On the Move

Moving into a new place is a strange experience. It’s like visiting a very disgruntled host who suddenly goes missing, leaving you standing in their house trying to figure out where all the light switches are.

The first couple nights I felt like we were guests in someone else’s home. Presumptuous, brazen, guests who had daringly taken over the main bedroom. And, well, the entire house.

A part of me kept expecting the real owner to walk in and say, “What the hell are you doing in here?”

It’s odd to shut off a light, climb into bed and stare up at a ceiling and wonder who else stared up at that same ceiling over the years. What hopes, dreams and desires used to reverberate off these walls?

Who planted the trees in the yard and what were they thinking when they came home from the nursery and dug the holes?

The buying process being what it is, I’ll never know. Realty is a strange business. Not to be confused with reality. It’s an elaborate game where the owners of a home remove all evidence of a normal life being lived in an act called “staging” and then at a moment’s notice, pack themselves, any children and assorted pets into their vehicle and drive around in random circles while prospective home buyers walk through their house and look in their closets.

Once a deal is struck-through the real estate agents-from the signing of the papers to the handing over of the keys, there is usually no interaction between the previous owners and the new ones. All we were left with was a handwritten note telling us the security code for the garage door and what our mailbox unit was.

As usual as this buying/selling procedure is, I don’t know why I find it so bizarre. I am not even sure I would want to meet the previous owners; a home is such a personal thing. It’s what holds your family inside of it. The exiting of one and entering of another is emotionally charged, by its very nature.

No other purchase is quite like it.

Over the last couple years we have probably looked at upwards of thirty houses and yet, when we saw the one we bought, we took all of fifteen minutes before deciding to put in an offer. I have spent more time choosing a pair of socks.

Built twenty years ago, the house is a bit dated and worn around the edges, but the only thing I really dislike about the place so far is the yard.

There is an unprecedented amount of white stuff piled up both front and back.

I am finding it very problematic.

It is cold, deep and makes it extremely difficult to map out the yard for future garden beds. Worse, instead of diminishing, the white matter just keeps increasing. Last night an additional inch was added. It’s complete and utter madness.

In all fairness, the white stuff was abundantly present when we viewed the property at the end of February. But this is April. The middle of April. Two years ago on this same day I recorded in my line-a-day book that I had spent the day working in my mother’s garden cutting back dead grasses and other herbaceous perennials and that there was no snow left in her garden or “anywhere for that matter”.

I can only glean that the same held true the following year, since I make no mention of snow.

Ah well. As Mark Twain so aptly wrote about the weather, everyone complains about it but no one ever does anything.

Short of shoveling the lot into the street or over the fence-neither of which would endear me to my new neighbours-there isn’t much to be done but wait.

And figure out where the light switches are.