The only way he’d leave our place in the country is in a pine box. That’s what he said. So much for my suggestion that we downsize. Of course, timing is everything. Impatience keeps me from mastering that whole ‘choose the right moment’ thing. During the summer while hubby was busy pruning, weeding, re-planting, mowing, etc., I was fidgeting with the urge for a change of scene. There was a time when I constantly needed challenge in my life – I’m totally over that – but I still thrive on adventure. It’s exciting to look forward to something new and different. Hubby balks at change – men are like that, if I may generalize. But that’s okay. It’s called balance – or so I’m often reminded.
I should never have suggested moving while he was sitting in the shade enjoying a cold one and admiring the view – the manicured yard, flourishing perennial gardens, and trees of every description. All the result of our hard work and dedication. Labour of love, as they say. Yeah, and there were probably bunnies chasing each other and birds – lots of birds – entertaining us with song. Yep, bad timing.
Though I may have been the one who first considered downsizing, last fall Marv finally arrived at the same conclusion. It was the way to go. Less work leaves more time for play. At this stage of the game, it’s important to play while we can. Our goals have all been achieved. The trees and gardens have matured. The kids are grown and the pets have passed on. If we’re going to throw ourselves into stress and chaos with a monumental move, it’s best to get it over with.
We had to be careful. Although hubby seemed to be fine with the move, I knew he would perish without the opportunity to garden and mow and prune. We went on a mission to find a place that felt like country but on a smaller scale. It took months. During that time, he even suggested living in an apartment … just until we found our dream spot. I shudder at the thought of my outdoorsman in confinement. Watching him grow pale and sickly as the strength ebbs from his arms and legs. Seeing his eyes glaze over. An apartment was a last resort. And thankfully, we didn’t have to go there.
We’re looking forward to the next chapter of our life together, it’s true, but that doesn’t mean it’s been easy. Downsizing – I’m talking about a lot of purging – and starting over is an ordeal for anyone.
One of our hardships will be to say goodbye to our fur neighbour Lola. We’ll miss her. She’s our very own therapy dog and brightens every day. We love Lola. That final ear rub will be tough.
And of course, with over twenty years of memories, the last glance back will be bittersweet. We’ll probably bawl like babies. Maybe not, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Having said that, we have lots of fun plans for our spare time and we’re giggly excited about our new home, the people we’ll meet, and having a different area to explore.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” - George Bernard Shaw