It only took four hours for three strong men and a big truck to take all of our stuff from the little 1927 with the arched doorways to the 1949 with the big deck. The four weeks of purgatory with boxes everywhere were worth it on the back end, and the house is coming together. Last night in a fit of organization I hung almost all the pictures, and received the beautiful custom slipcovers made for my couch, for less than half the price of a new sofa. If you are in the DFW area and have an over-loved piece of furniture that you'd like to revive, Julia Laing is a talented woman who does gorgeous work. This is a link to her website: http://www.julialaingdesign.com/www.JuliaLaingDesign.com/Welcome.html
The kids and I absolutely love the new house and we are only two minutes from their dad, which simplifies the childrens' life between two homes. I am back in the neighborhood I felt the need to flee four years ago. On the day of our move I went back to the odd little strip mall near the house. It has an Ace Hardware with friendly old guys who always help me find what I need and never laugh at my stupid questions. I shopped at the cramped grocery store that's changed hands but still smells like it did twelve years ago when I moved here, immediately ran into a former neighbor, and was actually happy to see him.
The day after the big move, my son and I went to find the cat and get the last little bit of stuff. The sweet little house that took good care of me for four years looked empty and lonely, with all its dents and missing pieces exposed. When the house found me as I walked the kids to school, I felt like I was broken forever, but I knew that house was where I needed to be. The people in the neighborhood took me under their collective wing and made sure I had company--and often good food and wine--while I put myself back together. A friend who lived in the guest house helped me understand my life wasn't over by a long shot, that single life was pretty good, and there was still plenty of fun to be had. (We worked on the last thing quite successfully.)
As I locked the door for the last time, I welled up a little and said goodbye to the woman I was the first time I walked in. It wasn't long ago, really, but it feels as if a century has passed. And as hard as it was to be her, there are no wasted steps. I wouldn't be here if I hadn't been there. And this is a really good place.