Jun 12, 2017

IN WHICH WE SAY...GOODBYE.



My appointment went almost as planned, but I decided to start the waterworks right there in front of God and everybody as the reality of my life started to sink in.  Fortunately, the gentleman on the other side of the conference table just happened to be Miss Charlene's husband Steve.  Mr. Steve is an attorney who has bravely and very graciously taken me on as his hapless client, so my poor tender heart was in very good hands indeed.

From there I went to the bank to retrieve cash for the movers tomorrow, but I stood there for what felt like three days trying to determine what an appropriate tip amount will be.  Can anybody guide me?  It's going to be 110 degrees tomorrow, so in addition to providing these guys plenty of cold drinks and meals, I want to give them a tip that compensates them for having to haul all of my crap up the stairs in the midst of a hearwave.

I finished packing the last few boxes and took a quick look to make sure I didn't miss anything, then I stripped the bed and washed all of the sheets and blankets and such, and I lifted the mattress and boxspring  to vacuum the underside of the big girl sleigh bed.

You might remember that under the bed was one of Stewey's forts, so you can imagine the ugly cry that ensued when I found a few of his treasures hidden under there and enough white fluffy hair to construct an entirely new Stewey with a few pounds left over.

Yup. Sat right down in the middle of the floor for that one.

I was going to call it a day, but decided  to do a fast Target run and hit the grocery for a few things to stash at CS2 just to get me started...like fruit and sandwich things, and cream for my coffee.  I had the entire store to myself (which was lovely), but just as I was heading for the checkout lane the lights decided to go out.  Ka-blooey.  Why this would upset me is completely beyond reason, but...more tears all over the front of my t-shirt and old lady jean capris.

Oey.

I made it through the grocery without incident and managed to get the bags upstairs in record time, and then I came home, packed the coolers, took a lovely cool shower, and hit the Happy Chair.

And that's when the big one hit.  I suddenly realized that tonight is my last night here.  I have loved this little  house with my whole heart for almost 15 years. When I first moved back to Indiana in January of 1999, I used to drive around on Saturdays looking at houses.  The minute I drove onto my street, I told myself that some day I was going to live here.  And then Dad came for a visit and I brought him over to meet the builder and we looked at different models and Dad said "CJ, I think you've found your dreamhouse".

They broke ground on May 1, 2002 and then Dad got sick and I spent most of that summer in Phoenix.  My friends drove by and took pictures for me and I sat with Dad and talked about lighting fixtures and cabinets.  They finished construction and I moved in on November 7th, and I remember sitting in this exact spot that first night planning decorations and wondering where I was going to put this or that.

Chrissy moved in a year later and stayed until she went home to be with Dad before he died, and then she came back and bought her own little dream house in the neighborhood next door.  That was probably my favorite time...me in my house and she in hers...runnings our errands and having sissy days and decorating for the holidays and raising the boys.

And then the wheels came off the bus and I got sick and lost my job, and then Chrissy went sideways and everything turned upside down.  That was in 2006.  Eleven years ago.  Eleven years of doing everything I possibly could to just keep it together until together wasn't even remotely an option anymore.  Survival became about the only thing I could think to do.

I can honestly tell you that right up until the very moment the door opened at CS2, I was determined to leave this house one way only...feet first.  I could not even fathom the possibility of living elsewhere, but what looked like complete foolishness to anybody advising me was a actually just...fear.

Tonight, though, I'm not afraid.

I'm sad, yes, and I think it's OK to acknowledge that.  I feel very humiliated and ashamed and embarrassed that I'm leaving my house and despite my very best attempts to put a happy spin on it, this has been the single hardest thing I've done right after losing my parents and Stewey.  For it to come on the heels of such a hard year last year certainly doesn't make it any easier, but for the first time in a long long while I actually think I might survive this.

My new life begins at 8am tomorriw morning.  I know I still have a ton of hard work to do before I can officially relax into it, but this week is going to be all about new beginnings.  I am going to enjoy getting myself unpacked and organized and back into routine, and then in another week or so I will call in the cavalry and get this place cleared out and cleaned up for its next occupant.

