I loved this house for a lot of reasons. It was the first house I owned. I could do what I wanted to it, when I wanted to do it. If I wanted to paint the walls bright green, with spousal approval, I could. I loved the big tree in the front yard, even if I hated the leaves it deposited on my lawn every fall. I loved the neighborhood in general. I grew up there. My favorite childhood memories were all from there. It was a 2 minute walk to a grocery store, where I could get last minute supplies for dinner. The elementary school I went to as a child was 5 minutes walk from my front door. It was a friendly neighborhood. A walk your dog and kids in the evening neighborhood. I could walk my dog and think back to all the goofy experiences I had when I was younger. It was MY neighborhood for the 2nd time in my life. I loved that my Dad and I built a deck in its backyard during an entire summer. I loved that it was the first place I had my OWN dog. I liked spending holidays there with my family. It was the house my youngest son was born in. (Well the hospital near by anyway) . I was within a drunken stupor from the man-room. I envisioned myself retiring there. I wanted to fix it up the way it should be. I wanted this to be the house that went from being too crowded, to too empty when the kids went off to college. I wanted to retire without a house payment in this house

Retiring here, or living here very long wasn’t in the cards however.

For as much love as I had for the house, I had just as much if not more hate. I hated the leaves the giant oak tree dropped all over the back “yard”. The two yards combined were at least 20 hours worth of leaf raking each fall. I hated the fact the back yard was nothing more than a dirt lot, where weeds sometimes grew. It was full of Bermuda grass, which is the most difficult stuff imaginable to effectively remove. Starting a lawn would have been nearly impossible to do alone. I hated the dust the backyard left on the dog, which he left everywhere else. I hated paying flood insurance on a house that wouldn’t have flooded unless Noah was still alive. I despised the termites who made their annual pilgrimage from the depths of the earth out my kitchen window frame, and all over the window, every spring. I couldn’t stand that the previous owner had outlined every flower bed with massive river rocks that looked horrible, and were almost impossible to get rid of. The lack of closet space in the house was atrocious. I was sharing a closet with my 9 month old son. It wasn’t good. There was no real way to add storage either, short of converting the garage to an extra room. This required far more cash than we foresaw ourselves having in the near future. We weren’t getting rid of any stuff either. I liked the house though, and was willing to tough it out.

Financial constraints, and the above problems drove my wife and I crazy, and it was becoming so we were working strictly to live there. While I liked the house, I wasn’t too fond of working strictly to live in it. My kids needed a grass backyard. We wanted more closet space to store things, so our floors and counters could be used for things like walking, and cooking. instead of storing excess stuff. We needed to be able to have extra money left at the end of each month for things like, food, and oil changes in the cars, Christmas presents, Birthdays, going out as a family now and then, and basically enjoying some of what life has to offer. Living in the Elmira house prevented us from doing that type of thing far too often. We needed to move. Plus my wife and I are feeling maybe our family is ready to move on to another location, in another state, and start a new adventure.

Moving has proven to be painful in a lot of ways. Leaving the first house you buy is always hard. Leaving a house is like leaving behind all the memories good and bad from that place. Moving has required me to find a new home for the dog that we/ve had for the past year and a half. My son and I aren’t very happy about finding him a new home. Moving has also forced us to go through countless boxes from our past and reorganize, and refine our stuff. This was fun, and time consuming. When you’re living somewhere that you feel is permanent, you tend to acquire a lot more crap than you would living in an apartment. That stuff also manages to get disorganized, and scattered all over in that time. It’s taken several days to go through all our stuff and decide what is and isn’t important enough to take with us.

The day we had the truck to move was the day it rained. I had the luxury of loading a refrigerator up the U-haul ramp in the rain. 2 year old Adidas sneakers don’t grip as well as they did when they were new. I slipped on the slick metal ramp, and was crushed by the 200lb fridge. Fortunately I wasn’t killed, or break any bones. I managed to get a few gnarly bruises on my upper arms though, which bore most of the weight. My brother-in-law was ever so helpful.

“Are you ok?”

“I guess.”

“Are you under there?”

“Uhm, yeah dude, I am.”

“OH. Let me help you.”

“Thanks.”

After escaping the first near death experience, mostly unscathed, I decided to try my luck again.

Pecos had come over to lend a much needed helping hand. He had pointed out something in the back of the U-haul that I needed to adjust.

“Hold on I’ll just jump over the washing machine, and go grab it.” I said.

I jumped but my foot slipped again, and I fell to the bottom of the trailer, bashing my shin on the way down. The rest of the day my shin oozed blood, and bits of flesh. In addition to bashing my shin, I managed to strain my calf muscle too. This was all in the first hour of moving. I got to spend the next 3 days moving injured. Awesome. Finally after 5 days of moving, we’re almost done.

The new house has plenty of space for everything we own, except the dog. I just hope in the few months we live here that we can somehow avoid collecting more stuff, so when we move again in 11 months the process is less painful in everyway possible.