It’s been just three weeks since I moved into my new/old/big/not huge house, and I’m finally feeling settled. Again. This morning, I got up early, went to the Farmer’s Market, did a Target run, and listened to Wait Wait Don’t tell Me as I unloaded my booty and assembled my new Swiffer Wet Jet. It felt very much like a regular Saturday morning to me. I felt happy and content.
I won’t lie. The first week or so in the new place was hard. It didn’t feel like home, and in a way, it was almost as bad as the way I had felt when I first moved to Massachusetts last fall. After months of stressing about finding a house, the challenges of the sale, packing, moving, all that, my stress didn’t melt away as soon as I got into the house. I felt very overwhelmed and lonely all over again. I wanted my family. I wanted my best friend. I wanted to feel safe and comfortable and I didn’t feel either of those things. The house felt too big, I wondered if I had made the right choice. I had just gotten used to Waltham, had found my routine there, so important to me, and now I had to do it all over again. It wasn’t a good feeling. But fortunately, it passed.
Within about a week, I was starting to find my way. I had worried about the further commute to the office, but it really only added about 10 or 15 minutes to my drive, and it’s a lovely one, through back roads. I pass a lake, and a little “honor” flower stand. There are a ton of private schools, unseen except for the long winding drives, and coworkers have warned me that my ride might become a lot more congested once school starts, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.
I’m still getting used to the house. It’s big, at least for me. It wasn’t necessarily my plan to buy such a large place, but in a weird series of events, it became the place that I could afford, and that hit most of the items on my list, i.e. a garage, a fireplace, room for an office. It also has a spooky basement, which is both cool and sort of scary. It’s dank and dark and there’s a fireplace in it! I am so curious about that, the house was built in 1939, so it’s not like the Underground Railroad was passing through the basement in old timey times, although I like to imagine it was. It is, however, second only to my bedroom in coolness, so I don’t mind going down there to do the wash (it’s where the washing machine is). I’ve also come to appreciate that the basement is where all the things you don’t know where to put go to live.
I’m not thrilled about the mouse in the house. I’ve seen it twice now, both times in the living room, coming out from under the heating vents. And please don’t tell me there’s more than one, for my sanity, I’m choosing to believe he’s a solo artist. I’ve laid traps throughout the house, but thus far, nothing has been caught. And I do plan to get a cat but possibly not for a few months. I’ll admit, it grosses me out to have rodents in the house, but I also know it’s part of living in an older house. My neighbor told me all the houses here have them, and it’s just something you live with and try to eradicate as best you can.
I love New England. It’s really beautiful and the history awes and excites me every day. Even this morning, driving to the market, I marveled at the wonderful old Victorian houses as I whizzed by, not museums, but very much alive and filled with families. It’s green here. They talk about drought, and I know there are concerns about the lack of rain, although to me it feels like it rains all the time. It’s raining now, and big thunderstorms are predicted throughout the day. It’s different. It’s lovely.
I wish every person I love could teleport here, for an hour, a day, a week, a lifetime, to experience what I see. It’s quite an adventure to restart your life in your fifties. I still think back on the last three years, from the shock of the sudden and brutal layoff, through the months of uncertainty, interviews and stress, to the decision to make the big move, to here. Today. It’s a good life, and I’m so grateful for it. Now, I just have to get rid of that mouse.
The end, for now


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