days later, we had a showing. A second showing and ten days later, we had an offer. Of course. We’d sell our home and move during the first months of school. As it turned out, we closed on a Friday in mid-November. It was perfect. Pre-winter weather and only a week away from the Thanksgiving break.
We had packed and moved bits of things here and there, stowing summer furniture in my parents’ barn, fall decorations adorned my classroom, and the collection of paper boxes we’d collected throughout the start of the school year filled the small upstairs room giving us adequate supplies to pack the remaining items.
It was really happening.
Knowing the kids would be staying with relatives over “Moving Weekend” I wanted to be sure they at least saw the apartment once before coming home to a new place. I took them to the complex and contained my surprise at how much smaller the two-bedroom unit seemed then when we had viewed it earlier in the fall. I was mentally taking inventory of what would fit where, and how much we would need to put in storage. I panicked a bit knowing I still hadn’t heard from the manager of the storage units. Then the leasing agent asked if I’d gotten our utilities transferred into our name and submitted our change of address with the post office. I hadn’t and felt bad that it was happening that weekend and I had somehow dropped the ball. As it turns out, that became our saving grace. Because just the week before, a three-bedroom ground floor unit had opened up right behind the leasing office. We immediately went to take a look.
After talking it over with my husband, everything about it seemed like yet another answer to our prayers that everything would go smoothly. We closed the following day and said we thought we could be moved out by Tuesday knowing that our small group from church along with my father-in-law would be helping out on Sunday afternoon.
Friday evening, we headed to my hometown to watch cousins perform in the high school musical, all the while making mental checklists of things to do, pack or store.
Much of the next hours were spent in a blur as we packed, loaded and set up as much as we possibly could, the goal being to have the kids’ room as close to finished as possible by Sunday night. Then, Sunday morning, we went to church, fed our life group and then began moving the big stuff. We had a small army of people and it was a whirlwind. I helped with one load as I watched box after box get loaded into someone’s vehicle. I made my way to the apartment and recall standing in the dining room just pointing people further back into the apartment so we didn’t have a pileup in front of the door. I felt glued in place as I just watched it all come in. When speaking to my husband about it later, he said he felt it too in the dining room of our house – watching everything leave and feeling unable to decide what to do or where to go.
Within 4 hours, we were done. Everything out and cleaned. We could’ve left the keys Sunday night, but wanted to take one last through. The following week was spent unpacking and settling in, but we did it. Now, it’s hard to believe it’s only been four months. We’re loving our walks to school, the ability to run home for lunch or connect with friends on a moment’s notice.
It’s amazing the sense of freedom, and how living with the possibility of going anywhere and doing anything can make things come alive. We will continue to dwell in this space, this world of possibility for as long as possible, and we will build and recall amazing memories along the way.
This post was written as part of a monthly challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers, to encourage writing and community. The goal is to write a Slice of Life entry each day throughout the month of March.