My prayer is that this house knows how much I have loved her and that I am so very grateful for all of the happiness and comfort she brought me in addition to keeping me safe and sound.  She's a good house and I hope the next owner feels as lucky as I do to have lived here.


32 comments:

  1. Oh Sweetie, it will all be ok. We will all be thinking about you in the morning and wondering how things are going. Remember to take lots of breaks and not overdo putting things away. None of the things will run off if they don't get unpacked and sorted fast enough.

    Please take care of you as moving is stressful even for those in the best of health.

    Hugs!

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  2. Coni, change can be extremely difficult, even when all the planets and stars are aligned...hang in there, embrace your new home...you will make it a cozy refuge in no time...take care of yourself (naps included!) Over the past few weeks, it is evident that your strength is bolstering you (emotional, especially) take deep breaths and carry on...remember, "no grit, no pearl." Best wishes!

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  3. I'm sending all my good thoughts and vibes to you tonight and tomorrow. It will be hard. It will be exciting. But like me, you seem to be the sort of person who can be happy anywhere because you decide to be happy. It may take a little getting used to, but I think you will be just fine.

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  4. Sending strength and good thoughts to you through the tears (mine, that is).

    And on a practical note -- I have never tipped movers. But my friend Mr Google tells me that if they do a good job, then $10 per person for a 4 hour job. http://www.moving.com/tips/tipping-movers/

    Susan

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  5. When we used two men and a truck to move the office last year, we took the total moving bill and looked at 10% as a gauge. We were in 120 degree heat and it took six hours. We bought pizza and drinks. Then paid each guy $25 cash at days end. They were very appreciative.

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  6. I hated leaving the first house I bought for the house I've lived in now for over 25 years. Wow, has it been that long? Though the reasons I had to leave and sell my first little house are different from yours, I was also very sad and tearful. Those feelings made negotiations with prospective owners so difficult, as I wouldn't budge on anything! But now I'm glad I moved, for a variety of reasons. I still miss my little house (and love it more than my current one) but I feel at home, and that's the most important part. You'll feel at home cat CS2, also. It'll take a while, but I know you'll make it totally yours. Re: tipping movers....I've never done that either. And for you to keep them well-fed and hydrated is very nice of you.

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  7. Coni, you know you are an amazing lady, as we have discussed before. We all hate change, and you've had so much unwelcome change in this last while...I think you are a brilliant girl for dealing with all of it so well. Of course there will be awkward and scary moments, but you have the power of heart and tenacious spirit to just take everything in, pause, think, have your little cry, and then carry on in typical Super Spinster Style.
    Good heavens. Unearthing Stewey's little fort gave me the "ugly cries" all the way up in Winnipeg Manitoba. Reading about your dream house, and how you and your Dad designed it and chose interiors together...how sweet is that...and the happy times you had there, with Stewey and Chrissy. How wonderful!
    But somehow you feel ashamed? No, no. That isn't right. All I see is someone who is lovely and honest and good. And so much fun. Somebody I wished lived next door to me.
    Of course I will be thinking wonderful thoughts for you tomorrow, and saying a few prayers too. You have great depth and dignity, and we all admire you for your beautiful needlework, your courage, your open heart, your creative writing, and course, your hysterical sense of humor. You carry a piece of each of us wherever you go. I know you will be happy in your new home because you bring joy to people everywhere. God works like that.
    Know that we are all behind you, and love you dearly.

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  8. Dear Coni, they say 'it is darkest before the dawn' and your sun is about to rise! Tears are a wonderful release valve for all those emotions you are feeling. Just take it easy and all will be well, i'm sure. Sending lots of love and good wishes. xx

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  9. Change is so hard, but not always a bad thing. You have a great perspective on it all.

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  10. Coni, I am so impressed with all the hard physical work you have done to get ready for the big move! Emotion takes awhile so don't get down on yourself. You've done so well! Pretty soon you'll be sending us pic of the new CS2 and we'll all be "helping" you with ideas on how to decorate! Praying hard for your peace of mind and your physical wellnes.. BTW, on a lighter note...I was at my EGA meeting last Wednesday & we have a free give away table which members put items they no longer use or need & I found several Needlepoint News with...guess what? Articles written by my favorite blog lady....CONI RICH! Enjoyed them immensely...you have such a gift! Take care and I'll be looking tomorrow to see how you fare today! God bless!

