Being in between – part 2

My husband and I are as in between as anyone who has ever done a long distance move.  Our possessions are on a truck somewhere between Ann Arbor, Michigan and Providence, Rhode Island. canstockphoto0356593Stuffed into our cars is everything that can’t or shouldn’t go on the moving truck.

This is the fifth long distance move we’ve done together and we hope, the last. We are headed back to New England, the part of the country where we wanted to end up.

I will continue working at University Hospitals in Cleveland during the week as the interim CIO until we hire a new permanent CIO but my home base now shifts east.

We made some close friends in a few short years in Michigan. We did a long goodbye with them on weekends over the past few months. And we promised to continue what we started by keeping in touch any way we can.  We issued an open invitation to our guest room.

We started this move in March getting our house ready for market. We thought (and hoped) we’d sell quickly. Instead, we found ourselves buying in a hot market where houses were gone before we could see them but selling in a slower market. Once again we’ve learned that you can’t count on the market being in your favor.

As we packed and purged, we found goods that others could use and filled the cars with donations. We donated lots of clothes in good shape but in sizes we’ll never see again. This included business clothes that women needing a fresh start can use for interviews and getting back into the workforce.

I’ve once again learned about making tradeoffs and letting go. We loved our house in Ann Arbor with a wooded lot, a quiet retreat after work and on the weekends. Deer were regular visitors. We are trading that for a more urban neighborhood with a high walkability index. So I’ve let go of our quiet retreat for a small city yard and garden, but with no deer to feast on our flowers. All about tradeoffs.

And the best part of it all is that we are moving close to our daughters and grandkids. We’ll be able to lend a hand during the week to the family who is just 20 minutes away. And we’ll be able to see all of them on weekends for family fun.

As we unpack and get settled we will need a high degree of organization and teamwork. One of our daughters has been part of the team by overseeing the painters before we even get there.

There’s one last story I have to share. After spending a day packing, I turned on HGTV. Wouldn’t you know, the show was “Tiny House, Big Living”. It made me question why we have so much stuff. How do people decide to get rid of it all to live in a 100-200 square foot house? Not exactly our next chapter!

10 thoughts on “Being in between – part 2

  1. joe stuczynski on said:

    Hi Sue – Good read, we did a similar move almost two years ago, returning to my hometown of Cleveland. Having spent 20 years working and living in and around NYC, it was time to downsize for an easier life. An expression that resonated throughout all the change and downsizing is, “I’d rather have a big life in small house, than a small life in a big house.” While we got rid of a lot of the old to make room for the new, most of it found it’s way to Ohio. I guess the experience taught me that regardless of the stuff, home is really where the heart is. Best of luck to you on your new adventure.

  2. Paul King on said:

    Good luck Sue. I know a thing or two about long-distance moving and separation from family. It would have been nice to have family close when we were raising our daughter in California far from any immediate or extended family. I also can vouch for urban/walkable living given my place in downtown Ann Arbor. It’s great.

    • Sue Schade on said:

      Paul, thanks much. I’m sure you can relate to all of this. Enjoy the upcoming Ann Arbor Art Fair — another summer tradition we loved during our years there. Have some great pieces that will remind us of Ann Arbor for years to come.

  3. Sue, best of luck with your move! My family and I are STILL unpacking and reorganizing after moving into a new home almost two months ago. We probably should have purged BEFORE we moved. I now find myself taking great pleasure in creating a garage sale pile of stuff we haven’t touched in years. I am happy that you’ll get to be closer to your grandkids. Having my mother-in-law nearby was crucial to my decision to go back to work (and sanity) part time then full time during my first few years as a young mom. Good luck getting resettled!

    • Sue Schade on said:

      Jennifer, purging before packing is always the goal but most of us end up throwing stuff on the truck that we just don’t have time to really look at closely. My daughters are pretty excited about us being close enough to not just see them often but help out with kids.

  4. C. Danko on said:

    Safe travels Sue!
    When you figure out the attraction to Tiny House living, let me know. We’ve had numerous downsizing discussions yet are not ready to take that plunge. Just another opportunity for change….hanging onto our gutters, for now.

    • Sue Schade on said:

      Cindy, don’t know if we will ever figure that out. As we looked at houses this round, big consideration was enough room for the entire family to be over for a Sunday afternoon with place for kids to play. I’ll consider family to be “big living”.

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