Here We Move Again

Peter Hall

There are days that take your breath away. And then there are days that knock the wind out of you.

Yesterday was the latter. I will tell you why.

I don’t have a makeup drawer… nor do I have a medicine cabinet where I keep my everyday soaps, lotions, and personal items. I have stored everything from my toothpaste to my face wash in the same toiletry bag for the past 6 years. It only occurred to me last night while I was getting ready for bed that Clark doesn’t have a personal drawer or cabinet either. He too keeps all of his everyday items in a travel-size tote– the very same that he used to throw into his carry-on luggage from our professional traveling days. We have no less than seven bathroom cabinets between us that remain empty as everything we need fits within airline regulations.

How does empty cabinet space qualify as a personal crisis?

The unused space is a glaring reminder of our tenancy. We’ve been renters for the last three years and while that too isn’t the end of the world, our lack of home ownership has resulted in three moves in three years. As of today, it appears we are staring down the barrel of the fourth. Our landlords just informed us of their plans to sell our current address. Wouldn’t you know it– I just unpacked our last box 3 weeks ago. The news has once again thrust me into excessive planning mode– cleaning out the unused household items and clothes for Goodwill and making a list of things to sell. I know that “rent” means “temporary”. I knew we wouldn’t be here forever. But we just got here, and now we’re about to box it all up again. I feel like a military family without the G. I. benefits.

CSIS is foiling terrorist plots in the Toronto transit system, and Chinese rescue crews are still working to recover from last week’s 6.6 earthquake. And, I am complaining about caboodles.

But the fact that I haven’t unpacked my toothbrush in SIX YEARS since the last time I flew around the world has to mean something, right? Six years ago, I preferred mobility. Six years ago, I fantasized about having little gypsie children in tow as Clark and I traipsed the globe from one musical pursuit to another. Six years ago, the idea of suburban settlement was worse than banishment into exile. And now, my first-grade maternal instincts say, “keep the nest from rocking as little as possible”. I worry what rearranging Mia’s bedroom furniture might do to her little psyche. Salem is barely old enough to remember the last three addresses, and yet I fear he is going to require long-term therapy to recover from all of the transition.

And yet, here comes the sway.

I know me, and you know me. Next week I will be posting color schemes and layout for the new space. But as for today, I want stay somewhere long enough for the Sarna bottle to expire underneath the bathroom sink.

How about you? Do you find moving daunting or exciting or a little bit of both?


  1. gressett said,

    April 24, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Oh I sign a little for you. I know it can be exhilarating to have a new space to make your own and all the dreams that come with purging all your stuff (whether that becomes reality or not). But on the other hand I know there is something dreamy about being settled and putting elbow grease into your OWN place. I have had that dream now for over 7 years as I have moved from house to house wondering when the right one will come along. Our last house we had 23 days to pack up and find another adobe and what we found wasn’t exactly what we wanted. For the last year we have been looking at the boxes that say “unpack when you reach your final destination.” We were supposed to be here for 6 months and now a year later, I still dream about using my packed up kitchen items. What we found though was that this home, as imperfect as it is, feels more like home than any other place we have other lived. More than that home with the great kitchen, or the one with that porch and the tree that hung shading our afternoons there. This home became about what lives inside the walls, not what hangs on the walls. Sweetly God reminds me that this is not my final home and never will be. My home will one day be with him! My possessions or junk will not matter. But how I love on my family within this space is what really matters.

    Good luck on your move!!! And no doubt your home will be what lives within the walls of your house!!!

    Emily Harrell

  2. Jade said,

    April 24, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I actually cried when I read this post, because I can relate to the insanity perfectly! We too are moving yet again in the next 2 months, which will be the 8th in 10 years, that is not counting the in-town moves! I’m sorry and I wish I could help you pack, and take some of those “cool”- no longer welcome Goodwill giveaways off your hands! Welcome to the gypsie life, and looking forward to wrapping my arms around your neck when the dust settles again! Counting down the days til July!!

  3. Selina said,

    April 24, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    I am so sorry that yet another move is on the cards for you again. We moved two years ago and it is the biggest undertaking I have ever experienced!
    Please know that i am close by and have time during the day to help pack, or whatever you need. Brian has a truck to help move things.
    We too rent and have been inn this house for two years and plan to stay as long as we can. I will gladly give you the name and number of our landlady as she other properties in this area. Wade green rd and near church.
    Let me know if we can help at all.


  4. theblossoms said,

    April 24, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Hey friend,
    If you include our stints in corporate housing, we have lived in 5 places since our move away from Atlanta 2 years ago. It’s nutso but I find the new exhilarating….the change is hard but it’s the new adventure , the discovery that can push out the anxiety change brings. Oh, and those kiddos will thrive, just you wait. I worried and cried but they were so much more resilient than I gave them credit for. Good luck!!
    Ps- I don’t have pics of my orange and yellow room bc at this rate I will never settle in long enough to deem them shareable! Xx

  5. Jen said,

    April 24, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    OMG I hear you and I sympathize so much. In the last 4.5 years we’ve moved 6 times. It was fine when they were younger. Now that Austin is in high school , I feel it’s important to stick. As much as I hate moving, that fact also makes me feel stuck for awhile now. Your babies will be fine, they won’t remember yet. It’s the older years when they’ll start whining about stability, and rightfully so. I’ll send up a prayer for you, moving sucks.

  6. Karen BItzer said,

    April 25, 2013 at 4:01 am

    Salina – It’s Karen BItzer. I don’t always get to read your blog, but I love to write and appreciate the written word. Thanks for sharing your heart. Always an interesting read because I’m certain everyone can relate to some degree. I guess the grass is always greener, right ? I’ve been in my house for almost 16 years and I am READY for a move, yet the thought of it pains me because it’s no easy task. I’m sorry you have do it all over again so soon. Character building maybe ? Anyway, I do hope you’re able to find a place where you can settle for a bit.

    Down the road, if you and Clark decide you want to buy a house, I’d love to help you with your loan… or if you simply want free counsel don’t hesitate to call me or message me ;). Regardless, I hope you get to stay put for a while where ever you end up.

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