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  11. I know that this is such a hard time and I am so impressed with your strength and determination. You will survive and thrive in your new home. Saying prayers for you today as you start a new chapter in life. Liz

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  12. Wishing you strength and comfort as you embrace your new cozy place today and make it your own. Your courage and raw honesty will help us all someday I am sure of it. Stay hydrated!! Prayers and hugs.

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  13. I was in your shoes eight years ago. It gets better.

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  14. Blessings on you in your new home. Because from reading your blog I know you will make it a nice home for yourself. And I am sure there are people in your new apartment building who need to meet Miss Stitcher. I am glad you are meeting your challenge head on Coni...you are an inspiration to many.

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  15. You're in my thoughts today (almost 9 AM, Eastern time). I'm sending positive thoughts and prayers for peace and "getting it done" your direction.
    And, like Arlene said: "Blessings on you in your new home."
    Lynn in southern NJ

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  16. Thinking of you this morning, knowing it will be a difficult day. Hoping the new surroundings, neighbors, and close by resources of your new start will quickly become a joy.

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  17. Just as the walls of CS-1 will sing out all the joy and
    peace endowed by you to the new occupants, so will CS-2 harmonize its former song with the one you bring to it...
    It is going to be a nest of comfort and healing... Chin up - shoulders back - onward... Praying you positive
    thoughts and strength throughout the day and the peace of
    acceptance and gratitude as you open the door to this new
    chapter in your life, nestled in the sleigh bed at day's
    end. We are all praying you through, dear one.

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  18. I am thinking about you today. Godspeed and onto your new adventures!

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  19. Coni, thinking of you today. As the door closes on this chapter of your life, a new chapter is just beginning. It is okay to be sad and upset because change is difficult. But remember, this big old community of ours has your back. Sending you good thoughts as you begin this next leg in your journey.

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  20. Sending all my love to you today. And I am sure your home absolutely knows how much you loved your time there.

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  21. NeedlesandBlackCatJune 13, 2017 at 1:55 PM

    You're doing great--change is hard. Loss is harder. Throw the rotten cherry of ill health on top of the whole upheaval sundae, and you're bound to have a bad case of the crappy days. You, my dear, are entitled to piss and moan, and we are your friends. That's what friends are for--holding your head, heart, and hand when the whole mess gets to be too much some days. You'll come out on the other side believe it or not. Keep your head down, your shoulders back and your sense of humor up. We believe in you--even on those days when you don't believe in yourself.

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  22. Sending the strength of ten bears and the magic of a sparkly unicorn. Thinking of you with love xx

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  23. We tip $50 per moving man out here

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  24. Hi sweetie, I'm sitting here with tears - I haven't been on your blog for quite a while (life changes a lot when husband is fighting 2 cancers and there is no cure) but the tears are here because of all the changes in your life! I wish you the best of luck and happiness...take care of YOURSELF and GOD BLESS! Keep your marvelous sense of humor and great attitude - you have inspired me for quite a while now and I'll be stopping by more often now to keep an eye on you...((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))))and love........j

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  25. YOu are so brave and honest. Thank you for telling us the truth about what you are feeling so we can send love to you. So many people in blogland only tell us the good stuff, not the hard stuff or the sad stuff. I applaud your bravery and you know it will be okay, it is just going to be tough for a while. Hang in there and good luck with the move.

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  26. I am in awe of how you manage to continue to seek the positive. You are an inspiration.
    Best of luck tomorrow!!

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  27. Houses have atmospheres of either happy or sad. I think your house will miss you too.

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  28. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, Coni. One day you will be settled in CS2, perhaps with a new furry friend, and all of this will be behind you.

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  29. My thoughts are with you! Are you going to sell CS1, or rent it out to someone?

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  30. Aawww. You have been through a lot, haven't you, Coni? You'll get through it though. You never know, there may still be another dream house out there with your name on it a few years down the road. Many blessings!

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  31. Good luck, Coni! Moving house, apartment, or whatever is always a nightmare so be a brave girl and stick with it just a while longer. Sending you gentle hugs from Normandy xx

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