Family goes in search of home, again
Sitting in a sea of cardboard boxes, out with the old, pack up the not so old, move on, move house again.
Death, divorce, moving house, they’re the big ones, they say. The stress givers, the vein cloggers, the migraine causers, the nail chewers, the hairline receders, the bad back bringer-on-ers. They say many things, but on this topic they are right. There is no fun to be had in moving house.
We should be experienced by now, this being the third major house move in four years. But each time the boxes multiply exponentially, and each time the reasons for shifting them are different.
The family ups sticks and takes their city asses to the countryside in search of a new and peaceful yet invigorating lifestyle. We say goodbye to the house where both kids were born and the city both parents were reared in. It is an opportunity to revel in nostalgia while at the same time looking towards the future.
The act of moving is still a monumental pain, but one tempered by a sense of excitement and newness. Like many before us, we believe that a country life will be more innocent and a boon to the children. Like many before us we soon realise that there isn’t much difference between city and country life but, hey, the space is nice.
The family ups sticks and moves across recently adopted new town because rental property has been sold from under them.
We say goodbye to the house where we began our new existence and appreciated from the outset because we could see fields from our windows and could also, for the first time in our lives, should we have chosen to do so, have swung a couple of local feral cats.
Under pressure, and in thrall to the notion of space, we rent an unnecessarily large place this time round. Moving still monumental pain in posterior.
The family ups sticks and heads back across adopted small town on realising the aforementioned space is going to break them financially.
All that space, the acres of it that seemed so attractive at the outset, has to be heated. Why didn’t someone tell me heating oil was expensive? What’s all this about fossil fuel supplies running low? We craved that damn space, had to have it.
Two years later, what we want is a little warmth back in our bones and not to have to sell one of the children to fill the tank.
I encourage them to exercise for warmth instead but eventually the kids tire of blowing on my toes to stave off frostbite and demand we call the removals firm. We’re off again. And, once again, the process grates.
Sense of ownership
But despite the heat issues, the urge to head on is guided by more than the practical. Everywhere I have lived, in all my life, I have left with a sense of ownership, that a piece of me and the bricks that sheltered me over the previous weeks, months or years have bonded and left a residue on both of us.
I have a feeling that I have left something behind and taken memories and experience with me.
Not so with this house. Despite the Christmas dinners we have shared, the raucous birthday parties with troops of small girls marauding from room to room, the friends who have come to visit, there is no tug to stay here.
Sometimes a house can’t become a home. Not one of us has any qualms about leaving here and starting again elsewhere.
Over a period of time when all of us made significant changes in our lives, it seems we all knew this was just a temporary shelter, somewhere to at least keep the wind out if not quite keep us warm and dry. So while I’m glad to be moving on, glad even to be ripping my hands up with cardboard cuts, I am disappointed that the place has exerted so little influence bar a collective sense of indifference.
January rolls around again and with it a chance for new starts. Upheaval in a family isn’t always a great idea, especially if it happens on a regular basis, but it can also prove to be an opportunity.
So as I watch the two of them tear strips off each other as they pack up their room and argue over who owns what, I hope the next place will actually become a part of the family. Not just a roof and walls.