Changes are afoot

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Life in the NJ town we have called home for the last 7 years is pretty good.  We have great schools, nice neighbors and have met many people that I am proud to call true friends.

Our house, for which we overpaid, is a solidly built cape cod, built in the 50’s when particle board was unheard of. We have done a lot of work to it, bestowing upon it new siding, windows and roof. Unbeknownst to us when we purchased the home, there is a trucking depot so the view out our front window is often interrupted by trucks alternately roaring by or shrieking to a stop at the traffic light outside our door. The new windows we invested in mute the sounds from inside the house, but the front yard is only quiet enough to relax in on weekends.

Despite the noise, Matt has invested time and energy in learning about gardening on the fly, and has produced a lovely yard full of lush, neatly trimmed hedges, flowering bushes and green lawn that he lovingly mows in different directions each time.

We have painted the walls in colors that please us, ranging from bright primary colors in the kitchen to a deep eggplant on the walls of our bedroom. The color of the walls hardly matters, however, since the majority of the space is covered with our eclectic collection of paintings, photographs and objects d’art that we have collected over the years.

In short, we have made ourselves at home.

We have had wonderful times with wonderful people and life here is good.

This is not to say that life is perfect. We have had our hard times under this roof.  Matt and I have spent many evenings sitting in our living room or laying together in our bed puzzling over the traumas and agonies that come with lives not led in isolation from the world, or your parents.

It was within these walls that I retreated in terror when I found out I had cancer, and here where I lay in the shelter of Matt’s arms and cried for the fear I would not see my children grow. This house sheltered me as I endured the poisoning that they call cancer treatment, and it was also here that I again embraced hope and celebrated the life that I now knew I would live to see.

Several months ago, Matt went to Cambridge to interview for a job at Harvard. He has a job that he likes, so he went into the interview with no expectations and a minimum of anxiety. He unleashed his inner librarian during the interview, giving the search committee a good, unobstructed look at who he really was and what  he could offer. He figured that he had nothing to lose by being honest and intense, and assumed that they would be frightened off.

Much to his surprise (but not so much to mine) he was very enthusiastically offered the job, which as it turns out, is perfect for him.

And so I begin the long, hard goodbye to this house that has been our home.

I packed my first boxes today, so it has really sunk in that I am really going to be moving. I know that this will be a positive move, and I am looking forward to living in a picturesque New England town….but yet It is so hard to contemplate breaking the continuity of our lives that have led us to this moment, the strands of friendship and shared experiences, the gut knowledge that I have developed about what it means to be from Edison. I am afraid, but I know that the strands that have woven into the tapestry of my life until now will not unravel once we leave this place, but will create the foundation for pattern of my days to come.


9 responses to “Changes are afoot

  1. Great post. I have shared some of those experiences within my walls as well and had to move when I could no longer climb the stairs. Its heartbreaking. i wish you luck in your new city. Congrats on your hubby’s new job!

  2. Tough decisions. Being a fellow New Jersian, I did the same re-build of a cape. Bought for $56k Now can sell for $560K.

    Sorry for the sad news, keep yourself up. Thats the best thing you can do. Good luck with the move!

    • Wow! That is great! Gives me hope that we might be able to recoup the money we put in now. We aree planning to hold the property and rent it until the market improves. It is all good…..:-)

  3. I don’t know more than what I’ve read but I’ve done the moving to a new place thing more times than I’d like to count. Part of me hates it: hates finding a grocery store and learning where everything is located; hates finding doctors; hates getting lost; hates not knowing anyone…

    But the part I love? The fresh start. I can always reinvent myself and no one knows my past except what I tell them. Plus, you’ve got a husband and a family and you can go through this together.

    I spent my childhood in the Boston area and loved it. You will, too. It will be hard, but you’ll get there. Just breathe.

    • Thanks Pammy Girl…you are so right…it would be so much harder to do alone. When I moved to Jersey I spent the better part of 2 years completely lost…but I found my way eventually 🙂

  4. I understand your feelings so well. Our homes are so much more than the walls that shelter us at the end of the day. We create our own spaces within them and they become the backdrop for so many wonderful memories. You’ll always keep this home in your heart, even though you now have to move on to a new one. And soon enough, your new house will feel like home too.

  5. OK, I am a Facebook rookie so I immediately find where you posted the original story. it makes sense that the place Matt would leave NYPL for would be Harvard… A lot of changes for all of you but I’m sure you’ll love Massachusetts and your new house sounds glorious. I’ll watch for updates–and expect a visit next time I’m headed out the the Cape, which may be next summer–had to postpone a planned trip there this past summer. Love to all, Ellen

  6. *Should proofread…I meant I DIDN’T immediately find it!

    • Thanks for checking in Ellen… funnyninwas just thinking about you as I packed that photo of Frances all hooked up in the lab in Buffalo :-). Let me know when you will be on the Cape!

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