Thursday, April 23, 2009

Something to be said for staying put

It says here that Americans are moving less, another one of those symptoms of the crappy economy. It's also a cause, since Bekins and Mayflower and U-haul and Ryder could really use the work right now. But maybe it's not such a bad thing if people stay put for awhile. Maybe they'll get to know the neighbors. Maybe they won't have to face how little the house is worth if they give up trying to sell it.

I've moved a couple dozen times in my life. It was almost always for better job, although once it was for a better view and the time after that it was because of the divorce. I always thought it made sense at the time. There's something invigorating about moving on, packing up what you really need and getting rid of what you really don't. There's also something poignant about it, looking around the empty rooms for the last time, aware of the echos and the memories and the knowledge that you won't be back. Like a funeral, a move concentrates the passage of years into a day or two. It reminds you again that all things pass.

Thanks for the tip, right? At certain age you don't really need to change houses to make that point. It's gotten so I can't wrestle a mattress or a dryer into a new place without picturing the day I must wrestle it back out. If the bad economy postpones that day, fine with me. I'd rather have this couch in the living room than in the truck.

But move on we must, sooner or later, good intentions and bad economy notwithstanding. No doubt there are few more ahead, before that final move to the big gated community in the sky. For that one, fortunately, there's no need to pack.


Anonymous said...


My father lives on in Brendan House. However, we are having an auction of my folks' things Saturday, after four dumpster loads of junk and ten trailer-loads to Goodwill.

There is no need to pack for that final move; I have suggested that my father travel light. But please don't leave your stuff behind for your kids to sort out!


Dave Knadler said...

Good point.

They say that for getting rid of needless stuff, a move is almost as good as a house fire. I take it your dad didn't move much.