Monday, September 27, 2010

Moving Away from Home

It's always hard, the moving away from home. Generally it's a young person who is off to college or moving out on their own. In our case, our children had all moved out and made homes of their own, either near-by or in distant states.

Whenever frustrations of traffic and prices hit us, we'd talk of leaving East Hampton. We dreamed of a log cabin in Maine or New Hampshire, or perhaps a rambling old place in Vermont. As life would have it, things went very differently.

Three of my daughters and six of our eight grandchildren lived in Georgia. My brothers lived in SC. My son was in the Air Force and might be anywhere in the world during his enlistment. One daughter was in Sag Harbor, and Mike's sons were in East Hampton, but talking, too, of leaving the state. What to do? With my brothers rooting us on to come to SC, and the girls hoping we would too, we chose to move South, to be closer to the most family members. My mother was anxious to move to be near her own sons, and we took that into consideration while making our decision. But, the decision was not an easy one. While attempting to figure out when and where we'd go, we also had one other person to think of. Mike's 94 year old aunt was still alive, and he was her 'rock'. We didn't want to leave her alone, although she already had two caregivers in the house, and a son who lived in Brooklyn. It felt to us that if we left, we'd be abandoning her.

So, we bought a house in SC in 2005, and attempted to rent it in our absence. We had a couple of interested parties, but for one or another reasons, we didn't accept them. So the house say empty for that year. During that year, my mother built her house, and was anxious to move into it. We, on the other hand, were thinking we'd take it slowly, moving a bit at a time, but not permanently move ourselves for a few more years. All that changed when we moved Mom in Oct. 2006, and the brother I thought would be her 'watchman' when I was in NY, passed away the night we arrived. Now there was a dilemna. We had one elderly parent in one state and another 'assumed parent' in a state 900 miles away.

It seemed that life took the controls from us. Mike was in the process of getting through a workman's comp. case, which kept him in New York. I couldn't leave my grieving mother in SC.
So, Mike was to and fro, taking care of business and packing, while I stayed in SC in a sparcely filled new house, unpacking whatever Mike brought with him on his visits. By summer of 2007, we'd had enough of it all, and we determined that it was time to get the NY house ready for a rental, and get us moved fully to SC. While we were there together, working toward that end, we got a phone call one Sunday morning, letting us know that Auntie Lib had passed away. Though we grieved her loss, it took a very heavy weight off of us. She hadn't yet been told that we'd planned to leave the area for good, and now we were relieved that we wouldn't have to tell her. I'm glad that all things worked out the way they did.

As we worked toward the rental idea, a workman we'd hired made an offer to purchase 'as is', the house in NY. We accepted the offer, and moved along with our packing. Another matter solved. We'd not really wanted to be landlords!

Somehow, without our real control of the situation, we'd found all the pieces lining up to take us away from my hometown and Mike's adopted one. Things always have a way of working out, I guess. But, I still find myself missing the family which is scattered around the country. Maybe it's time to buy that RV, and travel from family to family, parking in each driveway until we get bored with them...and then moving on. What do you think?


  1. Yikes - sometimes life really takes us in interesting directions. RVs are great as long as you don't mind being on the road. But friends are always good to impose on as well! You can go home again - its just different, that's all. And who knows where the next adventure will take you?

  2. I honestly doubt that we'd ever do the RV idea, but it's fun to taunt my kids with it! :-) I love having a big house where everyone can come for holidays, etc. (although I'd welcome being a guest at one of the kids homes for one!) I like to travel, but love being, I imagine it'll always remain a 'dream' rather than a realty.