Moving in Slow Motion

It’s astounding how much one human can accumulate in ten years. Ten years ago, I moved from the Cottage to the Bungalow. From six rooms to nine rooms. In starting the move to the Retreat, which will require combining two houses into one, I’m determined not to move anything that I haven’t touched, held, examined, and decided I need or want to keep. While K and I made this same agreement when we moved out of the Cottage, we were only about 60 percent successful. Not this time.

This is a much more gradual move, in part because it involves getting two houses rental-ready, and because the location of the Retreat affords limited access to large trucks like U-Hauls. When there’s snow (which there is), it’s really not possible. I don’t even know how a real moving truck could manage in good weather. We’ve been moving in pickup truck loads — boxes of books, but no bookcases yet. Containers of car parts, but no tools yet. Baking dishes, but no silverware. The previous owners left a significant amount of furniture, so the Retreat doesn’t feel like we couldn’t live in it — just like we don’t quite yet.

I haven’t lived with anyone but K (part-time) for a long time, so it’s been a new experience to have to share my vision for the Retreat with M. We’re very good at talking things through, and he’s wonderful about taking us back to a clean slate when we find ourselves diametrically opposed in our plans for each room. This whole long process of house-hunting, making offers and being disappointed, finding the right place, and overcoming the challenges that buying a house in the time of COVID has presented, has strengthened us as a couple. We’ve grown even stronger since we acquired the Retreat, working exceptionally well as a team, clearing trees, pushing cars through the snow, seeing what we missed in the excitement of the new house seek-and-find game, and figuring our what we need to do to fix things.

We’ve been married for over five years now, and have been together for nine and half years. When we say we’re finally moving in together, more people than we can count have said that maybe the reason our marriage is so good is because we DON’T live together. We choose not to believe that. We’re approaching it as something we’ve wanted for a long time, and finally get to do together. That said, I’m still a little cautious. I’m rather set in my living-alone ways, and I don’t know what it will be like to live full-time with anyone else. One thing I’ve recently learned about myself is that it takes me a while to grow accustomed to the idea of change. A dear friend recently defined this as an “adjustment issue” and I’ll go along with that.

I guess that for me, slow motion is just the right speed.

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