After thinking and talking and talking and thinking and much hand wringing and deliberating, we have decided we are putting our house on the market. There are many, many little reasons but when you draw the line down the middle of the page, the column in favor of leaving is longer than the one that says we stay.
We worked hard to make this a beautiful place at a place people aspire to be, Lake Michigan. But this is a big house (just half of it is in the picture) and we’re getting older and creakier and it takes a lot of work to keep it up and too long to recover afterward. It’s time to downsize while we have the strength to do it, the health to do other things, and the time to spend with the people we care about. So we are moving back "home" to the city. Just about everything we do is in the city, our social life, our family, our friends, our doctors, events. We toughed it out for years driving back and forth to our jobs, spending untold thousands on gas for the commute and still made the trip in on weekends for events both sad and fun.
Many arguments can be and have been made for staying. We live on Lake Michigan, for pete's sake. Who doesn't want that??? Yes, it's beautiful. But we are alone here. Everyone else is "there." We’ve watched people in our family pass away, the health of family and friends take serious, fast downturns and to be with the people we care about, whether in sadness or joy, we have to drive a long way a lot. We are getting older and the drive is getting less appealing. And I KNOW if we stayed, oh, another five years, we certainly then would not have the strength to move. The hours spent to be with people we care about could be better spent than in a car. We can have Lake Michigan in day trips and still spend more time with it than we do now, when it's at the end of our street.
I know there are people who, when they retire, take off in an RV and explore the world for months and years at a time. I know people who move to warmer climates so they don't have to shovel the snow. I don't understand that. Our family and friends are very important to us and being able to spend our time watching our grandchildren grow, and building a relationship with them and valuing our friends is so much more important to us than a house. I also know people who bought the RV so they could provide that experience TO their grandchildren. That's the way we think. I'm not adverse to the occasional trip. I hope we can take a few. No, we aren't buying an RV.
This process is going to be very hard for us but we are keeping a positive attitude about the new adventures we’ll have once we move in closer to Grand Rapids. And we will have wonderful memories of our privileged time living this adventure we’ve been on for 18 years.
I know I am making this sound like a death in the family. We certainly aren't the first people in the world who have moved to be closer to their family rather than farther from them. But the reaction we have gotten from various people has been mostly negative. "WHAT?? WHY?? YOU CAN'T!!" That sort of thing. It doesn't make this any easier. A very few friends, one in particular, said, "well, now you're on to new adventures!" And I thanked her profusely with tears in my eyes for understanding. It was her first reaction, not her afterthought.
Consequently, I've been advised by the realtor to start packing. I don't know why I thought the elves would come in the night and do this job for me, but I keep waking up in the morning and seeing they didn't show up.
I started with my stash. I figured that was a safe place to go. I have three hand quilting projects that can keep me busy for a long time so no piecing need take place. I have to tell you, after spending an entire day with plastic tubs and my stash, this fabric has NEVER been so organized. NEV ER! It's almost been a good thing to have to do this!! I still have about 3 tubs to go but the store ran out of the size I'm using. There probably won't be many posts on quilting for awhile. I don't have time nor can I make the mess.