Slice of Life Story -The Moving Man Cometh

I have read that birth, marriage, divorce and commencing school are among our most stressful life events. Some people might add paper cuts and finding the fridge empty worthy of mention. I am not among them. Moving house is worthy of inclusion though. It ranks right up there. We are currently in the process of packing up our house in preparation for moving to a new house in November. We are moving a relatively short distance, but the distance matters little. It's all that moving implies that matters.  As the moving day approaches our life in this house is gradually being packed into boxes and cartons. The signs of our life here are being erased. 

We have started the packing routine early because we will actually be overseas for a month between now and our proposed move, so we needed to get the process underway. The trip was planned well before we had any thought of selling our house. We had no inkling of what the year held in store. The decision to sell arose over a coffee one Saturday morning earlier this year. It's just another layer to our lives, we keep saying and we try not to display furrowed brows. 

Seventeen years of memories are wrapped up in this house. Admittedly, we went missing for six years while working in New York, but we did maintain our link during that time. This house has also come with its challenges, and while the parting will be amicable, it is fair to say, we have no regret about our decision to sell and move to our next adventure.  Our emotional attachment to the house is beginning to dwindle. The future is pulling us forward with each day. 

The process of culling causes me great stress. Letting things go, rips my heart. Treasures, artifacts, and keepsakes seem to be everywhere, as I proceed to pack. Memories connect to things and cling like limpets. Ideas exist in things and this serves to complicate the culling process. My writing eye is acutely aware that everything I see is part of me.

Vicki, my wife comes to culling from a entirely different perspective. 'If in doubt, throw it out, has become her mantra. Her approach is akin to 'Use it, or lose it' She informs me that my reluctance to 'turf' things classifies me as a difficult house moving partner. Her utilitarian heart and her minimalist eye observe my every move. I am trying to be more resolute in my decision making and have given up  a significant (in my humble opinion) number of items to hard rubbish collections, charities, schools etc. It is not my wish to be a stressor.

As I go through my study, books pop up and the packing slows considerably as yet another memory floats up and washes over me. I find slips of paper secreted in the pages of books and ponder their origin. I pick another and recall a time and place. Yet another book, arouses memories of my parents and life in a simpler time.  Six boxes to go is my latest estimate for the study. Trouble is, I'm still working, so I need access to books and files. Oh, the dilemmas one has to deal with when a move is imminent!

We'll get there of course. Everyone does in the end. It's not just the packing that presents challenges. It's the flow on. Just as a rock tossed into a pond, causes ripples to spread across the surface of the water, the decision to move house has a multiplier effect that also spreads out, it seems. Tape, scissors, marker -it's time to tackle another carton.
The moving man cometh...


  1. I love the term "flow on." I recognize it well. Blessings on your venture... this new house that will be a fresh page.

  2. I love how this piece moves from "rips my heart out" to "The moving man cometh..." I'm afraid what will happen when/if my husband and I move out of house of 25 years. I have my own treasures, but my husband is a pack rat. I will have use the "use it or lose it' mantra often, I'm afraid.

    Here's to new adventures

  3. I feel your pain when parting with "treasures" and having a spouse who wants to toss everything. Moving is such an onerous chore, I hope to avoid it for many more years. The wall of boxes makes me say, "oh my!" Good luck Alan!

  4. Sounds exciting to me. Your new chapters await you.

  5. Ouch, tossing is not easy for me either. I do find when it's done a great clean feeling comes over me.

  6. Alan,
    Goodluck with your move. I know it's not easy. I can identify with your thinking here. I felt the same when we moved to the house we're living in now and when I had to pack up my classroom to leave as the building was being torn down when I had the same room for 12 years...finding I think the treasure is in the memory as much as it is the object. That makes it doubley hard to let go of...some people never recover from moving-it breaks their hearts...

  7. Moving to a new house is never easy Alan. Life never has been, so why should it start now, eh? I guess the stress of moving isn’t so much about the packing, as it is much about moving on. I have to admit, seventeen years is a long time. And the things that didn’t mean a lot to you then, are just starting to show its sentimental value, which makes moving a lot harder. If I may Alan, I would like to leave you with something: Home is never about where you are. It’s just a physical manifestation of the word. Home is wherever you are with the ones you love; wherever you feel happiest.

    Avis Vanscyoc


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