Thursday, August 19, 2010

Flying by the seat of my... plans.

It's not final yet. We don't have our t's crossed nor i's dotted. However, I'm fairly certain that changes are coming, and soon. The plan that we concocted may soon be put into effect... we are most likely moving soon. It is shocking that we would be able to work so hard on our house, take it from a dilapidated borderline shack to a very comfy super cute old house chock full of warmth and character and charm. But, I need to be close to our family. We need to be close to our family.

In the last couple weeks, my mind has been reeling with thoughts of packing and hauling loads down south. The logistics behind moving a family of six are mind boggling, but for our funny little plan, they are even harder to grasp. Most people sell their house and buy another. Some people choose to build a house instead (not usually with their own hands, mind you, as we just may do). We have a longer term plan ahead of us... requiring some patience and hard work and saving. We don't do anything the easy way, do we?

Assuming all goes according to plan, we will be moving from our house into my parents' house by the end of October. Yes, into their house. Thankfully, they are willing to let us do such a crazy thing. And, thankfully, I know that they are laid back and flexible enough to make it work. We will be staying with them while we work on fixing up another old house... this time, it's the house I grew up in... which is next door to my parents. Jeff and I have talked about moving in and fixing that house up for about ten years now. It needs it. I need to do it. I think it will be good as good for my soul as it will be for our old house. So, we will live with my parents while we work to make the "old house" livable. I am guessing that it will take six months, but I don't exactly know what needs to be done at this point. Once we can move into it, we will... and we will do what we did to our current home... renovate.

Now, Jeff and I have done renovation projects on our current home that I never imagined we could do. We've torn out ceilings, torn down walls, replumbed, rewired, pulled up floors, created a kitchen from an empty room, etc, etc. I have been on top of a garage with a nail gun and been literally dragged across the foyer by a sander. I do not doubt that we can do the work needed to make my old house super cute. However, we have made our current house so toasty in the winter and cool in the summer that it may be hard for me to go backwards. I will be going back to the days of sleeping with a pillow on my head to keep the cold wind off my face. It's only been a few years, but I quite enjoy sitting around with no need for a parka, or no need to suck down Popsicles in the nude.

Beyond my dread of discomfort, the thought of moving back into my old house is bringing up some very strong, very real emotions. I love that house. I do. However, as the innocence of elementary school came to an end, I developed a strong sense of embarrassment about it. I hated the bus. Kids are so mean, and I hated the older kids making fun of my house. My home. I went for a long time without inviting anyone over to play, except for a few great friends whom I loved and I knew would love me even if I lived in a cardboard box. In middle school, I went to Whitewater Middle, with all those rich Peachtree City kids. Needless to say, no one knew where I lived. I can still hear the words of a boy in highschool, whom I thought was my friend, referring to my house as a "slave shack". It was hard. I got an electric blanket from a friend of mine for Christmas one year. For a time, I thought I hated that house. I never really hated it. I love that house... and it needs us.

I've felt a bit of guilt over the idea of moving my kids into the same situation that I was in. Will they be made fun of? Will it hurt them like it did me? I then reminded myself that we will be making it beautiful... and that it will be good for them. I would rather my kids learn through experiences of discomfort and heartache than to grow up thinking that they have it all. If I had to chose between them being the ones embarrassed of their house or the ones calling it names on the bus, I'd take the first one. I hope mine realize that you can have it all and live in a tent on a mountain or a box under a bridge.

I have wonderful memories of my old house, too. I remember how beautiful it seemed at Christmas. I loved having the biggest closet of anyone I knew. There's no counting the number of hours that I spent playing on those concrete steps, and I love the idea of seeing my kids playing right there where I used to. Even though it isn't a huge house, there's room enough... and I always thought felt close and safe and loved. I love the fact that the clouds that Mom put up in the top of my childhood closet are still there to this day. It's a good house... and it will feel good to make it shine.

As we anticipate the move, I have talked to Asa and Addison about it. They will both miss our home very much, we all will. All I can do it explain to them that we are all sad about leaving, but you can be sad about leaving and excited about the adventure to come at the same time. I need them to understand that it's perfectly okay to be sad, as long as you can still look ahead to where we are going. I also explained to them that it's like we have a job... to find old houses that people have forgotten about and help them up and make them as beautiful as they can be. This struck a cord with them both. I told them that we saved our house, like putting a dirty old rock in a rock tumbler. It is now pretty and wonderful and someone can love it and take care of it. But, there is another house that needs us to love it and dust it off and make it shine. A very important house... my old house. Today, as we drove past it, they agreed that it really needs us to help it. They love the thought that I lived there when I was a kid and ask me to tell them stories about growing up there. It has given them a very real purpose to the move, and they are big enough now to take ownership in house's transformation.

The move into my old house isn't the final destination of our plan. Our plan is to renovate it and stay there to save money for a few years, so that we can build a house on the land that we bought in Senoia. That is so far off that I am not focusing on it at all, but I'm sure it will be an insane wild crazy adventure of its own. For now, I am working on grasping steps one and two... and trying to get my head around how to move six people, two goats, eight chickens and two cats... without scarring my children, annoying my parents or losing my mind in the process.