Pack Up Your Troubles

There are few tasks in life that I find more detestable than moving. Nonetheless, I’ve done quite a bit of it in the last 33 years. At last count (and I’m probably forgetting something here), I have moved 19 times, between 15 different homes in six cities. That’s a lot of dragging yourself around, especially considering the number of books that make those moves with me. I would leave household pets behind before books. Really. I mean it.

My current townhouse has been my home for longer than any other, besides my two childhood homes. I moved in with the ex, but once that travesty ended, my name was the one on the lease and I stayed. (By the way, if you are dating someone who you think will later break your heart, I highly recommend that you have only your name on the lease- the amount of wrangling this saved me was epic). It’s finally starting to look the way I want it to- cozy, colorful, book-centric, handmade, and with the occasional bargain antique tossed in for good measure.

It’s not perfect. I’d love a kitchen with a counter. Mine has none. No really- not an inch of counter in sight- a sink, a stove, a refrigerator. I’d pinch someone else’s grandma for laundry hookups to avoid the laundromat. And if you have a spare gardener, the nine square feet of my patio that’s under 3 feet of evergreen weeds could use some attention. But it’s affordable, it’s in a great neighborhood, and I love it.

Today’s topic is “something you hope you never to have to do,” and while moving will happen at least one more time if I find and buy a house, I hope never to have to decide to leave my home.  I moved away from my family years ago for school and work and to have adventures. I love them dearly and the feeling is mutual. I’d like to visit them more often if flights weren’t so expensive.

But something I think about occasionally is what would happen if something bad and unplanned came up. What if I was really sick and needed someone to help me out? I would have to decide between going home to my family or being a burden on my friends. BC was great when I had my gall bladder out and took time off work to look after me, but that’s not reasonable for anything more than a few days. Family would probably win. But then, I’d be in a horrible situation and be 14 hours away from all the emotional support I count on every day in the little life I’ve finally managed to build for myself. 

My sisters both live close by, but if something happened and my parents needed cared for, I’d have to find a way to chip in. They won’t be healthy or young forever, no matter how much I wish it. Again, they’re family and if they need me, I go. But I would be torn leaving my life entirely to go back home. I’ve moved around enough to know how hard the friends I’ve made and the community I have now would be to replace if I had to start all over.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I never have to make that decision. I love my little townhouse. I love my Pittsburgh chosen family. I love staying still for once in my life.

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1 Comment

Filed under At Home, Family, Friends, Pittsburgh, Soul Searching

One response to “Pack Up Your Troubles

  1. I’m only six hours from home (I’m in DC and they’re in Ohio) but I worry about this all the time. My sister is here, so we can take care of each other, but that means neither of us is at home, and that will likely become an issue at some point (100 years from now, please god.)

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