Moving house for the first time in 22 years takes a phenomenal amount of time.
Time to clean, to prepare, to pack, to decide what to take, to decide what to box and put in storage, to decide what is important and what is junk. Sorting, sharing, helping the rest of the family, cleaning, washing, bubble-wrapping, padding, taping, vacuuming, clearing out.
And then more on the other side unpacking…
Unwiring the sprawling Cat5/Cat6/TV/phone/power mess with its tentacles reaching into nearly every room of the sprawling multi-story six bedroom mansion.
Finding old school projects and taking photos because there’s no way you can keep them. Clearing the areas where life, water, and wildlife (possums were adventurous – one once poked its head through a hole in my wall and stared at me, at least before I taped over it).
Yes ’twas a grand old house, but one which really is reaching the end of its life. The brick fireplace roof flew off in strong winds last year so it’s just a column up to open sky. The roof is still mostly covered in aging wooden shingles where the possums haven’t knocked them off, and leaks in many places. Mosses and fungi are starting to invade sections of walls. Lichen grows on the fireplace bricks, especially in the cracks over the old cement. Some of the glass has been broken and taped over as a quick fix to keep the elements more outside than in.
Still much is habitable and the house still feels solid, even when it’s hailing and pouring with rain. The downstairs is generally far more pleasant, especially in the hot summers when hot air escapes leaving the downstairs areas cool. It has a charm, an air about it, though perhaps that’s just 22 years of memories staring back at me.
In any case, on to the future, apartment living and continuing study for this year at least. Let the good times roll, being closer to a new university in a new suburb, being close to good buses and trains, meeting new people and just keeping up with the continuous learning, the wave often likened to a tsunami, or the tide itself rising up – the ever-growing ocean of the sum of human data, information, knowledge and wisdom on the internet.