Monday, February 18, 2013

The Close of an Era

It was February of 2006. Chad was in the Advanced Academy, and he was due to graduate in April and start working in his new area at Roosevelt Lake. We needed to find a home in Globe, and fast. I was almost 8 months pregnant with Bree, and was very eager to get our future living arrangements settled.

We found this little house through word of mouth, after failing to find something we liked with a local realtor. It wasn't listed, but the owner had to sell it because there was a warrant out for her arrest (drug dealing). Beautiful, no?

Chad was still in the Academy, so my dad drove out there with me to inspect it, and he helped me with the For-Sale-By-Owner process. The seller was flaky, but we finally got her to sign the packet I had prepared, and with the help of the title company, we were soon owners of the ugly place on the corner of Maple and Second.

We were ready for a change from our former life in Vegas. But I was not prepared for how much I would grow to love our little home, our small town, and our amazing friends. We had people in our lives that we could count on for anything, at any time of the day or night. I made friends and enjoyed Cookie Wednesdays, Book Club, and an adventure in the cupcake business. These dear people celebrated each new member we welcomed into our family, and cried with us during our most difficult times. We never, NEVER felt alone.

And then there were the house projects. This was the second home we had owned, but our first one had been a new build, so we truly discovered the meaning of "fixer-upper" in Globe. Our first project was the flooring; I was 9 months pregnant and tearing up old linoleum the day before I went into labor. That was only the beginning. We painted every possible surface, and I refinished the fireplace. We replaced doors, windows, siding, trim, the hot-water heater, a toilet, a tub, the kitchen sink and counters. We remodeled the kitchen cabinets. We planted a garden, some grass, and fruit trees. We truly made it our own.

After living in Globe for over six years, we finally began to feel that we needed to move to a place that offered more resources for the needs of our children. We wanted to be closer to health care providers and therapists for Lincoln, and I wanted to find a great school for all of our kids, because I didn't know how much longer I could remain sane while home-schooling! So when Chad's captain told him there was a job opening near the Phoenix area, we put our house on the market. It was a good six months before the right buyer came along, but once they did, things happened so fast.

It was surreal. Even as I packed I didn't really believe we were moving. So much of what was important to me seemed to reside in that little house, in that little town. I don't know why, but I kept thinking about a line from The Grapes of Wrath as the Joad family prepares to leave the only home they've ever known, with room in the truck for only the essentials. "How can we live without our lives? How will we know it's us without our past?" Of course, we didn't have to leave behind our photographs or other precious memorabilia. But in leaving that house I felt like I was leaving behind a huge part of my past. A period of time when I experienced so much joy, sadness, and personal growth. A home where my children learned to walk. The only home they've ever known. 

So when we finally drove away, with the moving van following behind, I shouldn't have been surprised that I started to cry. I mean, really cry. I had been so busy trying to keep the kids' spirits up, getting them excited so they wouldn't be too sad when we moved. I hadn't realized that I would be more emotional than them in the end.

Goodbye, Globe. I can't possibly thank you enough.


***An extra special thank-you to all our friends who came to help us pack our moving truck, which was way too small. We couldn't have made it without the Burks loaning us their trailer, or Paul, who loaded up his own truck with our stuff, followed us to the valley, and helped us unload.

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