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moving forward

This is the last post I will make from this house, except for a Memorial Day post I have set to go. I've been here 14 years and one month. When I first moved here, Natalie was an infant. In between then and now, I had another child, got divorced and got remarried. There's a whole lot of history - good and bad - in this place. The thing I will miss the most is having my parents across the street. Oh, we're only moving about six or seven blocks away but the convenience factor of having one's parents across the street can't be beat. On second thought, the irritation factor can't be beat, either. At least now, we'll be close enough to still bum a meal off of my parents, but not close enough so that they are all up in my face all the time. This house - the one I'm leaving - is situated in what we call the compound. It's a corner house and on either side of the home is a relative. Or two or three. So all the yards - from two houses down to the west and the house to the north, all conjoin in some way to form a really big complex of yards and homes. At any given time, there are about ten kids outside, plus various aunts, uncles, cousins and other assorted relatives. It's great when you want to have a family gathering, but other than that, it pretty much sucks. Especially when your family is as nosy as mine. So this flight from "the compoud" rings like freedom. No more aunt and uncle upstairs; that would be the batty uncle who does nothing but scream and curse all day and the aunt who has sneezing fits that last up to an hour. This is the same uncle whose hobby is feeding birds, thus turning our yard into a wildlife sanctuary filled with birds and squirrels who never, ever shut up. No more aunt next door who constantly wants to know what we are doing and why we are doing it. No more little cousins running back and forth by the doorway. No more mental self-torture of comparing myself on a daily basis to the fitter, happier, more productive cousins next door. Now, my yard is mine. No sharing, no dibs on whose friends were playing out on the lawn first. Oh, and no more idiot across the street who revs his truck engine for at least a half hour every morning before he leaves for work. The block we are moving to is not without its share of horrors. For instance, last night one of our new neighbors had a party. A pre-teen girl party. Twenty of them, screaming (and you know that the decibel level of a female pre-teen girl can shatter ear drums), running up and down the street. And there's the guy next door who has a tendency to suck face with his girlfriend for hours at a time in front of his house. Minor things. The best things about the new house? One of DJ's best friends from school lives next door, and about half the boys in his class live on our street. Constant baseball and basketball games outside. Natalie's best friend lives around the corner. The people next door (the one with the kissy face son) are huge Yankee fans. Hey, that's what I like in a neighbor! I've known a lot of the families on this block forever. One couple, I've known for about fifteen years. Another couple - I was close friends with the husband in junior high; we grew up just three houses from each other. This street is famous for its block parties and barbecues. They're the kind of people who will see you doing work on your house and before you know it, they will all be standing in your yard with tools and cold beer, offering help or advice. So today we start taking our belongings out of this home and driving them over to the new home, leaving behind the invasion of privacy issues, the sticky bedroom door, the uneven floor in the kitchen, the noisy uncle, and - most important - the baggage that went with this place. After all, this is where I lived with my ex, where I divorced my ex, where I built a lot of miserable memories. For the first time, Justin will not feel like he is living in an ex-husband zone. This is a grand step forward for us, it's almost like we are starting over. Fresh. No layers of bad marriage dust lurking around the corners and under the beds. We bought paint yesterday. Beautiful bright colors, not a stitch of boring old white. It's our house. We can do whatever we want. If that means golden walls in the living room and a red hallway, so be it. We made plans to gut the bathroom and start over. We ordered new windows for the room where the office will be. Natalie has plans to paint flames all over her walls. DJ wants Justin to paint a mural on his bedroom wall so it looks like he's sleeping in Yankee Stadium. Our fridge makes crushed ice (I know, I'm obsessing over this, but I have a compulsion with eating ice), we have a garbage disposal, I finally have the flat top stove I always wanted, the garage is going to be fantastic rec room and we are determined to make this horrible lawn look decent. We are going to be poor, there is no doubt about that. But we are going to be happy. Sure, I nitpicked and bitched about everything the other day, but I'm feeling better as the days go by. Every crack, every little blemish, they are all mine to fix and I love the way that feels. Now comes the hard part. The actual moving. I'm really not that fond of hard labor. Anyhow, thanks for putting up with my endless posts about home buying and moving the past few weeks. Look for my Memorial Day post tomorrow (or late tonight) and I'll catch up with you on Tuesday. Everyone enjoy your holiday weekend. You know the drill - don't drink and drive, eat lots of burgers and try to visit a local war memorial if there is one near you. You can see photos of my last trip to the Nassau County Memorial here]


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What is it with women eating ice? My wife is obscessed with eating ice -- to the point that she fills up a plastic container with it and shoves it in her lunch cooler on the way to work every day...

Congratulations, Michele. How strange it is, and yet how pleasant, that even though I've never met you, I should feel so happy for you right now as you make this move.

Willy Wonka: "And Charlie: don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he'd ever wished for."
Charlie Bucket: "What happened?"
Willy Wonka: "He lived happily ever after."

Hmm, a fellow ice eater. I should've guessed as much. And good luck with the move. We closed yesterday and start moving tomorrow afternoon.

You'll not be poor at all, Michelle. You'll just be heavily invested.


