Moving day had gone along so well when we left the mountains. My neighbor sent a text to comment on the beautiful weather we had been given; the piano rolled across the back patio, through the lawn, and down the gravel path without incident; the trucks came up and went back down our narrow driveway without slipping over the edge and rolling down to the creek.
Our good fortune did not last.
The move was almost over with the piano being the last large thing to be moved into the new house. I happened to be standing at the back of the truck when something slipped off a row of boxes and landed on the floor of the truck with a crunch. It was the music rack to my piano, and the first of several calamities.
My husband reached up to adjust the chandelier in our closet before going to bed one night when the whole lamp fell right out of the ceiling. A statue in the side yard fell over into the mounds of ivy, and broke.
The contractor had forewarned that tree roots may help themselves into the water pipes of these old houses, and we promised to listen carefully for leaks. My husband heard the gurgling in the kitchen sink one morning and said, “That can’t be good.” It was not.
Water tends to flow where it finds the least resistance, which in our case was the first floor shower – where my husband had cleverly placed all of the lampshades for safe-keeping. They did not survive.
My deadline for settling into a new home has always been three weeks – in other words now.
Every day, I tackle one spot or another and give my undivided attention to clearing that one spot. Sometimes the job requires that I move everything out of the room before I can see what should be there; sometimes furniture does not exactly fit in the place I have envisioned it, and we spend hours dragging furniture here, there. . . down the hall.
A box sits in the corner of the kitchen at all times willing to catch anything deemed unnecessary. Things have been thrown into that box with abandon, and my husband has taken an overflowing box down the road to the Salvation Army multiple times. The garage holds larger items that seem worthy enough to be sold. This may or may not happen before they too take a trip down the road.
Celebrating Little Victories.
For a reason yet to be understood, life’s milestones – anniversaries, important dates or achievements – seem to tucker out before reaching the intensity we think they deserve to become a celebration. By the time you reach the day of celebration, the journey has either taken so long, or been so difficult the celebration is anti-climatic.
My husband and I purchased a bottle of champagne to celebrate one such important milestone in the distant past; a bottle of champagne that has stayed with us for thirteen years. The day we successfully cleared a small spot in the family room, we opened the champagne and celebrated nothing in particular, and everything.
Perhaps that’s why life’s major milestones come and go – to enhance the perspective of life’s little victories; the ones that happen every day.