Our 'one year' opportunity to fulfil a dream of living by the sea has given rise to "we can't possibly leave yet, let's stay a little longer". It doesn't make much sense to live in one state and work in another but then again we often end up doing things a little differently.
When you live in a place for twenty odd years you tend to accumulate stuff, even if you are a serious non-hoarder like myself. This last weekend we sorted, packed, trashed, stored and cleaned. We filled a skip and off loaded possessions left, right and centre. Our Melbourne house is now a shell. For three days we laboured, long and hard (with some help from the kids). Our stiff and sore bodies testament to all we achieved. I aspire to never wash another wall in my life. I did take the camera intending to record the momentous occasion but was far too busy to even take it out of the case. The significance of the event was also somewhat dwarfed by the tight time frame and the enormous amount to be done.
But done it is, well mostly. A gardener and handyman will continue in our absence and in a week or so we will return to finish what we began and then it will be handed over to an agent, ready for rent. We are not really sure how we feel. Our family home holds so many precious memories – the story of our lives and dreams lived out in these walls, two decades of love and joy and sometimes struggle and sorrow.
To be honest I never liked the house as such, we bought it because we could afford it not because we liked it and it was many, many years before we could begin to make changes so that it could feel like our own. And now at the end I feel a fondness for an ugly old friend that was slowly transformed over the years, a home that became a significant part of a beautiful life…