Looking back to Moving Day 7  – from Month 9 after The Move.   

October 21, 2009  I’m already at that point where there’s a certain amount of joy over a broken glass…it means I don’t have to find a place to put it! We have more total space at this new “house” (hereinafter referred to as “compound”) than at Beech Tree Lane, but it’s all in such different places. NONE of the additional square footage is in the kitchen cabinets – in either of the THREE kitchens.Well, actually, the kitchen in the “apartment” doesn’t count because Mom and Dad will fill those cabinets on November 4. But there is a full kitchen in my new digs in the efficiency apartment (to be called “the studio”) in the walkout basement. I get six hundred square feet of office, kitchen, bath and laundry room. How did I wind up with the laundry room, anyway? But about that kitchen down there…There’s only one small cabinet, but there’s this nook where bunches of shelves can hold the overflow from the upstairs kitchen. Here’s my strategy: whatever won’t fit in the upstairs kitchen, I’ll take to the studio kitchen shelves. Mom keeps talking about throwing this big garage sale party in the spring, when we both know what we need here, and what we don’t. I figure I’ll shelve all these extras until April and then I’ll survey the shelves for dust. Whatever has a measurable five months of covering goes in the garage sale!Jameson and Carly, the two local grand-rugrats, are coming for their first sleep-over Friday night. We’ll go down to the studio and I’ll pop in some DVD’s on heavy equipment, or cooking, or whales – all very popular with J & C. Jameson will watch and provide play-by-play while Carly hands me stuff for the shelves.This morning I looked out the picture window to the back yard; that’s become my first-thing habit already. The porch (or is it a deck?) is finished on Mom and Dad’s apartment. I’m imagining Mom watering geraniums and petunias and begonias. I can just see Daddy making a slow but determined descent to his garden.This is all worth it.

Month 8, Day 22   After The Move – Everything has been so much more than I expected.  Larger.  Smaller.  Harder.  Faster.  Easier.  Better.  Dirtier.  Happier.  Busier.  Prettier.  And, today – Hotter.  More.  More of everything. 

The shelves in the basement – which has now been named “The Cellar” – are still full, but they’re junkier and my anal-but-oh-so-helpful-and-appreciated friend and I are about to clean them up.  No garage sale, though.  The extras will be offered to the kids and their rejects will go to ThriftSmart.  After all, ThriftSmart sales fund The Belize Project and Mercy Children’s Clinic. 

Most of my books are now on the shelf in The Cellar but that only happened recently and now I need one more bookcase.  Ah, craigslist.com.  Two good-sized bookshelves for $25 – I’ll pick those up on Friday from sweet Jill.  It sure is handy to have Dad’s pickup truck onsite. 

Mom sold her Nissan Sentra before Christmas.  She doesn’t plan to drive again.  She can – but she wants to quit while she can.  Ah, craigslist.com – The first looker bought it.  I think she cleared about $3000, just the investment needed to finance the construction of a library for Dad.  Our neighbor is a builder and while he was in-between jobs, he and his contractor brother enclosed a large area around the lift on the ground level of the apartment.  Dad’s brother, my Uncle Frank, came to help with some finishing and painting, granddaughter-in-law Vicky assembled seventeen WalMart bookcases, and Mom hung pictures and certificates on the walls.  Dad painted the concrete floor and rolled out colorful area rugs.  We hooked up his computer about a month ago.  Dad can ride the lift directly down to his library and while he’s hidden away down there, Mom plays her piano, reads, or naps with Murphy, our little Shih-tzu. 

Murphy.  She’s become the “granddog supreme.”  She never misses a day tearing down the hall and barking to be let in to the apartment, a habit that is a delight to Mom and Dad.  Murphy refuses to be alone now, so if Dave and I leave home she goes to Grandma’s.  She also believes that Grandma and Grandpa can better soothe her during a thunderstorm, so at the smallest clap of thunder, Murphy is sitting under Grandpa’s feet.  If it gets really bad, Grandpa holds her in his lap. 

Jameson and Carly love the new place.  They’re attached to The Cellar and to the rain sprinkler in the back yard.  They also keep up with our resident family of red foxes; we calculate that there are at least sixteen that reside in the ravine.  This spring, we ooh-ed and ah-ed over two litters of babies; their moms would bring them up to sun every afternoon.  Of course, we also watch DVD’s down here in The Cellar; we like Scooby-Doo and have just discovered the movie “Coraline;” Mom and Dad put the hiatus on “FatBoy and ChumChum.”  (No sense of humor.)  Just a few weeks after the move, we discovered “the secret playground” at the local elementary school, so we make frequent trips where Grammy sits on a lovely green bench and cheers on the sliding and monkey-barring.  We keep special treats in The Cellar kitchen and Jameson cheerfully re-stocks the refrigerator from the supply of Diet Coke, Capri Sun, and spring water that we keep in the garage.  We even cook hotdogs down here. 

But, then, the grounds… The grounds are the biggest “more.”  We have barnwood flowerboxes from the farm surrounding the patio with pansies, petunias, cosmos, zinnias – and lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, carrots and a walnut tree.  There’s a thriving rose garden of Imagine, Deep Secret, Jude the Obscure, Distant Thunder, and Lemon Spice – all own-root English roses.  We’ve transplanted crape myrtle volunteers from the old gardens, along with irises, daylilies, more roses, yarrow, barberries, spirea, dianthus… and more.  We found a used white arbor on Craigslist, where else,  to define the entrance to a corner garden and we built a curvy brick path to the foxes’ entrance to the ravine on neighbor Don’s property.  How could we help but name it the “foxpath” after seeing the white-tips trotting down the winding path?   There’s more to be done; this particular “more” will never end.

And the porch on the old folks’ apartment?  (Oh, don’t cull me for calling them “the old folks;” they started it.)   That porch is full of ferns, geraniums, cacti – and windchimes.  I watch Mom water the pots strategically placed on top of the porch rails; then she leans wayyyyyy over to drop some nourishment to pots of hyacinth beans climbing the support posts and cypress vines covering the rails.  I watch Dad descend the stairs most mornings, walking stick in hand, straw hat shading his eyes, his back straight as a country preacher.  He waters the boxes and pots on the ground and then he retires to his library.   He’s teaching a Sunday school class during the month of July, so he needs to prepare.

More.  Better.  Lovelier. 

This is worth it.

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