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Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year. New Home.

Buyers made an offer on our house in DuPont, Washington, in November. We locked the door for the last time on Dec. 5. We felt we had no choice but to move over the holidays.

We knew from past experience that moving required an appetite for the horrendous: a month of packing, the adventure of a long drive in a car loaded door to door and floor to ceiling, and then the sudden challenge of receiving the contents of a 50-foot moving company van, with a driver required to unload on a tight schedule. A harrowing prospect, indeed, for a happy holiday!

We hoped to move to the Bethany area north of Beaverton, Ore. We worked with a great Realtor who knew the neighborhood and the ropes. But we just couldn’t find the property we wanted in the 10 days we had available.

We had no choice. We gave Mayflower-Worldwide Movers the address of the little home we’d owned since 2009 on Epoh Avenue, City of Manzanita, Tillamook County, Oregon: 80 miles from Beaverton, over two mountain passes and topping out at 1,600 feet.

You know Tillamook County for its famous cheese and ice cream and maybe for its forests and beaches. Now try to envision our little house: already fully furnished, with very little storage space. Do you know Epoh Avenue? You think Epoh Avenue sounds like a thoroughfare? Well, try an internet search. If you don’t get results, here’s why: Epoh is a mere two blocks long. Am I spelling it correctly? Yes: E-P-O-H! We’ve had a heavy traffic day of six dogs, two pickup trucks and a skateboarder go by. Our neighbor moved here to get away from California traffic. Now he’s half of the daily rush if he goes out of his garage.

Suddenly, we found ourselves compressing from about 4,200 square feet (2,630 square feet in DuPont plus 1,530 in Manzanita) to the smaller house alone. My plan sounded so assuring and easy: “We’ll just downsize and also rent a storage unit to store some things. Anyway, we’re older now and we’ll have to downsize sometime. Might as well do it now!” Ah, the naive optimism of the senior citizen.

Yes, some household items went to our daughter in Beaverton and some to Seattle for our son and family. A few items, large and small, went to neighborly neighbors in DuPont. But for the bulk of our goods? Sorry, but no choice. Just stack them up in our Manzanita two-car garage. We'll deal with it later.

Then the delay!Mayflower loaded our goods on Dec. 5. Black ice on Highway 30 between Rainier and Astoria caused a delay. Mayflower finally delivered on Dec. 18. Delivery was a whirlwind, but the real maelstrom began on Dec. 19 when we opened the garage door in cold weather and began to shove boxes and furniture around to make a couple of narrow aisles for access.

Now we’ve been gone from lovely DuPont for a month and what do we have to show for it? We are warm and eating well. Our son and family as well as new neighbors have supported us very generously in moving furniture out of the garage and into the house, opening boxes, unloading some items, repacking boxes and stacking them up in storage.

But we need many things we can’t find. Those lampshades: Where could they be? Under the eaves, or in a box in the storage unit, or in a box in the garage? It’s even harder to find the very little things. Where is my sewing needle? My storage unit key? Our tiny new Oregon auto registration document? More importantly, where has my sanity gone? Nothing seems to be where I suppose it should be. It’s like floating 20 miles offshore without a compass. Land is near, so they say, but which way do I row to get there?

We’ve been very lucky. January days without clouds have made the breakers gleam, and the moon and stars have lit the night sky like we’ve never seen it in the Puget Sound area. And we’re finding one item here, another there. Even though many household things have disappeared for the moment, we suppose we’ll see them soon. Remember the parable of the Lost Coin? It has a good ending.

And what on earth might the name of our street mean for us in this new year? Reverse the spelling of E-P-O-H and you’ve got it: HOPE!

Question for your comment: when you've moved, how stressed were you and how did you handle it? Want to comment? Click on "No comments yet" just below. Thank you.

(And thanks for the blog's title to Diane Franklin.)


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