One year ago, my house had been up for sale with no offers for 8 months, despite making huge drops in the listing price. We celebrated our last Thanksgiving in the home we had occupied for 20 years with two of my daughters, my eldest’s First Mate, and two college friends of my youngest. We filled the place with warmth, laughter, good smells and love. Two days later, I got the offer. Closing date was January11. Without hiring professional movers, except for the baby grand piano, Steve and I moved out everything in the house, basement, patio and 3-car garage. Numerous trips in the van distributed the contents to Madison, Chicago, Harvard, charities, storage and Milwaukee. We had help from the First Mate’s dad and fireman friend for the couch and a super-heavy TV, but the rest we managed ourselves. I remember trying to corral the cat after everything else was gone. She had nowhere to hide, poor thing, and she refused to get into a cat carrier. Steve agreed to drive the van with her in the passenger seat in the bottom portion of the carrier, top removed. He petted her and talked to her soothingly as he drove the two hours here. I drove Jim’s car, grateful not to be distracted by her.
Steve’s place was stuffed to the gills with boxes, furniture, books, and cat. I marvel at how he made room for us. He’d been living alone for about a dozen years, five years in this place. We lived, worked, played, loved and engaged in our relationship intensely, doing the dance of supporting, caring, giving and taking. There were many tearful times, there was a 4-week adventure on the road, there were late-night Summit Meetings and many long walks through the countryside. I woke this morning and began to think of giving thanks. I looked at him sleeping next to me, and my nose prickled. A quiet stream leaked down my cheeks. I am so lucky to have a best friend, someone who truly loves me. I am so grateful to be here, to have a life I love, to be at home again.
For all of you, whatever your situation, I wish you Godspeed to your home. Welcome.