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We Moved and Lived to Tell About It

August 7, 2017

102We did it. 

We did it.

We’ve finally moved in to our new humble abode.

Sure, we’re still sleeping on the floor and trying to find out where the silverware is, but at least we’re in.  It’s kind of like the Capture the Flag game – once you’re across the line with the flag, you’ve won.

Ah, it’s a nice place.  We’d invite you all over for a barbecue to celebrate, but truthfully we had to ditch our BBQ grill.  It was home to some pretty angry wasps anyway.  Also, I think we lost all of our groceries somewhere on Pellissippi Parkway.

The house fits us well.  It’s a smidgen over three thousand square feet, and it has a very modest Japanese Maple tree bowing at the front entrance, greeting you as you step up to the clean tiled front stoop.  It has a soft color and a nondescript front yard.

Even the home’s location – 102 Tamara Lane – speaks of its humility.

We like the name.  We’ve lived on streets whose names didn’t fit us.  One was in Ohio and the street’s name – Tuscarawas – gave me the impression that we should be going on a voyage or maybe lead a charge over a distant hill.  Another street in Arizona – Campo Bello – made me feel like I should be ordering a calzone or learn to play a mandolin.  This Tamara name is nice. And even the house number is unpretentious: 102. Like something out of a Golden Book reader for kids.  Not 10036 or 17800 or anything formidable like that.  Just a simple 102.

What a summer it’s been.  We had thirty-two showings at our West Knoxville house before it sold.  Thirty-two.  It took every bit of the summer, something like eighty-five days to get it sold.  People have circumnavigated the globe in less time.  Look, President William Harrison’s full term in office wasn’t even half as long as it took that it took for us to sell The House That Wouldn’t Let Us Leave. It hung on to the last minute.  I think I heard it curse me, but it could have just been the toilet gurgling.  Even as we were pulling out of the driveway for the last time I swear that part of that’s house’s gutter was grasping our van’s rear bumper.

The negotiations with our new buyers went well – with one little hitch.  When we reached the deal, we had nine days to get out.  I made a calm but panicked scream for help.  Thank the Lord for the many people who showed up and helped cram our sofas, appliances, cleaning supplies, frozen foodstuffs and 1970s era shoes into pickups, trailers and the back of our van for numerous round trips from Knoxville to Oak Ridge.  Jill had always said “We have too much stuff” and I would laugh light-heartedly.  I had the noble impression that we were simple folk with the bare necessities of life.  I didn’t think we had too much stuff.

Ha ha.

Ha ha ha.

Ha ha ha sob.

We were throwing stuff away.  We were giving stuff away.  We gave stuff to KARM.  We gave stuff to Amvets.  We invited friends to pick up beds, recliners, and an extra refrigerator that sat in the basement and did little more than growl for two years.  Jill even talked about loading our excess furniture on the railroad tracks behind our house to watch the CSX engine demolish it, but I convinced her this legally wasn’t a good idea, although I do admit it would have been cool to watch.

It took every bit of those nine days, but we did it.

I had prayed that we would be able to move in and take up residence in Oak Ridge before I headed back to school.  Guess what.  We finished cramming stuff into our new home’s garage on the night before I had to go to Teacher Training.  Isn’t God’s timing amazing?

And as I write this I must tell you that I am sore.  Lugging furniture gets harder with every move.

I keep hearing this wisecrack:  “Well, you bench press 300 pounds so what’s the problem?”

The problem is that bench pressing 300 pounds is while lying on your back in a stable position with your feet planted and your concentration locked.  Also, the room is air conditioned.

It is NOT lugging a seven-foot tall Frigidaire backwards up a flight of stairs with a hand cart that has a leaky tire.  It is NOT carting basketball backboards or recliners or three-tier bookshelves. It is NOT wrestling the Beelzebub of all furniture items – a floppy massive California King Mattress with no visible grips down hallways and across driveways in the blazing August sun.

Yes, I am sore.  My back is sore.  My arms are sore.  My legs are sore.  Even my eyelids are sore.

No, we’re not done.  There are boxes to unpack, plenty of boxes in the garage.  Then there’s getting with the proper companies to change over utilities:  water, gas, internet … you know the list.  More furniture to shuffle, push and move to the proper room.

I sit down some nights, exhausted.

But when we all glance outdoors every evening…

… and we see a doe feeding with her fawn, not ten feet from our window,

and I see Jill and Julie’s eyes light up and their smiles widen,

I’m not exhausted anymore.

Yes, we moved in to 102 Tamara Lane.

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