Struggles . . .

Dear Readers,

If you recall, the last post about the Miracle Bayou Tree house was almost a month ago. It was about the special delivery of Mother’s player piano to our new home.  And then nothing from me about the new house.

The reason for not posting is that I’ve been struggling with the move. We are now living in the new house.  It is wonderful–clean, bright, airy, comfortable, rat-free.  But why have I not been able to post about the move?

Since I’m not a psychoanalyst, I can’t exactly tell you why that is.  I could hide behind the stress and worry of the April Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting pollution of the Gulf of Mexico and the knee-jerk cancellations causing loss of business and income for Camp Dularge during (what should have been) the peak season for fishing camp rentals.  However, I feel more like it has something to do with letting go of the old.

Since I left home for college, back in the days when Bad Company was the newest band, The Captain and Tennille got married while Cher and Sonny got divorced, I have never lived in my parent’s home again.  I think I can count eleven moves since I graduated college; and none of them bothered me as much as this move–the twelth.

The reason?  Well, it’s not the distance–only to the backyard.  It’s the time–14 years we lived in that house–twice as long as anywhere else. It’s the smallest, darkest, dankest, smelliest, rattiest place I’ve ever lived, but it’s the one place I’ve lived the longest since I graduated college.

When we first moved in, there was only one bedroom, so the three older kids stayed in there, while The Captain, Miah, and Termite and I slept in the living room.  Yep, we had our dresser and chest of drawers in there, too.  After two years of that, we were able to expand, adding a bath and three bedrooms by way of attaching another mobile home.  All told, we ended up with more square footage than we’d ever had.

Along with 1500 square feet and 14 years comes a lot of, well, for lack of a better word–JUNK.  And it’s junk that can’t come with us to the new house.  We moved the essentials into the new house and started settling in.  With less square footage here, I have to pick and choose what comes with us.  All the rooms are smaller.  I even have less kitchen counter, cabinets, drawer, and pantry in the new house.

Downsizing is hard.  Don’t let anybody tell you differently.  I hadn’t realized what a junker I had become.  Go easy on me here.  all you Don Aslett fans and clutter haters.  This has been, and still is, a very emotional time for me.

For the past three weeks, every time I go into the stinky, hot, cluttered old house, determined to tackle a task, I get overwhelmed.  I can pack one box, bring it to the new house; but when I go back, I look around and see all the things that were part of our lives for so many years and I can’t make myself deal with the stuff.  I end up crying.  It’s happened three times so far.

So today, with a positive mindset, I decided to publicly admit my idiosyncrasy and let you see that my head is all screwed up (meaning:  I should be thrilled about the new house and not crying over the old.) and apologize for making the move into our new house anti-climactic.  In so doing, I hope to release myself from the chains that bind me and be able to move forward and deal with the junk, let go of the old and allow the house to be demolished.  Secondly, I determined to take small steps and get three items out of the house and not force myself to go back if I didn’t feel I could.  That is what I did, and that is what I’ll share with you next.

Looking forward,

BW

To be continued with a picture post . . .

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Comments

Struggles . . . — 19 Comments

  1. My goodness I am the first to comment.
    I so understand the feeling and would have a very hard time moving. The house that I grew up in burned completely and I cried for three days and hadn’t step foot in it in 25 years. This was after Katrina and everyone kept says get over it look how bad people have it on the coast and YES I knew that but it still hurt.

    Judy

    • Congratulations on being the first!!! I’m glad you’re excited about that!!!

      But oh, I think a fire would just devastate me, after seeing how I am with having to get rid of meaningless junk. Thanks for sharing. BW

  2. Moving home is never easy – ten miles or ten feet.
    Any place that feels like home for any length of time is deep in yer comfort zone – things are where ye left them, yer favourite seat is there, yer bedroom is a sanctuary…

    It takes a while to acclimate to the new home – ’till it becomes HOME…but it does happen.

    Our home has been under construction since before we moved in and got ripped off by the contractor (who didn’t finish most of the work, and what they did do was mostly wring). The last two weeks we finally managed getting the roof fixed and after 4 years, siding is going on the naked back portion as we speak. It helps…

    New Orleans is our second home – though we don’t own property there, we are there for about a month every year with NOLA Pyrate Week (and keep trying to extend it) and stay in a mates properties…but being away from NOLA and Louisiana lately has been a palpable pain in me soul…missing the culture, mates, the “feel”…and feeling too far away to help in some cases (we do what we can though).

    HOME is probably one of the most important factors in any living creatures life…it affects our sense of being, our comfort zone and is the place family can always find us.

