Marsha Canham's Blog

October 11, 2012

Moving is the pits.

Filed under: Caesars Through the Fence — marshacanham @ 5:42 pm

I haven’t blogged much lately because I’ve been pulling out hair by the fistfuls for the past few months. I had to put my beautiful house up for sale. My forever house. It had everything I wanted, everything I worked so very hard for all those years of locking myself away in a tiny room, writing about knights and pirates and highwaymen. But alas, forever turned out to be thirteen years. The “forever” part crashed and burned with the divorce papers, it just took me another three years to realize the house was just too big for one person to handle. Plus it has stairs and I’ve had two knee surgeries in two years and I’m staring down the throat of a full knee replacement so…stairs had to go too.

Luckily my son had been doing odd jobs for me at the beginning of the summer, fixing things that had been neglected for the past three years of divorcedom. He rebuilt a deck and leveled patio stones, graded the interlock, rebuilt some retaining walls, painted and painted and painted inside and out so everything looked spiffy and renewed. Then blam, I decided to sell and, with the object of “decluttering” foremost in mind, Jefferson and Austin managed to fill two huge dumpsters with stuff.

After the dumpsters were filled and hauled away, Jefferson started packing. He went room by room and filled so many boxes, my basement looked like the final scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. There were narrow paths between stacks of boxes eight feet high, and when he finished filling the two huge storage rooms down there, he started shifting things to the garage.  As my clutter dwindled, the giant locust moved to my pantries and kitchen cupboards, emptying them of everything but what I deemed absolutely necessary. He left me with eight plates, eight cups, eight glasses. Spices? Packed. Roasting pans? Packed. Serving dishes? Packed. Did I complain? No. Not when I thought my beeyouteeful house would sell fast. HAH.  Two weeks or so after the listing went up, summer struck, so it was officially the end of the spring buying season. There were showings every day, sometimes two and three stacked like air traffic controlled planes, but for one reason or another, no one was moved to make an offer. One of the very first couples who came through…three times….loved the house but had one of their own to sell first, which, as the weeks moved into hotter and hotter summer weather, met up with the same stumbling block as mine. No one buys houses in the summer. They’re off frolicking at their cottages or horning in on friends and relatives who have cottages. Or they’re out golfing.

And there was I, keeping my counters uncluttered every day, making my bed EVERY DAY!!!!! Something I usually only do if I know there is company coming over. I mean really, who goes into the bedroom every day to inspect whether the sheets are straight and the blankets are tucked in properly? Especially when you live by yourself…it’s just you getting up in the morning from a comfy nest of blankets and pillows arranged just right, and just you snuggling back into that comfy nest the next night. I swear I was getting traumatized by the fact I had to smooth and tuck and plump the blankets and pillows every morning, then drag the bedspread up and artfully toss on the throw pillows. Artful shmartful. It was doubly annoying to have to artfully thwap those same pillows up against the wall each night and try to arrange my sleeping nest again.

Four months. I smoothed and thwapped for four months before a sold sign finally went up. And, as Fate would have it, to the same couple that came through three times and listed their house so they could buy mine. At least I know it’s going to someone who really wanted it and who, by the number of tradesmen who have been coming around, plans to take good care of it.

My forever home.

I’m going to miss it terribly. I’ll miss the forest out back, and if you’ve been watching my facebook page, you can see why. I’ll miss the actual size of the place, even though it’s way too big for just me. I’ll miss my deck and my office with the view of that forest. I’ll miss the firepit and the nights sitting out burning old furniture, setting off fireworks, making brandy-filled smores. My granddaughter was distraught when I said I was selling it because it’s the only house she’s ever known Grammy to live in. Same with Carter. Austin, though he doesn’t remember the Noake house, hasn’t said much but I’m sure he’ll miss it too. I can still hear the front door getting flung open and a little voice yelling “Grammy we’re here! Can we sleep over!!!”  I’ll miss the Christmases when we sat 22 people for dinner, stretching tables out through the kitchen and into the family room and still had room for a hugemongous tree beside the tables. I’ll miss my huge, sweeping willow trees, and  I’m sure Suzie will miss having a half acre yard to run around in.

I”ll have a new forever house soon, and it will be all mine. Hopefully I’ll last another thirteen years in it. Oddly enough, every house I’ve lived it, it’s been for thirteen years.  This one is technically shy of the thirteen by four months, but close enough.  I’ll be taking a LOT of good memories with me…and some ugly ones…but the good far outweigh the bad, so for the most part I’ll still smile at my house when I drive past it.

My office is being broken down this coming Monday and because I’m not real good at sitting on the floor to use a computer, I’ll be relegated to the iPad for checking mail etc.  This may well be the last blog for another few weeks,  at least until I get connected again at the new abode, so think kind thoughts when you think of me buried under mountains of boxes and used packing paper.

One thing I won’t be doing, however *evil snicker* is making my bed!!!  Woo hoo!



  1. I helped my mother move last year. and it almost killed me and two other people. So my heart goes out to you. And when you’ve got 13 years worth of memories to go through while you’re doing it it’s emotional as well as physical. I hope you get settled really soon and you love the new place as you obviously loved the old.
    Teresa R.

    Comment by Teresa Reasor — October 11, 2012 @ 5:47 pm | Reply

  2. Good luck Marsha- I know what it’s like, having moved 2X cross country in the past 1.5 years! I’m sure your new place will welcome you with open shutters and welcome mat….. I know what you mean about the bed, tho. Who needs the place to look like House Beautiful all the time? Good luck finding a place for everything…..Looking forward to when you’re back online!

    Comment by Karen — October 11, 2012 @ 5:51 pm | Reply

  3. I wish you a nice moving (is there such a thing?) well at least the nicer it could be and I hope you will feel happy in your new home.

