10/16/09

Places


Friday~October 16th, 2006


I continue to miss things about every place I've lived. Not the cities or towns so much as the walls that surrounded me through stages of life. I've moved many times, and I've always felt a bit sad leading up to the final day. I get attached to places.

Even though my apartments and shared houses were many, I can remember standing in the doorway of each and every one, looking over the empty spaces on those last days and whispering my goodbyes with a lump in my throat.

So when we put our house on the market yesterday, suddenly all the excitement faded, reality hit, and I started to grieve the spaces. My neighbors. The tree in the front yard that was planted right after Miles was born in his honor. Even the dilapidated shed out back suddenly seemed beautiful to me.

We've been cleaning up and packing up and shining up the whole lovely place for days now.

I'm tired.

Then Miles had a four-year-old breakdown that broke my heart in half. The meltdown he had included words like I don't want to leave this house and Maybe if I keep my room messy, no one else will want it

I want to reassure him, tell him all his worries are silly...but I can't because that's not true. Saying goodbye is hard.

A home is like a person, in the sense of comfort and friendship and familiarity. A haven.

We love it here and we love it where we'd like to go. Which means that if we sell, we'll be excited and sad at the same time. After all, we have much to look forward to, and much to leave behind.

So we're hopeful and prepared to grieve at the same time.

Life is tricky and exciting and scary, always. And we never really know what we're doing. I wish I could tell my sweet boy I'm certain about every move we make, big and small, but I can't.

I suppose that's why I cried when I read this, another amazing post by Billy Coffey.

If you haven't been reading Billy's blog, What I Learned Today, this would be a great day to start. He has just recently been signed with a publishing company, with his first novel due out before Christmas 2010! So head on over to his new site to congratulate him and read about his journey to becoming an author. Billy's posts are always thought-provoking and inspiring. He's got an amazing gift. I wish I had more words to describe it.



Have a good weekend!

47 clicked right here to comment:

Sabrina said...

I will miss you if your house sells. But I will still be your friend.
Do you need any help with anything?

K and/or K said...

I will miss you too!
All the best for a stress free transition.

Sabrina said...

First and Second! Cousins 4-Life!

Heather of the EO said...

See? People to miss!!!

Kelly and Sabrina, the visits are going to go both ways! I'll miss you too. (I mean, if we sell. Which we will. Cause we've worked too hard not to...)

Misty said...

this is a beautiful post. I completely understand. My husband moves without a problem (sans the actual move itself) but I leave a piece of me behind in every home. As I get older- it gets more and more tough.

Corinne said...

I can sympathize Heather. We're in the midst of trying to figure out if we stay where we are one more year, or make a pretty terrifying (put probably wonderful) move. It's hard to move forward sometimes.
And I love Billy's post today too. That man has a gift!

Melanie J said...

I'm the same way. I think a house can have a spirit and I miss the spirit of places when I move on. But I always end up happy in the new places, for whatever that's worth. Plus, now that you blog, you can take your friends with you wherever you go. It's a portable friendship circle.

Christy said...

Oh I know what you mean about missing the places you've lived. I moved FIVE times in FOUR years before we moved into the house we're in now. I was really sad leaving some of them...this one though, this is where our first daughter was born (well, in the hospital, but you know what I mean) and I just can't imagine living somewhere else.

Are you moving far? To a new state or city? Have I missed some important announcement (s)? If so, please direct me to that/those posts!

Heather of the EO said...

Melanie, I too always find I fall in love with the next place too. I have high hopes. :)

Christy,
You haven't missed a thing. I've only eluded to how difficult this decision is for us. We LOVE where we live, but we do want to give living where I grew up a go. Near my parents (support is good) It's only about two hours from where we live now. It's just really different than where we live now. Not different in a bad way, just different. Now I'm rambling...

VanderbiltWife said...

I've been missing my house preemptively as we've had it on the market for 4 months. I LOVE this house, it's our first house, it's the house we brought our baby home to. I like where we're moving but I don't like the house as much (renting) and I will be heartbroken in a way when we do sell.

My parents had to move out of my childhood home very quickly, and 10 hours away from where we live now. I didn't get to go back and say goodbye to the house and that killed me.

Elizabeth said...

I KNEW we were kindred spirits!!! I get attached to every single place. In fact, when I was 10 and moved from my favorite house, I went around kissing all the walls!! I don't do that now as an adult--but only because I'm afraid what people will think if they see me bidding a teary farewell to a space. All this to say, I totally, TOTALLY get you. ((hugs))

Elizabeth

Billy Coffey said...

Aww, thanks Heather. And I totally understand what you mean. We put our house on the market two years ago because we wanted more space and no neighbors. But then we found out that the small space we have keeps us closer together, and neighbors are good for borrowing sugar and tools.