Congratulations on the move, and we'll see you after the holiday!

good luck with the move, and remember, for the next three years you're gonna be dirt poor and there'll be no vactions...after that, it's time to trade up!

Good luck with the move (though I hate moving). But it sounds like you live in a strange neighborhood. Then again, I don't have the liberty of knowing everyone around me.

As for my whole family being next door: the concept is somewhat foreign as my family is fairly far flung, but good luck.

I can't imagine living in the same place for 14 years.

This is so exciting for you. Lots of changes, but autonomy is the best! Good luck on the move!

A friend of mine told me that nobody really lived in New York. That everyone there lived in their own small town that was about 20 block big. I now have the perfect example of that principle.

And from a guy who has averaged one move a year for his entire life, I can say that the best part of moving in leaving behind the stuff that you don't need.

Good luck with the Brand New Start. Enjoy

Don't laugh at me, I got all teary reading that...you seem like the richest person in the world! And congratulations on busting out frome the compound.

Sisterhood of Comestible Ice Ingestion: have your hematocrit checked. That is all.

Except for the part where it cracked one of my teeth.

For flat-surface stove success, flat surface frying pans and stock pots suggested. And warping in the pots will leave you sighing for electric eyes.

I second SarahW on getting your hematocrit checked. A desire to chew ice can indicate low blood iron, as strange as that may sound.

(speaking as a former ice-chewing junkie)

Congratulations on your new home! Sounds like you've already started making memories there, good on you.

BTW, I hate white walls also.

Yay you! Enjoy it all.

Yes, Lord save us frome white walls.

I dont' have and in my house. Paint fumes can be dangerous though. Crack the winders!

Moving sucks, sucks, sucks, sucks, sucks.

But it'll be worth it. :-)

Congratulations, I'm very happy for you.

Piling on the ice chewing groove, it's sometimes indicative of anemia or an iron deficiency. Trust me, my dad's a doctor.

The other negative is that you have to deal with John Kerry cycling by all the time.

Congratulations, Michelle, and good luck with the new house. Having moved (a bit further - NJ to AL) in the past six months, I sympathize with the work you're facing. But how wonderful to have your own space, truly your space. A blessing indeed. And six blocks sounds like a good amount of distance - enough but not too much.


Congrats again and best of luck. Moving is always a biatch, no matter how prepared one is (one starts with nicely packed boxes with contents labeled, and ends with drawers emptied, willy nilly, into any box handy ...as my hubby puts it..the "roadie way of moving")


WWII memorial ceremonies being carried live on FoxNews right now. Wow.

Oh and here is my Memorial Day essay.

I know, I'm obsessing over this, but I have a compulsion with eating ice

That isn't related to this, is it?

Gee, that's nice of me: You're on the verge of escaping nagging relatives and I jump into to nag on your health. Sorry. My bad.

Well, McClelland, if you never surprise, at least you also never disappoint. Christ.

I am also an ice chewer. I have Iron Deficiency anemia - my doctor says that's why I chew ice.

My dentist says I should stop - so far the ice habit has cost me $400 for a crown. My molar snapped in half like a chicken bone.

Girls get some iron pills post haste!

Congrats and Have Fun!

The house you are moving into, the street, the neighborhood, people with commn interests... sounds like a dream. A good warm dream. Congrats.

The house you are moving into, the street, the neighborhood, people with commn interests... sounds like a dream. A good warm dream. Congrats.

Michele-I remember well the feeling of my own home; it's great! You say you are going to be poor-but you are actually richer by far than some if you are happy! (altho it still sucks to be happy with no money!)
looks like I'm writing to myself!

Wow, how inspiring to read of all the ways you're "customizing" your new house! We're getting ready to move next month (only our second home purchase, and possibly our last), and I don't think I'm up to doing a lot in the new house -- we have to get our old house sold.

congrats sweetie
this sounds great
you know
ive been thinking about moving too
ive spent 6 years here
and formed and lost my true love here
and as much as i have literally with my own hands turned this from an illegal, crappy, self run little condo building with old east village heroin mentality
to a new hip
that anyone can be proud of
i cant walk up these stairs without seeing all the memories
good and bad
piled up on each step as i walk
i know i can never love someone new and take them in here
and start again
with all this old dust

im all for changing scenery
its a bright and brilliant thing to do
you go girl

and besides
7 blocks has got to be a minimum
for family distance
mine are in california
and thats not nearly far enough

Parents across the street, relatives always coming over. Hmm... I get it, you're really Debra Barone aren't you?

Congratulations on your newfound homeowner's freedom. And I'd love to see pictures of the flame-job and yankee stadium murals when they're done. Those sound like the best bedrooms ever!

Your post gives me hope, because we're in the middle of trying to find a new place by August 1.

OH, and by the way...chewing ice supposedly means you're sexually frustrated!!

Ice machines rule!!!! I had a post on it somewheres... I'll have to dig it out... one of my pet peeves in life is 1/2 empty ice cube trays.... the ice machine solved that one.

I know the horror/facination you went through... I went through the same thing... "OH MY GOD, WHAT HAVE I DONE????", then you realize that all that work is yours to do, just to make the place YOUR home. Then you do it and there's very few feelings like it.

Good luck, God Bless and I can't wait to come watch a Red Sox-Yankees game....