John Clark on the next chapter in the Clark family saga. After 16 years in Hartland, we’re heading south. Not way south like Florida, but real Mainer south. In our case, Waterville is where we’ll be settling down in a month or so if all goes well.
There are numerous reasons for this decision, some of which I’ll share, some will be shared privately in the future as necessary. We knew that eventually a three story Victorian was going to be more than we could navigate safely. My bad knee hastened the decision, was strengthened by our commitment to use the pools at the Alfond Center in Waterville and was cemented when we learned a second grandchild was coming to our Belgrade daughter and her husband in November. Beth took care of Piper for the first 2 ½ years of her life and wants to be involved again. At present, we’re 45 miles away. The home we made an offer on is not only 17 miles away, but most of the time, you can be on the interstate in 90 seconds.
As those of you who have moved recently know, it’s not only a physical process, but a mental and emotional one as well. I must have started subconsciously right after the election because I started selling things on ebay and through Uncle Henry’s. Now, we’re going through the industrial shrinking phase, selling more via Uncle Henry’s, as well as having lawn sales on the weekends (Netted some serious cash in the past three weeks as well as freeing up lots of space.) One nice part of lawn sales is chatting with friends as well as with folks we don’t know. Our neighbor, who’s doing a complete revamp of his mobile home, has been the beneficiary of lots of pipe and pressure treated lumber during the downsizing.
Since we’ve made an offer that has been accepted on the home we like in Waterville, we’re at the stage where we’re looking at all our furniture and imagining it in each room in the new place. With going from three floors to one, there are lots of pieces that won’t fit in the new puzzle, so we’ll be talking with a local antiques dealer soon. The mental process is possibly the most challenging thing we’ll be working through. More about that below.
What we’ll keep (loosely termed): Vegetable gardening (adequate room in the back yard, albeit much smaller), space for books, space for our personal stuff (My books, computers, contest stuff, Beth’s computer and sewing/quilting stuff)
What we’ll lose: All our mature fruit trees, bushes and vines (at least until we plant new ones in the back yard), our asparagus patch and the wild blackberries on the adjacent town property, playing in recycling at the dump, gathering non-winning lottery tickets to get computers for the local school, walking to the post office and the library, waving to half the town on weekends as they go to the dump, getting Coke caps at Dudo’s redemption center.
What we’ll gain: A more politically friendly town (Waterville’s idiot mayor notwithstanding), a bigger library, a choice of grocery stores, a shorter trip to the Alfond Center as well as to Augusta, the ability to walk to Starbucks, Bangor Savings Bank, Walmart, Home Depot, Hannafords and Bull Moose.
Then there’s the unknown. I’m going to need to find some Waterville area AA groups that feel right, Most of our social and civic obligations and connections will be severed and I hope we’re both going to move slowly on creating new ones, I don’t know about continuing to sell books, but am eager to have more time to read (6 hours a day isn’t nearly enough).
Stay tuned as the adventure goes forth. If you’ve moved recently, or are planning to, what are your thoughts?
I dunno, John—the big city . . . ?
Big changes there. Good luck. The only suggestion I have worked for us 20 years ago: Pack a suitcase for the first few days as if you’re going on vacation, so you always have clean clothes, toiletries and meds in one place. Hope that helps!
Best of luck on your new adventure!
Wowsah, John. Things have moved fast. I’ll message you for more details.
Last year we sold our home of 30 years and most of our possessions. We renovated our daughter’s 1200 sq ft basement (22 miles north) (she has some of our furniture upstairs so I can always go look at it if I miss it!) and bought some new furniture, though we aren’t 100% done yet. It’s nice to take our time furnishing the place, though I am in need of some bookshelves! We winter in another daughter’s basement in Arizona and we enjoyed furnishing it as well. We are also in a more “urban” area here (it’s all relative) and look forward to getting around on foot. We have so much more free time to spend with our grandchildren and on our own. We haven’t missed our house once. My advice: take your time buying new furnishings and don’t hesitate to get rid of old ones. A fresh start is always a good thing.