Saturday, May 17, 2014

Closing that book and opening another

            Last July, I sat with one of my guys, those men we arranged as my go-to resources, people I could (can) take my needs. This guy is an auctioneer/realtor who said, “Whatever you leave, I’ll sell.” For the last year, my major task was to move out of my house in Kokomo.

            Mike and I had talked about downsizing before he became ill. Then, we were just too busy with living to fret about such things. But I knew that I would need to leave the house that had been our home for almost 30 years. With that, I knew that I would move away from Kokomo, which had been my home for 40 years.
            So, I would work my way through that house, setting aside what I wanted and sorting out the rest. I think I did this 8 or 9 times.
            I began with the easy things: Mike’s clothes and the black hole treasures, like nail clippers and tweezers and scissors. As I sorted through drawers and cabinets, I brought baskets and oblong containers with me, filling them with all those random items spread out in our large house.
            Then, several large high school boys helped me empty the attic which had become a dumping ground for things that we would someday deal with. They brought them down to an upstairs bedroom where I could survey and decide.
            The upstairs bedroom closets came next. We had stored office records in boxes and I knew that these must follow me wherever I ended up. The IRS had 7 years to decide if it wants to audit the law practice. My financial guy (what an angel!) kept preaching “Don’t throw out anything” from boxes to ledgers, or anything with numbers, for that matter. So, I’ve done what I’ve been told along those lines.
            Although I had already boxed and sent the childhood treasures of our children, I found a few more things that I had saved: I boxed those up and transported them during one of my San Antonio trips.
            Neighbor Mike, Retired, kinda, cop Tom, and Brother-in-law Jim had the job of the tools and treasures. The rest was up to me.
            As God had made it clear that I would move to Winona Lake, where I am surrounded by all of Mike’s hand-made furniture, I no longer need or want all those things from Kokomo. I found myself letting go of it so easily. And as for my professional wardrobe, well, it’s not needed at the present time.
            I had to laugh at how it took 6 or 7 passes through my clothes to end up with what I actually need. (I loved some shoes too much.) Each time, I cut out several things until my closet was empty.
            Finally, I set some goals and dates for those goals as I have been pretty loose with deadlines. I unplugged all the cable and WIFI and set a date for moving out of my bedroom with everything empty. Check.
            Then, I set a date for the tools, etc. to be done.  Check.
            Finally, I set a date to lock the door and walk away. No problem, right? This process had shown me that I’m none too sentimental when it comes to stuff. There were very few items where I was not crystal clear on whether to take or leave.
            So, on that final day, I wanted one more sweep through my now-empty house, just to make sure. What I left would be gone after the auction.
 I started upstairs in the largest bedroom: it had been Allyson’s. It had been Zack’s. For one wonderful year, it had housed my first grandson. I stood in the doorway and said goodbye to that room.
            And then through tears, I walked through the whole house, stopping at each room to say good bye. Bedtimes, bath times, birthdays, holidays, graduations….oh my.  These have been the arena of my life. Such rich memories.
            My final stop was our room: where Mike and I lived; where I sat with Mike as he died. Whew. Those last few days were difficult and sweet. I hope I never forget.

            I will miss Kokomo: I will be back for maintenance but it is no longer my home. And so, time to move on.


  1. Wow, I can't imagine that final walk through. Tears indeed...

  2. I've moved more than a dozen times since September of 1999. After three moves, they say, it's equivalent to having your house burn down. That means my house has burned down about four times. Since I've been in this place, I've been buying NICE kitchen stuff. I have it in a utility closet off the kitchen for easy access. (I'm not good at bending looking for pans, anymore) so I can just about see everything I've bought all at once. Guess what? I felt nervous inside. My inner self was saying, that's enough. So, the good news is, neither of us are hoarders. It's just stuff. Saying goodbye to the house itself is a little different. I'm glad you did that walk through. I'm glad you're still blogging, as well. Maybe someday this blog will be a book? Looking forward to seeing you in person in a couple of weeks. Love, Gwen

  3. Reading this through tears...not sad but rather thankful, for the many blessing we (our family) shared in your home, thankful for the example you are to me of "holding things loosely" thankful for the happy memories that we will always carry in our hearts...they can never be taken away! Thankful for the new path God has placed you on....XXOO
    See you tomorrow in Chicago!