A Fresh Start

Our (current) house

Our (current) house, as seen on Google spy-cam

Well there’s a big reason I haven’t posted for the last nearly-two-weeks. I’ve been a wee bit busy and preoccupied because…We’re moving!

The contract isn’t signed yet, but the lawyers are reviewing it, and already our current house is a box-filled, partly denuded version of itself as we de-clutter, de-junk and prepare to de-part, hopefully in July, depending on how long it takes us to sell our place. We’ll be putting it on the market in a few weeks.

We’re not going far; just to the next town north. Our new house is less than ten miles from our current one, about a fifteen-minute drive. It’s not that much bigger,  but it has some creature comforts that we don’t have now and that have always been on my wish list: A fireplace. A driveway. (Oh, how we will not miss fighting for parking spots on the street in the winter….) A big screened-in porch. Trees in the yard. Long-term, we feel like the schools will be a better fit for the girls. We belong to the UU church there, and have friends in the community. So it doesn’t feel like a huge change in some ways.

I still have some mixed feelings about our moving, which I won’t go into now (hint: much less diversity) but overall, it feels like the right decision for us. Even when we bought our current house, we planned to move within five or six years (we made it to eight), and this new house is probably where we’ll be for the next twenty, barring any unforeseen, unfortunate circumstances.

What’s notable — and probably not coincidental — is the timing. We’ll be moving right when Clio’s treatment ends. I think the subconscious reasons for this are twofold, and interrelated.

First, the idea of a big distraction from the worry and anxiety of the end of treatment is definitely appealing on some level.Second, there is appeal to the idea of a fresh start. The house we live in now is the first home Alastair and I bought; it’s where our babies were born and grew into beautiful children. But it’s also where we have endured a nightmare; where our life branched off into a completely unexpected and unwanted direction. When we awake from this strange dream, we can build our “new normal” in a new place. (Without totally letting go of the old, of course; we’ll still be within striking distance of our dear friends, our home city, our work, and our favorite haunts. Not to mention the hospital and clinic, where we’ll still go from time to time.)

But there is also a lot of sadness tangled up in all of this, and honestly there’s a part of me that wonders if it’s too much change all at once.

There are so many sweet and precious memories in this house we live in now — even ones from the past two years, while we’ve been on this crappy little boat trip: It has been my cradling Clio on the couch when she’s sick with steroids and chemo house, and my sleeping with Elsa in my bed while Alastair and Clio are six miles away at the hospital house. Our crafts at the dining room table with Gail from Our Space house.

But it will also always be my finding Clio on the couch having a seizure house. And my kitchen counter filled with medications house. And my accidentally OD-ing on my medications and traumatizing my kids house. My crying in the middle of the night thinking about what could happen house.

So we prepare to make a fresh start somewhere else, without the weight of cancer in our lives. And I’m excited, but nervous and sad, too. (“Sad.” What a flaccid word for such a complicated emotion.) It’s hard to leave this place we’ve fondly called home for the past eight years, and the community we’ve come to feel connected with.

In the meantime: Anyone want to buy a spacious, 3 bedroom + office and playroom house on the Somerville / Medford line, full of memories and love?

 

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21 Responses to “A Fresh Start”

  1. April says:

    Congrats on the new house! I love screened in porches! Also yes for a driveway. We live in the suburbs so everyone has driveways but that is something I have always been adamant about. I will put do street parking in my own home. Heck no. Not when hauling multiple kids and groceries with a bad back and I can’t parallel park for crap! So yay for new creature comforts for the Roper-Moock clan! You will probably alternate between feelings of happy and sad about moving. But in the end, the people you fill a home with are what really matters. :)

  2. Carla says:

    What a beautiful post. We live in the Western Suburbs of Boston, and we’re in the process of trying to buy a new, slightly larger house, and I totally resonated with your ambivalence about moving. This is the first house my husband and I bought together after we married (we planned to stay in it for 3-4 years, it’s been 10), I brought my babies home to this little house, and we have lived through many family crises and joys here. We need more space, but I’m also going to be a bit heartbroken when we leave.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I hope you are able to sell your current place quickly, and I wish you all the best with your move. Hopefully your new home will be filled with good health and lots of joy!

