Posts Tagged ‘moving’

Living in an Empty House

     I left my parents’ home when I was eighteen.

     Rather than going off to university, I moved into a small, one-bedroom cottage with my teenaged husband. We married in mid-November, so in addition to toasters and food storage containers, some of my first shower gifts included boxes of pretty, sparkly things to make our first holiday a special event.


Christmas wreath


     My life took an unplanned turn, when after twenty-five years of marriage, I packed the Tupperware and Christmas ornaments and left him.

storage containers





     Telling my mother was harder in my mind than in reality. She fully supported my decision.

mom and me


     At that time, she was a vibrant woman in her early seventies. She managed a busy motel near the Interstate highway that runs through the town where she was born. I knew my mother would always be strong, independent and self-sufficient. She had lived alone most of the twenty years since my father’s death.


highrise in Atlanta

     A year after my divorce, when I told my mother I was moving to Atlanta to live with a much younger man, she withheld judgment and told me to follow my dreams and my heart. She reminded me I could always come home.

couple laughing






       I packed everything I had, loaded boxes into a truck and drove to my new home–an empty place, ready to receive whatever I could squeeze into it.

     Now, more than a decade later, I’m packing again. This time, when I pack the Tupperware and Christmas ornaments, things are different. My years of collecting and moving, salvaging and saving have me sorting and scrutinizing my knick-knacks and whatnots.

box with christmas ornament

     After making the necessary decision to move in with my second husband to become my mother’s Housekeeper, Activities Director, Nutritionist and Companion, or HANC; the harder decisions come daily when each plate and pillow, my books and blouses, every file, folder, fan and forget-me-not must be relegated to one of three categories: tag it and sell it, move it or reconsider later.

stuffed fish



     If I make smart decisions, my possessions will become yard sale shoppers’ bargains.

 country house behind large oak tree from road

My mother’s home is small, but it has all the essentials including appliances, linens, dishes and more than its share of bric-a-brac. Soon, it will have three more residents – two adults and a small cat.


It seemed so much easier when the houses were empty, but who wants to live in an empty house?

abandoned house



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