leaving, losing, starting over

Two weeks from today the movers come to pack up everything, two days later the moving van will be full of all our stuff and pulling away, and that day, Friday, we drive away from here for the last time, going to the new house. Just two weeks left here, and I’m getting a little sad. As nice as the new place is, and as much as I’m looking forward to living in Oregon, I’m starting to feel the loss.

I’ve lived in this place for over 22 years, it was the first home I bought, after renting all those years. Being single, it was pretty hard to save up enough to make a decent down payment, but finally I had enough, and bought this place new. This was an empty shell, no window coverings, no furniture, the yard was raw dirt, no bookshelves. Year by year I added everything that’s here, planted and tended the garden, and have been content. Over time I made it into the nest I wanted it to be, and when I got married my wife’s stuff came in too. It’s nice, comfortable, but it’s too darn small.

I’ve lived in southern California all my life, pretty much within 50 miles of where I’m sitting now, typing this post. I worked here, I have many friends here, all the places I know are here, from parks to beaches to the nearby pet shop where I buy cat food. I have a memory or story about most everyplace, and I know the county like the back of my hand.

Come November 14, I’ll have to use Google or GPS to find a gas station, a grocery store, the post office, everything. So much is changing: new neighborhood, new medical plan, new doctors, new driver’s license (I’ll have to take a driving test, which I haven’t done in ages), new utility companies, new television stations. Except for what we’re taking with us, everything will be new to us, everything will be different.

It’s a little scary, but mostly I’m feeling sad just now. Starting tomorrow there’s a lot to do, we have to start getting this place lined up for selling. But today maybe I’ll just take some time to look at this place, the rooms, garden, the way the light moves across the high ceilings, the sounds. It’s been a good place to live. It’s been home, for a long time. I’m going to miss it.

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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16 Responses to leaving, losing, starting over

  1. Bill Crider says:

    I know the feeling, but you’re starting a new adventure. It’ll be great, like a whole new life. Oh, the places you’ll go.

  2. Richard says:

    You’re right, but you just made me cry.

  3. I hope the move goes well and you settle in quickly. I really can’t imagine picking up and moving far away. Even though we started over in a new house a couple of years ago, it’s in the same place the old one was. I still walk the same roads with the dogs, still have the same mailbox, and the house I grew up in is still three miles away (although strangers live there now since both my parents are gone, which still bothers me).

  4. Todd Mason says:

    Rick, as someone who’s never lived anywhere longer than eight years and rarely nearly that long (and that in an apartment little better and certainly more expensive than the current one, though happily if a bit crowdedly shared with Alice for most of that time), I can only speculate on how rooted you feel in SoCal…but, as you know, Portland is a wonderful area, and if there’s one thing I Know from all that flitting about, is that the new places become second nature PDQ.

  5. Richard says:

    James, what I’m going through today is nothing compared to what you experienced, having your house and everything in it turn to cinders. You’re right, the difference is I’m going far, far away, or so it feels. I just ran out to the Post Office, mailed a book. I know where it is, how to get there by the “back way”. The clerk knows me, I always get a smile. I know this place, I know it’s weather, it’s moods. Sure, I’ll adapt, and it is our choice to move. Just melancholy today, I guess.

  6. Richard says:

    Todd, thanks for the comment, and I’m sure you’re right. I just woke up in the dark, about 4:15, and thought “I’m leaving, I’m leaving everything I know.” It just struck me, and I felt a pang of sadness that went pretty deep. Tomorrow I’ll get busy and get over this, today I’m saying good-bye.

  7. Patti Abbott says:

    I think you chose to move for the right reasons and you will quickly settle in to your new life. You wouldn’t be human though not to miss what you leave behind. But you will be amazed at how quickly the old house fades because the person in it is coming with you.

  8. L says:

    moving is hard. sounds like you have made such a wonderful home where you are. I hope the move goes smoothly and your new neighborhood welcomes you warmly.

    the bonus is: once you find the gas station, they pump your gas for you; this is especially nice with the upcoming weather/season.

    ~L

  9. After the death of a loved one, moving is the next most stressful event in one’s life. Your melancholy feelings are perfectly natural. You’re grieving for your old life. But, as Patti says, once you get to your new home and settle in, feelings of joy and contentment will make all the disruption worthwhile.

  10. I sympathize with you. A few years back I moved from a residence of about the same twenty-two years. The difference is I only moved across town. Same friends, family, knew all the quick routes around. It will come to you soon enough, new friends and all.

  11. Evan Lewis says:

    The Israelites no doubt felt the same while packing their bags for the hike to the Promised Land.

  12. Richard says:

    Thanks, everyone, I appreciate the support and good thoughts. I didn’t expect this to hurt this way nor that it would be more than a fleeting “well, goodbye ol’ place” as we drove off. I’ve just gotten more and more sad as the day has gone on, it seems. I’m going to walk to the park. The sun is out and there’s a breeze. Maybe it’ll blow these blues away.

  13. I’ve moved more times than I care to think about. Some have been easier than others, like moving from towns I didn’t care for, or moving after a painful period in my life, while others have been so hard I didn’t know how I managed to do it. It’s always scary though, but there will be many, many new things that you’ll experience in Portland that will make you think “this is terrific. I’m so glad I moved here.”

  14. Richard says:

    Thanks, Laurie, I’m sure you’re right. Today it just struck me how much I’m leaving behind. Hopefully that will pas by tomorrow or the next day and I can get back to focusing on where we’re going, which will be wonderful. It will be the nicest house either of us has ever lived in.

  15. Jeff Meyerson says:

    As someone who hates moving and who tends to obsess about trips – let alone moving a thousand miles away – I can feel your pain. But again, the new house is beautiful and I’m sure you’ll love Oregon once you settle in.

    The last three places I’ve lived before this I spent 12, 6 and 10 years. We’ve been in here nearly (can it be?) 24 years (!!!) and it’s home to us. But I’m sure someday we’ll be heading some place warmer.

  16. Richard says:

    Nice to have you back, Jeff, and glad to hear the trip went well. Happy 40th. For now, I’m over this ache, but I expect to have another bout of it shortly before leaving, though the house looks less and less like the one I’ve lived in so long as things get packed and stuff is scattered throughout.

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