  3. Andrea says:

    Actually!!!! My best college friend and her husband are moving to Boston this Spring, and looking for a house. I’m going to tell them about yours.

  4. SarahB says:

    Congratulations! Best wishes for selling your current house. It looks lovely, and that sounds like a good location.

  5. Michele says:

    Aww, loved seeing the old pictures! Congratulations and best of luck to you with this fresh start!

  6. Gail Erdos says:

    So beautifully said (in words). You are, as always, one bravely honest gal. To speak about what you’ll miss (through better or worse) for sure doesn’t take away from the new joys and memories you’ll make. I think it will add to that joy because you keep those realities and memories so closely in your pocket. They’ll always be there (unless you wash your pants) and all these things create your new reality. Your boat trip is going to feel like a cruise when treatment is finished and it’ll be “all aboard” for the new adventures to come. Housewarming will have a whole new meaning….. Xo

  7. Betsy R. says:

    Congratulations! How exciting to have a new home, and be looking forward to making wonderful memories there. We have had our house on the market for the last month, and just accepted an offer today, so we will be beginning a moving adventure too (also just 15 minutes away). Though having the house show-ready every day with twin 4 year-olds and an 18 month-old was tricky, we are also excited about the next phase in our adventure. Will look forward to hearing about how the moving process goes for you all!

  8. Jane F. says:

    Yippee! I’ll bring by a pie.

  9. Peggy Tryon says:

    Jane, I totally understand what you wrote and is so true. I know we have not had much contact but I have been with you and your family on your journey in my work with Our Space. I am very appreciative of you and Alistair’s support to Our Space. I moved a year ago to Arlington after 25 years in our “home”. My move was also after some very difficult times. Though was very hard to leave so many happy memories and where we all shared so much, I find I am very happy in my new home and glad to be rid of the negative memories and energy that had become part of that time. We are happy in our new home and it is a new chapter! I wish the best for you and your family in your new chapter! Peggy

  10. philippa says:

    How do you feel about your girls changing schools, and how will you time it?
    We are likely going to be moving in 2015, because our current townhouse, in a very urban neighbourhood, is way too small. I constantly go back and forth between on one hand, “yay! let’s move to the suburbs, we’ll have a yard and a driveway and a lovely big house and a dog”, and on the other hand, “we must stay here, where my daughter already goes to school and the commute to work is very short and the coffee is mere footsteps from my home”. To upgrade to a medium size family house in our school zone would cost us every penny in savings and repayments from now until forever. My daughter has her issues (I have often thought she was high-strung “like Clio”), and while I don’t LOVE love our school, the teachers do know her, and know her issues. Is moving schools traumatising? Am I overblowing this? She also went to four different preschools in two countries by the by- she really needs some stability. Jane, what I’m saying is tell me what to do, please! :)

  11. Good luck with the move! Sounds like perfect timing to me. Hope it all goes smoothly. (Or as smoothly as moving goes….)

  12. Linda says:

    Congratulations on the completion of Clio’s treatments (Yahoo!) and forthcoming move to new home. May this be the beginning of your family’s “happily ever after”.

  13. Caroline whalen says:

    Best of luck in your new home!!!! Somerville will miss you!

  14. What happy news! But why the secrecy about where you’re going ? Cambridge ???? And what does the new house look like? I think the change is really important for you and the family. I wish you all good luck and good future memories and good health for everyone at your new house. Mimi

  15. Alida says:

    Happy news! Congrats! I have leukemia as well but I tried a more optimistic approach even t hough you are a mom and I know how devasted was my moment when she found out. Hoping the best for your daughter. I know it is not easy. I have been there but everything will be just fine. Take care

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  17. jules says:

    What’s going on with that last post??

    Love the old pictures. How clearly do you remember going up those steps with a double stroller?Does the new house have our favorite amenity, the attached garage?

    On other other hand, I love your current house! I hope really good people move in next.

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