The Poignancy of Moving On

Change is a frightening thing.  It is also terribly exciting and thrilling.  Nerve-wracking.  If not driven to it by circumstance, you question yourself again and again.  Is this what I should be doing?  Is the timing right?  Should I wait, reconsider, weigh other options?   You can drive yourself mad vacillating, dancing back and forth like someone walking barefoot across hot coals.  Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and pull an Indiana Jones — take that leap from the lion’s mouth.

We just put our house on the market.

This is not the first time we’ve done this.  Two years ago, we attempted to move (back before the housing market when Ka-PLOOEY).  Showed it several times, but no hits.  Our realtor, in all honesty, turned out to be a bit of a wet blanket.  I don’t think her heart was in it.  Certainly, by the end, she didn’t seem to have a clue as to what she was doing.

This time, we have a cracker-jack.  This woman has more energy that a dozen other people put together.  If she can’t make a sale happen, no one can.  Although the onus is not on her — it’s whatever the market will produce.  And an awful lot of people are out there looking for something for nothing.  Sorry.  Ain’t a-gonna happen here.  We don’t HAVE to move.  There’s no fire under our asses to make a change, so if we stay where we are, then stay we do.  There’s a decent price on the place, and it’s worth it.

It wasn’t easy coming to this decision.  There are a lot of things we like about living here.  The house is a sweet thing, built in 1952, into which we’ve put a lot of sweat equity.  A dozen former coast guard cadets will attest to the wonders of the two car garage (with its built-in oil-changing pit) and sturdiness of these walls in handling rambunctious visitors.  The yard is nearly an acre of grass, trees, flower beds.  Our neighbor to the north is a great guy with two cool dogs.  Our neighbors to the south have been there for us time and again.  We are close to Mystic, New London, Norwich, Groton, both casinos, the Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut College, and the Navy Base.  We’re probably nuts to move.


The reasons we’ve decided to try to sell aren’t many and aren’t complicated (for the most part).  It’s not that we hate the house or the area; quite the contrary.  I’m not sure I could explain it in a way that would make sense to anyone but us, and I’m not sure I care to try.

There is a bitter edge to the thought of leaving this place that has sheltered us for fourteen years.  (Fourteen years….my God….when did that happen?)  Two of my three step-kids did a great deal of growing up in this house (as did the adults).  So did the aforementioned Coasties.  We nurtured three cats and two dogs in this house, saw them through old age, and laid them to rest here.  We’ve celebrated Thanksgivings and Christmases, Halloweens and birthdays; we’ve celebrated every thing and nothing at all.  This old house has echoed with laughter and shuddered with tears.

Even if we chose to stay, it wouldn’t be forever, would it?  It can’t be.  Because nothing stays, in the end.  Every thing has its day to flourish and then departs.  The wheel turns.  The circle completes and begins anew.  The cycle slips from moment to moment, season to season, and we (in truth) are largely unremarked-upon.  We are here…and then we are gone.

And that’s okay.


About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
This entry was posted in Change, Coast Guard, Connecticut, Essays, Loss, Melissa Crandall, Memory, Moving House, Mystic, New London, Personal History, Writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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