    At least yer in the same approximate spot…the outside will still feel like home

  3. I truly believe the M.B.T.H. will become a home and not just a new house once y’all make a few NEW memories. I know how you feel about all the “stuff” though. I don’t have just a junk drawer. I have a whole ROOM dedicated to stuff Hubby and I can’t seem to get rid off. My children will just have to deal with it all after we’re gone. Ask your adult kids to come over soon and help you go through some of the “memories” you can’t take with you. They may want them at their place. That takes care of the stuff. The rest of the memories are stored in your heart!
    Be happy, and make some new memories!

    • Thanks, Steffi! You are so right. I just sent out a mass FB message to the adult kids asking them when they could all be down here at one time. I have something really special in mind . . . thanks again. BW

      • You’re quite welcome. Hey, if it’s tomorrow and involves a Red Velvet cake I’ll be happy come referee. You know they will just HAVE to fight over a “memory” they want to take home. Heck, I’ll even let y’all sing Happy Birthday to me. (Triple Chocolate or Italian Cream cake would make a great substitute if Dotter’s not up to making another R.V. this soon) LOL

  4. I think the idea of having the kids come and help you is a great idea. My Grandma (who raised me) was always sending something home with me anytime I came by the house and now my house is filled with her treasures and she got the bonus of seeing them in my home while she was still living. You’d be surprised what they will ask to take home, I have some of the oddest things that seemed like junk to her but are such a comfort of home to me.

    • They really can’t deal with my stuff and have taken what they want already. Besides, the boys are always gone on tugboats, and not much help anyway. They just say “throw it away, Mom!” Dotter is a big help, though!

  5. I understand totally what it feels like to downsize! Three years ago I got rid of nearly everything I owned. of course, some of it got sent to you. 🙂 I agonized over “my stuff” for years afterwards. I can’t say it gets easier after you get rid of it. But, it does get better. Now that I am “upsizing” I am doing it with the thought that I don’t want to go back to all the junk I had before. More thought goes into my purchases. My rule is/was if I buy something new, I have to get rid of something old. Also, think if it is something you will use fairly often. Get rid of stuff you won’t use weekly or monthly.

    • And I apologize if I was less than sympathetic or supportive of your time of “separation anxiety” with your belongings. I remember the animals being very difficult . . . at least I don’t have to do that yet.

      • I failed to mention having to find homes for all my animals! But now, I find they have been the easiest to “get over”. Thankfully, they all went to excellent homes. I see them every time I got back and see they are all very happy. I don’t remember you being unsupportive or unsympathetic…….so no apologies necessary. You just have to keep asking yourself what is important to you. What can you do without?

  6. I’ve lived in the same house since 1964. In three different locations.

    Yes, it began life as a mobile that unfolded lengthwise on both sides to give me over 1000 square feet of space. Three bedrooms, dining room, den, plus the usual kitchen and living room and a bath and a half.

    At some point after we got back to Louisiana and settled on our own little acre, it needed roof repairs. Hubby concluded that he was close enough to retirement to know we’d never need to move it again, so he rebuilt the roof like a regular one and it is no longer mobile.

    I would hate to have to move from it, it’s been home for so long.

  7. We started out in our home as renters then rent to own. That began in 1974! The place is falling down around our ears but, it is home and paid for!! It is an old Sears home and after the kids moved away, I turned one bedroom into a huge storage/pantry area and another into a guest room that quickly became a nursery/play room/grandkids room. It is the nicest room in the entire house too because we remodeled it. But now that even the grandkids are seldom around, it houses my huge doll collection, sewing items, Christmas decorations and anything else I don’t have room for. Like you, I can’t bear to toss anything out. But I really do need to….some day.

  8. For twenty years I moved so much I never accumulated anything. Then, for the last twenty, I’ve done a good job of piling up stuff around me.

    But little by little, a lot of it is going. Just sent my old dolls packing a week ago. (But NOT my Raggedy Ann!)
    I’ve been surprised how much lighter I feel after the fact. The getting rid of is like pulling out fingernails. The being without isn’t bad at all.

    And I was given a great tip by a friend. Keep some, not all. I don’t need every valentine from my grade school years. I picked out a dozen to keep. Same with report cards – I kept two, with funny teachers’ comments.
    And so on.

    It’s funny what’s important to us and what isn’t. Mom’s been moving about 25 large tubs of yarn around with her for 20 years. She’s not about to give up one lick of it, either. I can be dumb, but I’m not so dumb to try and get that away from her.

    I think in the end, we know what’s really important and worth keeping. The rest will sort itself out.

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