It’s Tuesday, October 10, and loading day. A 26-foot U-Haul Truck is ready in our driveway, and the entire house is boxed up and ready to go. It’s raining. Moving labor arrived around 10 a.m. They took a walk through the house and immediately opined, “It won’t all fit.” They suggested another 16 foot moving Pod. I immediately got a quote: another nearly $3,000. Hubby and I decided, nope. We would rather purge more of our belongings than pay $3,000 to move old “stuff” we can live without.
We got up early this morning to do a couple very last minute things: box up our 65 inch flat screen TV and wash our bedding before the washer/dryer got loaded up. We like our TV and enjoy watching it every night. I’m not sure how we will live in this house for the few nights left until we actually drive away, without a TV. Wonder what that says about us. I was happy that I had time to wash and dry our sheets. It is somehow comforting to know we will have clean bedding so we can sleep in our own bed again as soon as possible, even if that is over 2,500 miles away.
So what is this all about and why is it worth blogging about? Nearly 9 months ago, on January 20, my husband came home from work at 3 in the afternoon. He never came home early. It was Friday. It was raining. It was inauguration day. I was doing yoga in our living room. Turns out his job of over 30 years ended that day. A new president at the company wanted his own people. Hubby was the last man standing and January 20 was the day he was told to sit down.
To say we were shell-shocked would be an understatement. On January 20, Hubby was 57 and I was 58. We had often talked of early retirement, but security mattered a lot to Hubby. I’m not sure he would have ever felt that we had put by “enough.” We sat together near our fireplace that evening and considered what might come next. Hubby said, “We don’t have to stay here, we could go anywhere.” We checked Google – what places in the USA have low costs of living? Then we looked at each other and together said, “Memphis; we can be grandparents!”
In 9 months, we could have birthed a baby (well, in our younger years anyway, when we actually did birth 5). Instead, we have completely transformed our lives. At least we are well along the way. There is more to tell from the past 9 months, and there is definitely more to come, but this is a start. From thinking we would retire and live in the Oregon house where we’ve lived the past 30 years, the house where we raised our 5 children, our dream house, to moving 2,500 miles away to inner city Memphis, Tennessee, into a 100+ year old historical home where we intend to make a business hosting AirBnB guests. And, to where we intend to be grandparents to our 1 and 2 year old granddaughters, and a blessing (NOT a curse, we solemnly swear) to our eldest daughter and son-in-law.
The U-Haul is loaded. Movers were, of course, correct. It didn’t all fit.
The saddest thing thing that didn’t fit is our couch – it is 20 years old, was ridiculously expensive at the time, and then I spent more time with my interior designer (paying her the whole time) to try to find a less expensive alternative, all to pay for the couch that Hubby loved. It served us well for 20 years, and we had hoped to deliver it to our eldest daughter in Memphis to serve out a few more years.
The cushions are in the U-Haul, but the couch just wouldn’t fit. Sorry, Honey.
If you are interested in following along with a couple of nearly 60 year olds as they remake their lives, stay tuned.