We’re thinking of moving once again. It’s as if we’re rolling stones and the moss is beginning to accumulate and we need to shake it loose. This time, we’ve purchased a condo; and, even though it’s slated to be ready for occupancy almost a year from now, I find myself spending imaginary shopping sprees in search of furniture, paint, and window coverings. I’d say it’s the gypsy in me, but the truth is this is what I know. I’ve moved over thirty times in over sixty years. It’s second nature; when it’s time to paint it’s time to move.
If we make this move, we’ll downsize from a lovely four bedroom house on an acre of land to an equally lovely two bedroom condo with an additional office space for Earl and an additional piano room for me. We’re giving up many things; at the same time, we’re gaining just as many.
What are we giving up? First and foremost, we’re losing our view of the St. Joseph River, which runs just outside our back door. It’s absolutely one-of-a-kind beautiful. But we’re also giving up the flood insurance that comes with the view. And the lawn care and the back-of-the-mind concern that at any time the river might take revenge for some unintentional behavior and pour into our basement unabated.
We’re giving up the landscaping that we’ve tenderly nursed for almost seven years. And the interior improvements we’ve made. And the space. And the three and a half car garage with an additional tool room. Which means we’re giving up the ability to store and stock anything we want without worrying about space constraints.
What are we gaining? Well, what about the ability to go away and not have to worry if Ole’ Man River will be in our yard or our crawl space when we return. What about the cottage industry this house has become? We employ a gardener, an arborist, a sprinker man, and a cleaning service to keep us running in tip-top shape. If we’re gone on the third Tuesday of every month, we have to make alternative plans to let the cleaning crew in.
Some of our friends say, “How can you leave this place?” I don’t have the answer yet, because I truly love it here in spite of all the time it takes to run River House. At the same time, I look forward to closing the door and taking a trip and not having to make so many preparations before leaving. So maybe the purchase of this new condo means we’re entering a new phase of our lives. It remains to be seen, but I plan to be ready.