Some time on our last trip, Larry and I both got the bug, the itch. It was a feeling that, regardless of where we were on the road, we were home. When we returned to Brookfield, the house that formerly felt small, now seemed way too big with too many square feet of flooring to clean and yard to mow. And, just in case we needed any more encouragement, I got breast cancer again and we were made aware of how short life is and what were we waiting for??? So, we put our house on the market and continued in earnest the house emptying that we had started two years earlier when Brooke and Dan moved in. We loved our house but it was time to move on to living full time in Shiny.
We lived in this 1950’s cape for 34 years. We raised Brooke and Sam here. Why, we lived there for so long, we wore the finish off of our maple table! Preparing to leave was bittersweet to say the least. After some consideration, we decided to not rent a storage unit and to keep only a few items. In the end, we got rid of everything except for two plastic tubs of things for Larry and a dresser and antique steamer filled with my things. We would store these with family members. This wasn’t an easy process and we were glad that we didn’t have to rush it. Larry listened to about 5 audio books as he patiently scanned in all of our family photos and his father’s vast collection of genealogy material.
Aside from some framed prints and artwork, below you will see what I have kept. It’s an interesting display, don’t you think? There are hand made ornaments, hand made wooden bowl, momentoes from Brooke’s wedding, a bunny given to me by my best friend that I held during a hard time, love letters, a Campbell soup doll of my Mom’s, childhood books, my own cook book, school year books, a bill box, egg shaped rocks, hand made quilt. What would you keep?
We tried really hard to find good homes for all of our items when possible. Connor was bequeathed his Uncle Sam’s beloved Duckie, Lots-a-Legs and Boy-Baby. Brooke gave her American Girl Dolls to a co-worker’s daughter. Brooke’s doll house, made by her Grampy, Fred Warren, was put on Facebook Marketplace for free. It was gone within hours to a 4 year old girl who had just been adopted.
It was amazing how much stuff we had in our house! We kept emptying and emptying it. I was frankly appalled by the amount of ‘stuff’ we had accumulated.
During this whole process, I had surgery and radiation treatments. Suffice it to say, that it was no fun and that I am so blessed to have such amazing friends, family and medical team to help me through. I was reminded how much it is the little things that help when you are suffering. A simple text message, “How’s it going?” made a world of difference to me. Then there is my rock star husband, Larry. What can I say? He took care of all of the details of the move, reminded me to take my pain meds and told me I was beautiful. Who could ask for anything more?
The moving out process created a nice distraction to the treatments and the treatments helped slow down the exit process. We have to admit that about three weeks before our departure, we both had serious, wake up in the middle of the night doubts about what we were doing. But, we just kept going back to our original intention – that feeling inside – the call of the road – and then we settled down…until we got wound up again!
Finally, the day arrived, we were all moved out. We had met our prospective buyers and are so happy that a nice young family with two young children will be moving in. We were done. The chapter was over. Brooke, Dan and Connor helped move out the last items (alas, Sam had the flu and couldn’t join us)
I was 28 and Larry was 30 when we moved into this house. It’s been a good life so far and we sure are looking forward to many happy days and great adventures ahead.