Monday, September 15, 2014

Copious Moves and Empty Nests

My Mama never told me that raising children would require a copious amount of packing and relocation. Now I was expecting to pack them up for summer camp and the ultimate - off to college (ie achieving Empty Nest hood). However, Mama never bothered to let me know about the "other" ancillary moves that could possibly occur.

Besides summer camp and college, I had my move to Atlanta for my first job. Since most of our extra furniture was on High Acres, the family mountain farm in North Carolina, my new household was packed there. To handle that move, my father tasked Stanbury his old mountaineer farm overseer. Stanbury loaded the furniture I wanted onto to his old blue pickup truck that looked as if it had had its better days. By the time all my worldly goods were piled on the back, all we needed was Granny and we could have headed west for Beverly Hills.  

We had the rocking chair tied to the back of the truck (like I said, all we were missing was Granny.) Much to my dismay I was to learn later that Stanbury had his jar of sweet mash whiskey in one of my English riding boots that he had secured in that rocking chair. I cannot even start to describe the first impression I made when we drove into the parking lot of my apartment complex in Atlanta - Stanbury, his truck, my riding boots, and his whiskey. Thank God no one remembers me. But I digress.

Besides the summer camps and the initial moves into college dorms, I started thinking about how many times we have "packed and moved" our girls. This came to mind because for the 4th time, I think we may be actually finally be empty nesters.

When our girls moved into houses in Charleston (5 on the peninsula alone) I kept reminding them if there was a carriage tour coming by the house it was in a neighborhood we could not afford. I always wanted to live on the peninsula in Charleston. Since I left college there, I have yet to full fill that dream. However I have paid rent for five years there - I guess I have lived vicariously - at best. Other than these moves there have been houses on the river overlooking harbor (it's a hard life but someone has to live it.) And one down a long dirt road located in a large lovely area of old oaks and ponds.

One carriage house was still being built the day my daughter moved in. Only two were ground floor. More likely than not there were stairs involved, at least one story if not two. There was the house on Society street with the front staircase so tightly curved no table or sofa could be negotiated up. A block and tackle had to be rigged up to the back porch to bring up the granite top kitchen table. One move was around the corner, we could look out the back door and see the front door of the next address. However, due to the size and amount of furniture we still needed a truck to move. 

Somehow moving day was always on August 1 when it seemed that humidity was 150% and temps in the mid 90's. And, the same day all the students were moving in and out throughout the peninsula. The one way streets blocked by U-Haul trucks, SUV's, and pickups.

And today's move involved three levels, two large staircases, 95% humidity, and 85 degrees.  I am happy to say we are empty nesters.  Well, let me rephrase that we are empty nesters again - for the fourth time. Yes, they are always welcome back.

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