    Comment by Susana — October 11, 2012 @ 5:55 pm | Reply

  4. I’m moving at present, too, so I can relate to living in the world of boxes and all the emotional treasures and time bombs involved in the whole process of packing and throwing out and putting things in trucks to take them elsewhere. It will all be worth it in the end.

    Comment by Anna Bowling — October 11, 2012 @ 5:58 pm | Reply

  5. Last time I moved (ten years ago) I thought I was having a nervous breakdown. I even called our Employee Assistance Line for help because I thought I was depressed (and going to beat the living hell out of a rented carpet cleaner). Their advice…check their website and look at the signs of depression to see if I was in fact depressed. Gee thanks jackasses. Anyway that was ten years, and two kids ago. I REALLY would like to have a bigger house with my own bathroom, but I loathe the idea of trying to sort through all that crap. Did I mention my husband has had two different dumpsters at our house this summer. It is still full of crap (and animals and kids and toys everywhere). Hang in there. Oh and I don’t make my bed either…if that is a requirement to move I might just set fire to the place one day and collect the insurance.

    Comment by Juliet — October 11, 2012 @ 6:10 pm | Reply

  6. Huge change is always so traumatic, even if it’s one we’re actually looking forward to, so I’m sure this is a tremendous strain. Hope the move goes smoothly and you’re soon able to celebrate your new beginning.

    Comment by Lynn Reynolds — October 11, 2012 @ 6:11 pm | Reply

  7. Bravo, LP. While it may have taken a tad longer than you would have liked, it’s almost over and you can start the journey of discovering, warmth, love, and personal decorating nirvana in your new place. Just think, this one’s going to reflect you and only you! I look forward to visiting and swanning onto the guest bed after visiting the wine cellar. LOL Try not to wear yourself down too much. I’m so excited for you!

    Comment by SurferGirl — October 11, 2012 @ 6:30 pm | Reply

  8. I feel for you Marsha! I’m fixing up my “forever” house now in an effort for it to be “saleable.” Not a lot of fun to do that, though everyone keeps asking, “Are you having fun picking things out?” Uh…no. It is depressing. I have so much to do. Plus, it isn’t cheap. And I have sooooooo much stuff! I have lost count of the number of dumpsters that have been hauled away. Best wishes in your new home. Loved your post.

    Comment by Lisa Kay — October 11, 2012 @ 6:59 pm | Reply

  9. Moving sucks. I hate it. Did it twice in the last year. But lets loft a cold drink and toast to happy years in your new forever house.

    Comment by Phyllis Lamken — October 11, 2012 @ 7:50 pm | Reply

  10. We’ve been in this house for 23 years. Just thinking about moving brings me to my knees. Your current house is a beautiful house but it is large for one person to maintain, Marsha. And your new house is so lovely. I can’t wait to see it once you’ve added your own touches. I know you’ve got to be exhausted. The move will soon be over and you’ll be settling in. I hope you’ll love the new place.

    Comment by JILLMETCALF — October 11, 2012 @ 8:36 pm | Reply

  11. We’ve lived in our present home since 1972, and I’ve vowed the only way I’m leaving is in a body bag. I do, however, leap out of bed every morning and make my bed. My life may be a complete unorganized mess, but my bedroom is neat.

    Comment by Phoebe Conn — October 11, 2012 @ 9:10 pm | Reply

  12. I’ve moved 8 times in my life and hated each and every time I did it. Twice, I moved from coast to coast and back again. One time, I moved because the building came down on top of me in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake and I had no choice. It is always a traumatic experience, especially if you like to nest (as I do). The only good thing I can say about it is that I always throw away a ton of stuff that I wonder why I kept in the first place. So, it is like a giant cleaning.

    I’ve never been married nor do I have children or grandchildren, so I can’t even begin to fathom the memories that you will be leaving behind in your beautiful home. However, I do have wonderful memories of each and every place I set up my way, with fabulous dinner parties and get togethers with my friends. But, you will be making many new memories in your new home. And, you can decorate and set things up just the way YOU want them!

    I wish you many more years of wonderful, happy memories in your new home. And, good luck with the big move. It will be over before you know it.

    Carolyn Hughes

    Comment by caseykelly3 — October 11, 2012 @ 9:50 pm | Reply

  13. My heart goes out to you, Marsha. Having lost a forever home, I truly understand. But we can be glad we live in a place where it is possible to have a home. All the best in your new one!


    Comment by Regan — October 12, 2012 @ 2:03 am | Reply

  14. Well honey, from one who was there to help put together that amazing office, to eat, and eat, and eat, and drink and drink and drink lol in your amazing kitchen, and sleep in one of those well made beds 🙂 I totally understand how much you’ll miss this house, but honey, the thing is, it’s YOU who made the home! So no matter where you “settle” for forever… you are what makes it “home”! Good luck, and many many happy years in your new home!!!! ❤

    Comment by Melissa Eggenberger — October 12, 2012 @ 1:03 pm | Reply

  15. Thank you everyone for your support and comments. It’s bad enough moving when you’re part of a couple, but when you’re on your own…sheesh…so many things to do, so many details to look after. I may yet do a face plant into a soup bowl before the 22nd arrives. LOL

    Comment by marshacanham — October 12, 2012 @ 1:09 pm | Reply

  16. I know exactly what you mean! I did the same and am still trying to tackle whats left of my “stuff” in a metal building.
    How does one condense a house with 5 bedrooms into a house with 3? How does one throw away things that mean something? I am now living together with my 87 and 80 year old Mom and Dad. They raised my brothers and I, and did a great job. I am trying to “give back.” Wonderful people that deserve respect and consideration. My Mom still gets up every morning to see me off to work with a hug. How lucky is that??

    Comment by Bren Barrett — October 12, 2012 @ 8:09 pm | Reply

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