When my in-laws were forced for health reasons to leave their beloved home in Connecticut, I'd shipped several boxes of their belongings to California. "We'll sort through all of it, at some point," I told my skeptical husband. "It might be important to us some day, who knows?"
He sighed, as he is wont to do when he sees things differently but realizes the inevitable. Corrugated boxes and storage bins–their treasures landed in the garage alongside ours, all of it waiting to be sorted.
Turns out, "some day" didn't arrive until just yesterday, when I was packing for our own move. Toss, discard, save, ad infinitum. I was making good progress until I stumbled across the stuff I'd pulled from the squadron of steelcase filing cabinets my father-in-law kept in his basement. Here, piles and piles of manila folders–tabs worn soft and wrinkled, stuffed to the gills with pictures, correspondences and the like. I put the "Patent" folders aside, the Camera Club and Philatelic Society materials, too. But I couldn't resist a quick peek in the file marked "House Building Costs."
Hand-written receipts, scrawled agreements and ledgers…and hey, lookie here! Two packets of photos!
What with all these busy days and sleepless nights, leading up to our Big Move, I don't have time to write a lengthy post. It might not be beautifully crafted, grammatically correct or coherent, but if you'll indulge me, I thought I might share some things that came to mind when I was sorting through these treasures.
Note to all the young'uns: Before digital photography, "photo retailers" put negatives and printed images into envelopes like this one. Can you identify the year in which this set of photos was processed?
Here, my mother-in-law, Gabrielle Shore, is staking claim to their hillside home-to-be in Sharon, Connecticut. My in-laws discovered the perfect site for their "dream home" that same weekend. It was love at first sight, but oh no! The banks weren't open, and they didn't have their checkbook with them. "I have a quarter in my handbag," Gabrielle recalled telling their realtor. "Would the seller take that as a downpayment?"
A dream home is built on a solid foundation, on a parcel that makes your heart sing. Location, location, location–and light, lots of light.
The architecture of a dream home requires a lot of imagination, not to mention specificity.
To translate your dreams into reality, you need a cadre of helpers. Skilled contractors, for instance, who are at once knowledgeable and reliable. Friends and loved ones, too, to help share your excitement, off-load some of the stress, and otherwise help keep you centered.
I think it's important (essential, maybe) to set aside space in your new nest for beautiful, handcrafted objects. See also: hobbies. Form and function should have a hand-in-glove relationship! (Here, Sid's pride and joy: a dedicated photography darkroom. Note the stark contrast between stainless steel and cedar. It's not to my taste, but that's beside the point, am I right?)
It all comes together, eventually, and you'll appreciate it more for having experienced any delays or setbacks.
I'm going to mail that file (and these photographs) to the new owners. They love the property as much as my in-laws did, and that makes me happier than I can say. More soon about our own move…I'd love to spill the details now (with pictures!), but I've got to get packing!