Since moving from one house on 18th Avenue to another with the same numeric address on 20th Avenue in the Chicago suburb of Broadview, Ill., I calculate I have moved eight times.
Eight is enough. Believe me. More than enough.
I'm finishing up Move No. 8 one Jeep Commander load at a time now from one side of Greencastle to another. There won't be another move now that I have found a quaint, little brick bungalow in the middle of town. That's it, this is home now.
Getting there, however, hasn't been half the battle. It's been the whole war.
Moving from a five-/six-bedroom home with a full basement and attached three-car garage to a three-bedroom house has had its challenges. Did I really own five TVs? Did I really have four double or larger beds? Enough fishing tackle to outfit the Lake Michigan fleet? How'd I accumulate all these clothes? All this sports memorabilia? Who put all that stuff up in the attic? And these newspapers? ... well, that one's easy.
Had a yard sale. Completely filled a roll-off dumpster. Gave furniture to my daughters. Let neighbors pick out pieces. And have gotten to know the workers at Goodwill and Rescued Treasures on a first-name basis (thanks for the Christmas cards). I think we're at 20 trips to the thrift stores and counting.
Yet a few remnants linger. An old Weber grill. A couple totes filled with tools passed down from my grandfathers. A metal rack that can barely hold up the weight of its own shelves. A Shop Vac that no longer sucks up its weight in dust and dirt. And an old Fincastle church pew, painted country blue in a previous lifetime.
Despite seven other moves, I'd forgotten how awful this can be.
I've moved halfway across the country (and back). And around the block.
Last time I had the pleasure of moving from one house to another was 15 years ago. It was a household of six of us back then. Now it's just me and the dog, which makes it all the more frustrating to be moving ... So. Much. Stuff.
Heck, even the dog has a couple boxes to add to the heavy lifting. Toys, treats, food, bowls, blankets, shampoos, medicine. Geez. He may need his own room.
Rest assured this move has driven the point home: Never, ever again. No way. Uh-uh. No. 8 is it ...
Unless, of course, that newspaper job opens up in Key West ...