In the last thirty years I've lived in seventeen different cities. That seems about right. After two or three years in the same place I start to get restless. A renter for most of my life, I've also moved between different apartments within the same town on several occasions. All of that changed six years ago when I got married. My wife has two daughters from her first marriage, and wanted them to have the stability of living in the same home at least until they graduated high school. She is also as much of a restless spirit as I am, but motherhood trumps all.
Now the girls are in college and we're putting the house on the market. In the last few weeks I've been a painter, landscaper, plumber, janitor, furniture mover and electrician. My least favorite was my experience as a plumber, which resulted in a face full of scalding hot water.
I enjoyed the landscaping. It gets brutally hot and humid in this part of Texas, and the outside spaces have suffered from my neglect. Yesterday I spent four hours pulling weeds, trimming roses and hacking away at the wisteria. Soaked in sweat, sore from using muscles I haven't used in a while, the rhythm of the work invited daydreaming. Tomorrow I'll finish up the landscaping and our home will be a showplace once again, ready to lure the next buyer. An open house is like being on a first date. The house is dressed a little better than usual, not a hair out of place, and on its best behavior.
We'll miss our friends and neighbors, but we're ready for a change. My wife has been in this house for eleven years, the longest she's been in one place during her adult life. We'll have a new place to explore, new people to meet, new friends to make. Old friends will visit, and life will go on.