It Takes a Village

Enjoying the apple tree for a few days more..

When I rashly decided to move house I was a bit worried, because once upon a time I was married to a most practical efficient man who could make anything happen and for whom 'project management' could have been his middle name.. and now I am not married to him anymore, and instead of Mr Project Management I have.. me. Not quite the same thing really.

It turns out, however, that even someone as vague as me can move house, with the aid of a lot of lists, and a bunch of good friends. Mostly the friends though. Since announcing my move I have had people popping in constantly offering their help. I have had friends turn up to help pack, some turn up with piles of packing cartons. One friend with a new baby is annoyed she can't help, but she has been getting the receptionists at her husband's medical practice to save all their cardboard boxes for me. Other friends are kindly finding new homes for my furniture and bringing utes and trailers to take it away, and my musician friend Karlin is finding new homes for our musical instruments

My very dear friend Jane offered her spare room to store all those unsightly objects and boxes of bits and pieces that I packed up before the open homes (all of which is still there, bless her). Jane will also be hosting us the night before we move so I can wash all the sheets and towels the day before, she is making soup for our dinner the night we move in, and is coming back the next day with trailer and lovely husband to move pot plants, piles of red bricks, firewood and garden implements. They are just the best:)

I begged my stylish next-door neighbour to come and 'style' my house before the photos and open homes. She not only did that with great enthusiasm, but came trailing armfuls of prints, pot plants and cushions to 'zhush' the house, and her very nice husband manhandled out all the furniture that Lisa declared excess to requirements, and stored it under their house until the City Mission van could turn up to take it away.

My good friend Katherine turned up on Friday with her partner's enormous van and we filled it to the brim with things to take to the Salvos, then on to the recycle centre at the tip. That was so much fun - we hadn't been before, and then we 'needed' to visit the tip shop as well, which is enormous and wonderful - well worth a day trip if you live in Launceston! I made Katherine promise that she must drag me out kicking and screaming if I threatened to buy anything, but in the end it was her that bought me a 1953 edition of Agatha Christie's After the Funeral as a house warming present. She told me I wasn't allowed to read it until I had unpacked at the new house. Ha. Rosy very helpfully packed all my books, so this is the only book I have. Do you think I have started reading it yet? Do you?

Remember Margaret's beautiful garden? Well, Margaret's husband John is an amazing man. He is 'retired' but I don't think he ever sits down for longer than it takes to eat one of Margaret's delicious meals. When he isn't building new rooms for Margaret's B&B he scours the local tip for white goods to fix and donate, ditto for bikes that get donated to local kids or refugee groups. He is forever scrounging, building, fixing. This week he will be popping over to pick up my barbeque and various building materials to donate to a group of fishermen mates who are building a shack up at the lakes to take groups of disabled young people to have the opportunity to learn to fish. He will be taking my slightly broken dryer to fix and donate, and is also lending me a pre-loved fridge for the new house until I can find one of my own. Everyone needs a 'John' to move goods through the community and provide a helping hand.

Mum and Dad have been absolute troopers. They turn up every couple of days and help pack and do the dishes and hang out the washing and haul furniture around in a borrowed trailer. There may have been some days when they have thought fondly of the peaceful life they could have been enjoying had they not retired to a town near me..

Rosy has been a star. When she eventually peels herself away from her phone and laptop she busily beavers away for hours. She is excellent at packing, and even cooks dinner.

And Posy? Well, Posy is.. Posy. She did walk the dog yesterday. She has been very busy, as usual. This week alone she has made multitudes of animal figures out of those corn-based packing beads and water. She has made a giant cardboard box fort for sleep overs. She has made bath bombs and green meringues, and yesterday she made lipstick out of red beeswax crayons and coconut oil, then she got out all the make-up and gave me a makeover. "I am sort of going for the Lady Gaga look, Mum," she said, "You'll be surprised." I was surprised.

New rule - Posy has to sit on the couch and watch telly until we leave the house. All the creativity is making my hair go grey(er). Today she has limited her creativity to baking a black and white yin and yang cake. Now I am making her pack, because I am MEAN. She is not convinced she wants to move house any more. She likes this house. She has never lived in any other house. Sometimes I walk into a room and find her sitting in a corner with tears streaming down her face as she says, "Goodbye," to that particular room. Then I feel really mean. I know she will love the new house eventually. But first she has to mourn the loss of this one. As do we all.

Four days to go. I might just make it. But only due to a lot of help from my friends...


Linda said…
Good luck with the house move, Jo. Your friends all sound wonderful but then in order to have good friends who are eager to help you at this time you will have been a good friend to them in the past and will be again, I'm sure, in the future once you have settled into the new home.
Eva said…
It sure does take a Village... It is so wonderful that you have such a great group of supporters (aka Village) to offer support. Help is always greatly needed when moving. I hope that Posy settles quickly after the move.
Anonymous said…
I am so happy you are surrounded by such loving friends. You must feel so buoyed by their love and actions. Actually packing and moving is the pits, but new house, new home, new opportunities.

Can't wait to see you blog about making the new place yours. And the garden. I am sure we will see its evolution.

It is doubly hard for children. They have no power or authority in decisions. Our boys weren't sure of the move we made when the youngest was 10. He hated not sharing a bedroom. Felt so far from us in the bigger house. Years later they both told me they are so glad we moved.
fran7narf said…
It really is true that moving house is one of "those" moments in life. Big hugs to Posy. Houses are the stuff that memories are made of but your new tiny house is just waiting for new memories to meld with the old. 4 days will soon fly past and suddenly all of this mad movement will turn into slowly greeting winter in your new smaller space and everything will slow down nicely and go into hibernation for the duration. Here's to day 5 and the start of your new life :)
Jo said…
Linda, well, I do have the best friends! But for the last 20 years when I haven't had family in Tasmania, I have tended to 'adopt' friends and make them into family. And for family, you just turn up:)

Eva, nothing better than many hands making light work! Posy has always been our canary in the mineshaft. She will emote (loudly) what the rest of us are suppressing. She has taught me that loud emotions are ok.

Lucinda, 'buoyed by their love and actions' - exactly. Sometimes it's not even the things that they do, it's just that they are willing to turn up. It makes everything easier because I know I'm not alone.

Fran, ooh, yes, hibernation:)
Heather F said…
Jo, I am so inspired by all you have done. Change is so hard and intimidating sometimes, but you have handled everything beautifully. You are amazing! I know you will find only wonderful blessings in your new environment, your new start :)
GretchenJoanna said…
This is a very enjoyable post, wherein you lovingly thank your friends and family -- I may have to read it a few times to consider all these good people a little longer, and bask in the thought of the sustaining community that surrounds you.

I might start praying for a "John" to help move goods through my own house and out into this community - what a gift he is to lots of people!

Thank you for giving of yourself, too, to us, your readers; I can't imagine how you manage to keep writing entertaining and uplifting blog posts in the midst of such a huge project. I'm sure you would also give credit for that to your friends!
what an amazing post - what an amazing circle of friends you have! please show them all our wonderful comments! I especially the love the sounds of your friend who zhooshed the house ... can she come down and do that to mine please?!
good luck! but it sounds like you will be in good hands XX
Fernglade Farm said…
Hi Jo,

Lovely stuff and you are very blessed to receive so much help. Good luck with the final day. It is hard, but change is an inevitability of life - although that sentiment doesn't help you in your present circumstances.

If I was to put a wager on it (and I never gamble as the house always wins) I reckon you've started that book! Hehe! Anyway, there are no prizes for not starting a good book are there? ;-)! Enjoy your quiet moments in between the sheer chaos of moving.



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