On the Move

Moving is the stuff of life.

“Move along. Move over. Step it up. Get with it.”

“Get over it. Let go. Move on.”

“Get moving!”

Much of the advice bandied about in popular culture by parents, peers or professionals, involves moving—or not moving.

We know the universe is in constant motion, expanding outward. Dying stars implode. Our own earth, along with other planets, is spinning and rotating. Constantly.

The human body, even at rest, is in motion. Heart pumps. Blood flows. Cells regenerate. Neurons send messages. A body totally lacking in movement is a dead body. The life force gone.

Every year 31 million Americans move—as in relocate their households, to another residence, city or state. According to census data, around three million of those moves are interstate. As was the move my family and I recently made from North Carolina to Wisconsin.

I know. Nobody does that. The moves are all in the other direction. North to South. We moved for the same reason many people are following the never-together year of 2020. To be closer to family. And because we could. Next year, who knows? Maybe for one reason or another it will be less feasible. The current hot real estate market certainly made it a good time to sell a house, though buying one is just the opposite.

There is nothing like moving to make us aware of how much STUFF we have. Stuff we would keep if we weren’t moving across country. So, we start sorting and packing and selling and giving away. It’s amazing what sells and what doesn’t. What we can’t even give away. Power tools are a hot item but nobody wants that painting we rescued from Restore. It could be by some famous artist, if only we had time to have it evaluated by experts. I cringed as we loaded clearly useless items into my husband’s pickup for a trip to the dump. In addition to discovering how much money we waste on useless stuff, we are guilty of helping to destroy the planet. But what can we do?

The movers arrive and we’re still not through packing so they finish the job for us—for a breathtaking price, but what the heck, it’s only money and we had to get this done. Now.

And then the movers are gone. Oh no, they left the hand truck and the rocking chair and they took that box of must haves that we intended to keep with us. The refrigerator is full and we forgot to empty that cupboard and what am I going to do with that huge desk that I couldn’t take and no one bought? In 48 hours we have to catch a plane. The house has to be totally empty. Help!

Friends, neighbors and Good Will to the rescue. The three of us and our dog, (don’t even ask what flying a dog involves), make the flight. I’ve never been so glad for a seat, even if it is next to a masked stranger, due to COVID-19. Before the plane even takes off, I find myself dozing. The flight is uneventful and we are met in the airport by our daughter, the reason for it all, who delivers us to our new temporary quarters. No thank you, we do not want to go to your house first. We just want to get where we are going so, we can stop moving.

Two days later our cars arrive and the day after that our household goods are delivered, a few items to our apartment but mostly to storage. That’s when we begin house hunting in earnest, and I realize that we will be moving again—soon.

In the meantime, I set up my office in a corner of the bedroom and begin to connect with my N.C. clients. One of the gifts of 2020 for me was learning Doxy, the Zoom-like encrypted program for health care providers. As my counseling practice transitioned from office visits to virtual visits in the last year, my love-hate relationship with technology moved slightly more to the positive side of the continuum. I can actually see clients in North Carolina from Wisconsin. How cool is that?!

And since our latest house offer was accepted, we can relax until the closing date in May. Then we will be on the move again. But this time the move is local, we are mostly packed, and helping hands are nearby. And we will be home at last. Hopefully, our forever home for this life.

 Until we move to the next.

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