One of our readers noted that when you are a military spouse, moving is your hobby. I have moved 16 times so far, and I never once thought of moving as my hobby. But it is.
Weird. Because moving also makes me feel like Jane Eyre wandering around the moor in the rain alone and penniless and grateful for pig slop. Yet I do, in fact, like parts of it. I collect binders of kitchen ideas to try in my next house. I wander the curtain section of IKEA wondering if I should buy some of the cool ones because I know they will not have anything I want when I actually move. I get a little zing every time I look in my china cabinet.
Which shows that military life will twist ya. Here are my top ten things to love about moving–what are yours?
1. Realtor.com. Right after my husband even hints that he is getting orders, I jump online to look at all the possibilities (whether we can afford them or not). How about a brand new house this time? Or an apartment with a view? Or a creepy Psycho-style Victorian ? Its like shopping Barbie houses for grown ups.
2. Paint strips. I love going to Lowes and collecting free paint strips. Nothing like the fantasy of a peony pink bedroom to give a rush of joy to the day.
3. Trade in the crazies. Every neighborhood has its annoying neighbors—the nature lover who feeds Captain Crunch(?) to foxes, the zealot who sees every Thomas The Tank Engine as a sign of impending autism, the nutter who calls the home owners association if you have three bikes in your driveway. Good to trade those old crazies in for a batch of new ones.
4. Floor plans. I love to puzzle over where everything is going to go and how I am going to store my five sets of china. Kind of like pretending to be Martha Stewart without all the work.
5. Goodwill donations. Moving gives me permission to get rid of stuff that is still good, but I really don’t want to unpack from a box ever, ever, ever again.
6. First Time Ever I Saw Your … Kitchen. All my houses have had something I recognized as “home” the minute I walked in the front door. Sometimes it is the way sunlight tumbles into the kitchen sink. Sometimes it is a Nikko Blue hydrangea in the front yard. But something about the new place is home and ready to love us.
7. Christmas cards. Facebook keeps track of the day-to-day state of my move. But I wait until the week after Thanksgiving to send my Christmas card/change of address. You get more Christmas cards that way.
8. Far friends made close. Stay around the military long enough and you have friends in every port. I love to step back into an old relationship with a friend as if we were never parted.
9. The Big Goodbye. I love to walk through my houses when they are empty again to think for a minute about who we were when we lived there. All the birthdays and holidays we had. How these walls sheltered us during deployment. Good little house. Thank you little house. Take good care of your next family.
10. First night. I love the first night in a new home. I love tucking my kids into their new beds surrounded by nothing but boxes and possibilities. Granted, I don’t want to ever move again at that moment, but in a new place there is plenty to love.