Sunday, February 14, 2010


Well, it looks like this move thing is actually going to happen. It feels like about three months have passed in the past two weeks.

Our house went under contract a week after we put it on the market. We quickly went out looking for a replacement house and just as quickly struck out. Of the 20+ houses we saw, only a couple looked somewhat appealing, and most of those had significant issues (location, walkability, etc.) that knocked them off the list. There was one that looked great, but it was under contract before we could make an offer. Another looked pretty good, and it was also under contract within 48 hours. On Tuesday we settled on one we had seen previously that hit on many, but not all, of the things we were looking for, and decided to make an offer on it on Wednesday. Our offer was countered on Thursday, after which I had a mini-nervous breakdown and put the brakes on the whole thing. We decided to take another day and another look, and we ended up accepting the counter offer.

It's a lovely house: A bungalow with a nicely finished basement, an updated kitchen, a third bathroom, a dedicated office, etc. It's bigger than our current house, but still modest. It's on a great block, and the neighbors we've met so far seem warm and welcoming. It's walking distance to the kids' school, which is both good and diverse, a depressingly rare combination in these parts (maybe everywhere?). Also in walking distance are fun coffee shops, restaurants, Pilates and yoga studios, a gymnastics place, and a cute little park. We'll be about a mile from our city's largest park, which hosts free jazz concerts every Sunday evening in the summer; a mile and a half from the zoo and the nature/science museum; and a couple miles to a major new-urbanism development, which means access to modern amenities like fancy swimming pools.

Logically I know this is a good find, and I know once we're moved in it will feel like home. I know in my heart that this is the right move for our family. Still, I'm majorly mourning our current home, our neighbors, our neighborhood. I can't even look at a picture of the new house without getting a knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat. I'm sitting in my "office"—the unfinished space behind the fridge—about which I've been complaining for years, looking at all the exposed pipes with an unreasonable fondness. In other words, now that we're leaving, I'm finally loving our funky old house, warts and all.

Greg and I moved into this house shortly after getting married. We (mostly Greg) have poured so much love and energy into improving it and restoring its 99-year-old beauty. We became parents in this house, and our memories of bringing our children home, into our family, will always be rooted here. We said goodbye to our first joint love, Daisy, in front of the fireplace whose installation almost ended our marriage. We planted fruit trees, and we tended them for years, but we'll leave before they bear fruit. I know we'll plant new trees—and new memories—in our new home. It will be an exciting new chapter in our lives, but I can't help but feel an immense sadness about closing this one.

Just to put this melodrama in perspective: We're moving exactly 9.27 miles away. 
Does everyone feel this way about their home? Is this normal, or do I need to be medicated?


Mark and Sarah said...

Congratulations on these major life decisions! I think that if I were making a move, I would feel the exact same way. We also bought our home shortly after we married, and lovingly renovated it, became parents in it and have so many memories in and around our home. You will make your new house your time. It will likely become more significant than your current home because it will be where your kids grow up, but it's totally normal to mourn the loss now.

Stormy said...

I'm quite jealous of the way you describe your new home!

I think it's quite normal to already miss the old home. You're not moving because you don't like it, you loved and cherished it. You are moving because you've outgrown it and that's always sad.

Bridget said...

I absolutely felt this way when we left our last adorable 1910 bungalow that we remodeled head to toe. It was completely US. Walking distance to all things lovely (coffee shops, library, my school, etc.). Oh and it was also 745 square feet and in spitting distance from a MAJOR train. Not joking. I love our new house. Quiet. Comfortable. Bigger. (ha, not hard to be bigger...) And yet, I still miss the insanity of that house. I think that whole "first house," "house you have kids in" house just doesn't go away.... Sad, but true. The next one will be great, too. I have no doubts.... Congrats!

cathy said...

hey honey. you're completely normal. but you obviously need more space. we did too. i was so sad to leave our old house--the yard, the park, the neighbors, the school across the street, the tree with a swing, etc., etc. but once we moved and got settled and spread out a little more--plus fell in love with our new neighborhood--we never looked back. you're in the in-between right now, and that's no fun. i have a feeling once you get settled you'll be thrilled. and i can't wait to visit. what an incredible location you're going to be in.