From Mike McCurry’s “Talk of the Town” column in The Clarendon Courier, October 29, 2015
The family of six was so thrilled to close on their new house that they celebrated in the only manner befitting the occasion: they jumped in the pool! No one seemed to mind that it was October and there was a brisk chill in the air!
This thrilling act of celebration brought back a recent memory that was forged during one of the viewings of the home. The youngest daughter, dressed up in her finest church dress, had been haphazardly walking around the pool while twirling an inner tube toy. Well, you can imagine what happened next. The owners were very gracious when she splashed down into the pool — toy, dress and all. In fact, they encouraged the potential buyers to continue the tour while they watched the girl splash and swim! Seeing the joy on the girl’s face, I think they knew they had a buyer on their hands. (That buyer was me!
My wife’s friend, Lauren Inabinet, once shared a piece of wisdom with Amy: “Memories are not in the walls; they’re in your head.” A home is what you make of it, especially if it’s occupied by family.
Why, then, do we mourn the loss of our old homes? As for my wife, she will miss it because of the memories of having four children in that home. That is certainly a good reason. But what caught me by surprise was the sadness that we’re passing along what we’ve created. 15 years of work went into that home, and almost every inch of space was remodeled and redesigned, inside and out, by us (most of it bearing my fingerprint). An addition, kitchen, baths, furnaces, windows, roofs, electric, landscaping — and of course, my man cave! All of these details, creatively designed with love, are now going to the next owner.
I truly am a believer in the biblical principle that we’re all just stewards of the things we have been given … not owners, but managers of these belongings. But also, my heart resonates with what King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes:
“Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish?” These wise words have become a sad reality for me.
Moving is hard! I wouldn’t recommend it … but of course, convincing you not to move would be bad for my business! I would say it’s like having a baby, but I might get hate mail for that (especially from my wife). It’s just really hard. I have a new appreciation for what people go through now that we have done it.
In my mind, unearthing old stuff is probably the hardest part of moving. It’s emotionally draining! In the rush of the move, you simply don’t have enough time to go through it all. For years, you put things away thinking you will use them again … and then they are never seen again until the next move.
How about the old college papers you wrote? Do you dump them? What do you do with the wooden stork that announced the birth of your children? How about the door with the measurements that documented their heights as they grew? I watched Amy sob on the steps after reading an unsolicited recommendation letter written by her old boss at CHMS, the late Wally Kistenfeger. Moving your treasured keepsakes out of a house requires you to relive all the years you spent there — no small task.
The problem is that there just isn’t room for everything. Meaningful though they are, some of our memories need to be just that. We can’t put all of them on the fireplace mantle, however dear they are to our hearts.
In the end, our move has been just one difficult step in a wonderful, varied, exciting journey. When we moved in, the first thing we did was paint all of our children’s rooms, christening each one as his or her own. That girl who fell into the pool has a room of her own now. She has a lot of great memories of her old home down the street … and now she has a space in which to build many new happy memories in the years to come.
Mike is a village of Clarendon Hills
resident; husband; Indian Princess; Indian Guide Dad; a Coach; an “old” football player and a real estate broker. Mike’s columns are usually crafted about the buzz in and around the area. It sometimes has a spin on real estate or cultural information, highlight a new business or announce school happenings. He might include a “get-to-know” about some of our interesting residents and even a little about history. Whatever it is, it is sure to be about the “Talk of the Town”.
My good friend, Joe draining “Jabba the Hutt” (waterbed)