We might not know what we're doing, but I like to think we can still know we're going in the right direction.

Great, great post. As always!

Kazzy said...

I get sentimental about places too. It is hard for me to not think the memories are floating around in there like ghosts and I am just abandoning them. Ten years ago we moved to a house up the street and it was hard for the first few years to drive past my old one over and over. But after some time it got easier.

Miles wanting to keep his room messy... how cute was that?

charrette said...

I hate moving. I grieved every space we've ever left. (Except maybe that first apartment on fraternity row at USC, where the partying starts on Thursday night. Didn't grieve that one.) But I'm convinced moving is especially hard on kids. Harder than we realize. Sometimes I was too occupied with all the doing of it to notice. I also learned that adults keep looking for bigger spaces to accommodate the kids and their trappings, when in reality the kids were perfectly content in a too-small space, three kids to a room.

Take good care of their little hearts as they leave their first home....

Growin' with it! said...

oh sister...do i hear you! especially the broken-hearted little boy part. i really think you should read this:
after the boxes are unpacked by susan miller

it has made a HUGE difference in this last move for me!

Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings said...

I absolutely understand what you are saying. We moved 7 years ago, but my two older boys still talk about the little house. We made good memories there and there are things we miss about it. But, where we are now gives my boys so much more freedom to explore and play. We wouldn't trade it for the world!

jasonS said...

We are in the middle of the same thing. We have sold our house, thankfully, but now there are engineer's reports, appraisals, other repairs, and much more! It's all nuts, but I have to keep telling myself it will be worth it. :)

minnesotamom said...

I get the same attachment to houses, cars, even smaller things like sweaters. Change is hard, even the good kind of change.

Angie said...

Oh, my bloggy friend, I can so relate and you capture it all so beautifully. You're right, you will love the new place and it will hold wonderful adventures, but so much happens within those four walls, so many wonderful memories. My Bear had a similar meltdown recently in our new house asking if we could just move back to the old house and have life be normal again. Sigh.

Grief.

Excitement.

Praying for you as you embark on this new adventure.

mama-face said...

Oh yes, moving is hard and every time, for me anyway, I swear I will never do it again! I love what your little boy said about keeping his room messy! :)

Did you watch Brady Bunch (or are you too young)? I always thought it was so funny that they never wanted to move...hahaha

hugs.

Boy Crazy said...

ahhh..the boy. what do you even say?

For many years we moved at least once a year - joking we lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle. It was always to leave because we always stayed in the mindset of being on the move.

But now that we've been here for 6 years, I can't imagine how differently it would feel to move. Good luck to you, my dear.

Dave said...

i am terrified to move, due solely to the prospect of leaving the tree we planted when Josh was born

good luck :-)

Midwest Mommy said...

Are you moving far? Like by me :-)

Tooj said...

I was just pondering the idea that we never know if we're making the right decision. I WISH I had the assurance that others did in their decision making skills, but I always chalk it up to being a Libra. I'm a scale, and I balance, and I always know what could be good....AND bad. I'm constantly asking myself, "what if this....could we.....this COULD happen.....". In the end, I am thankful my husband will push me forward if I don't move along myself. I suppose THAT is why I got married. ;)

Miles will love the new place, and soon....? He'll have a place to go drive by and "remember". That is always fun too.

MommyJ said...

Oh, I know that feeling! I sort of have that feeling about my home town. I've lived away from home long enough that now, where I do live is home. It's home for my children, and it's home to me. But then when I go "HOME", as in the home and town where I grew up, it always pulls at me, and a part of me wishes I could find a little house right there in the heart of it all and soak it all up all the time.

I hope things work out for you just as they should. :)

Kimberly said...

Oh how this strikes a chord. I love what you said about homes being like people. I miss my old homes in a similar way to how I miss old friends. It can't help but be bittersweet, no matter what lies ahead...

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Wow, you have alot going on right now. Your whole family has alot to process.

Such bittersweet emotions huh? Excitement for all things new and exciting - as well as grieving the familiar.

Looking forward to hearing how God guides this journey...

L.T. Elliot said...

You described perfectly how leaving a place feels. The empty rooms, the lump in your throat, even the 4 year old fits that I secretly throw in my heart. At least Miles had the words for it.

I hope that wherever you go, you'll always stay here. I couldn't bear to do without your brand of nectar.

Aunt LoLo said...

*sigh* Oh, mama, how I understand this post!! I moved SO MUCH when I was a kid, and every one was hard. We'll be moving back "home" sometime in the next 18 months, and just THINKING about it makes me feel a little more kindly toward our cold, snowy winter and hot humid summers! (Just a very little, though.)

