Moving Stinks. But You Learn Stuff

11953217_10153660281852340_3528284533380871409_n One week ago today, my husband updated his FB cover photo with this shot from the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. People who were familiar with the movie asked if we had "top men" working on it.

Top. Men.

It's been a whirlwind, but we're in our new home, after 12 years in what I've come to call our starter home. It was a great place for many reasons and lots of seasons, including three baby seasons. But 12 years is too long to be in a starter home.

There's way more to be done, but every box not remaining in storage or containing stereo equipment has been unpacked. I've made daily trips to the recycling place, and now any cardboard that remains will fit in our regular bin. I'm kinda surprised it came together as fast as it did, but I worked my tail off all summer to organize and purge things, and well, I'm a little compulsive.

We're home.

It's been a while since we did this, so I've learned and relearned stuff about moving.

Strength is not always visible. The guys who moved us didn't look like bodybuilders. But I can't believe the size and weight of the boxes these guys were carrying, seemingly with minimal effort. We have a side-by-side chest of drawers that they brought down a flight of stairs and up another---with the clothes in it. This is a good reminder to those of us who run, bike, swim, or lift, but who don't necessarily look like it. Strength, flexibility, endurance---these can be present even without a perfect-looking body.

It's important to say goodbye. My spiritual director asked me several weeks ago how we would mark the transition away from the old house. Unfortunately the kids and I ended up doing this after Robert had left to meet the movers at the new place, so he wasn't a part of it. But we went room by room and named some of our favorite memories, then said "Goodbye family room!" "Goodbye kitchen!"

Moving has its milestones. An inevitable one for me is crying in my new Target because I can't find where they keep the shelf paper. Ahem. But there are others: The first morning you wake up and aren't confused about where you are. First meal. First time writing down the new address on a form. And yes, the first discovery that your perfect new home has its quirks (the garbage disposal that makes a grinding noise, the closet door that comes off its track). Be gentle with yourself.

Bikes are bulky and awkward. And we have no garage anymore. That's it.

Look for it first. I did most of the unpacking, which means I alone know where everything is. I've told the other inhabitants of my house to look in at least three logical places before they ask where something is. I hope this will save my sanity and also give them an idea of where other stuff is as well.

The Internet makes it so much easier. "It" being everything. Oh my goodness, I can't even tell you. Such a difference from previous moves. I remember driving around Atlanta with Robert back in 2000, before we knew anyone, whining to one another, "We just want something easy like The Black Eyed Pea! Surely there's gotta be tons of stuff like that here. But where?" This time around, I found and visited my local rec center to go swimming days earlier than I would have if I'd had to look it up in a phone book.

But friends who'll be your guide are invaluable. My friend Juli lives down the street from us. She spent part of an afternoon last weekend introducing our kids to the neighborhood kids, and has made a point of inviting us to stuff. The Internet can be a big virtual neighborhood, but there's no substitute for actual neighbors.

It's the small stuff. I know we'll enjoy the big deck overlooking a tiny bit of the lake here in Leafy Suburb. And the running trail out the back door is calling my name... or it will be in 61 days when I can run again. But I'm rejoicing at the little things that make life more pleasant and agreeable. Today it's the drawer under the oven that's perfect for the aluminum foil and sandwich bags so they're not in a huge jumble under the sink.

Hope you are rejoicing in the small things today too.