Aunt LoLo said...

*sigh* Oh, mama, how I understand this post!! I moved SO MUCH when I was a kid, and every one was hard. We'll be moving back "home" sometime in the next 18 months, and just THINKING about it makes me feel a little more kindly toward our cold, snowy winter and hot humid summers! (Just a very little, though.)

Life Is Beautiful said...

Heather,
I'll be sad to see you go, even though we've only actually met once. But anywhoo, you know what I mean.

My husband and I moved five times in eight years and even though some places were brief, I sometimes get overwhelmed with nostalgia for each home. They were all special places for very different yet endearing reasons.

It sounds like your upcoming move is well deserved. May God bless you.

wendy said...

So----where are you going??
Oh yes, changes, moves, are always hard. BUT you can be thankful you do have GOOD memories of the places you have been, and the people who have enriched your life.

Enjoy--------it's hard work I know, but look forward to the "NEW"

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I have questions to ask you, but I'll save them.

All I wanted to add is that I've noticed that God puts us or keeps us exactly where He wants us to be, sometimes to our surprise. It will all work out exactly as it should.

MidnightCafe said...

I hear ya! And I'll miss you when it all finally happens. My prayers are with you and your sweet family through this transition.

Kelly said...

We moved around so much as a child that I never really got attached to a place. However, I can see how I'll really miss the walls and spaces of this place since it's the place I bought myself and where my children's memories will linger.

Blessed said...

I've moved 30 times in my 34 years - but I've spent the last 10 years here in this place, this place that Hubby and I bought 3 months before we married. When we leave here, I will grieve - there are so many memories.

I hope that what is best for your family works when it is best for your family!

CCW said...

As a military brat, I've moved more times than I can remember. You get used to it, but you never get over it. Found you on SITS — happy SITS Saturday sharefest :-)

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

Despite my talk about hating this house, I still feel attached to it because of all we've done to make it our home. Especially now that I'm decorating for halloween and fall. I've always felt attached to each and every house we've ever lived in, even if the Army only moved us a couple streets away, I would still drive by our old homes (not houses, homes) and remember this time, or that day fondly, longing to be there once more, struggling to recall exactly how this was placed, or where this piece of furniture was, remembering every quirk, every squeak, every memory.

I missed the announcement you are moving, though. Or was this it? :) I need to get back on the ball, that is, if I can find it. Heh.

blueviolet said...

I hope that your move will lead you to yet another home with new and happy memories. I wish you peace with this.

Jack said...

My son tells me about once a month that he never wants to move and that includes living here as an adult.

If we ever manage to buy another house he'll be handful. Moving is hard for everyone.

sara said...

I have done the same thing with every house I have lived in. I grieve the house and the memories that are left in the house. Great post!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

This is so poignant. We are also in the process of looking toward a move, so I'm feeling all these same emotions.

I'm so ready to put down some roots and not always be in transition. I'm just ready to be settled and let the kids be settled. I'm ready to be home.

Less Toil Traci said...

Leaving is hard, but selfishly it will be great to have you around here. Good luck with the house showings and the cleaning in between all of those. Take care.

april said...

I totally get it. I know it will be hard when I move from here.

ZDub said...

Oh, I totally know what you mean. I hope your house sells quickly.

ZDub said...

Oh, I totally know what you mean. I hope your house sells quickly.

LisAway said...

I'm the same way. For me it has a LOT to do with the memories, but I even look back at some of the things I didn't love about a place and miss THOSE, too. It really does feel like you're leaving a very close friend, and never going to see them again. Awful.

We've moved 7-8 times in 11 years (our last apartment we were in for 7 years) and even though I mourn for the place I'm leaving, I get very excited to choose a new place because I can always feel it as soon as we enter for the initial checking it out. I love that feeling, and I know it means that I've got another place I'm going to love and feel the same way about leaving IT some day.

We still live in the same town as our 7 year long apartment but a few months ago I went for a walk in our old neighborhood and I literally bawled my eyeballs out (right there on the sidewalk)(okay, not LITERALLY) as I passed the little park where the kids both learned to ride their tiny 2 wheeler with training wheels and where we made up games and they chased each other around on their scooters for hours on end. And my favorite trees in the world that I waited for to blossom every spring, and the meat store we bought ham and rolls in nearly every day etc., etc. My kids have grown and my little second generation here won't have those same experiences. It makes me so weepy. But they'll have THEIR experiences and they'll be equally awesome.

Once you start building new memories in a new space it's easier, and will be fore Miles, too. But man that's hard. I seriously could cry for almost every apartment we've lived in (then again, I'm pregnant so that's not as significant as it would otherwise be.)

Good luck leaving your place (you'll sell, don't worry!)

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