I moved to Oregon in early 2008. In that amount of time, we have moved seven times, including a one year job-free excursion to Astoria that resulted in us having twins.
Before that, I lived in Hawaii for four months. Before that, I lived in the Los Angeles area for six years or so. In that span of time, I moved five times. Before that, I lived in Santa Barbara for a year. I lived in three different places while living there. Before that, I lived in Boston for about six years. I lived in a few different apartments there, and then I lived in a small studio for a few years. Before that, I worked at the Grand Canyon for a summer. Before that, I spent exactly one semester at a state college in Massachusetts. Before that, I lived with my mommy and daddy.
I suppose it tips me towards the deranged end of the sanity spectrum, but I sort of like to move. I like living in new places. I like exploring new neighborhoods. I like it enough that the allure of “newness” triggers yearly amnesia, because I somehow seem to forget what a goddamned pain in the ass it is to move.
In some bizarre crossing of fateful currents, I happened to marry a guy who also likes to move. It seems like every corner of this city, Dave has pointed out “Oh I used to live in that building.” Or, “I used to live on that street.” This happens so often, I have taken to calling him a slut. Which is a funny thing to call Dave, if you’ve ever met him.
We have been renting contentedly for the majority of our lives. It has always felt liberating to not be tied down to one spot. We quit our jobs and moved to Astoria. Because we liked that town. Because we didn’t have other obligations. Because we lived frugally and were able to live off savings for a while. But mostly, because we could.
We downsized a lot of extraneous stuff from our lives, so it would be easier for us to move. Instead of reconsidering moving, because the actual physical process of moving all our stuff is such a tremendous upheaval, we got rid of a lot of crap that held us down. It was more important to us to feel lighter and more mobile, than it was to hold onto stuff that cost money and took up space.
We’ve relocated to different apartments, different neighborhoods, and different towns. But even if we decided to stay in one place, we have always been tickled by the idea that we could go someplace new if we wanted. We could be tempted by jobs in another city. We could look for land in remote places. Maybe we’d build a tiny house, or a straw bale house. We could get an RV and live in that and drive all over the country. Even if we never do it, we love to entertain the possibility.
We still think about places we’d like to move to. Hood River, Joseph, Bend or Sisters, maybe a cabin in the woods somewhere. We recently visited Vancouver BC, and Dave started scheming how to move there.
You may have heard we have twin boys. They are twenty-one months old. And while Dave and I have never really had the proverbial Five Year Plan, we are now starting to think in those terms. The boys are going to go to school eventually. They are going to make friends. Perhaps we should try to stay in one place for a while.
So we are buying a house. It was a weird, twisty road to finally get to this decision, but it is happening. We are buying a house. It has a roof and a kitchen and some bathrooms and a garage and a yard. The American Dream. We are talking about what kind of trees to plant, what kind of fence to build, what color paint for each room. Maybe we’ll get a dog? But dogs poop, right? Maybe not.
The continuous back-burner fantasy of moving someplace “new” is making way for a new, unfamiliar emotion, the feeling of being settled. Of creating our own space. Of making a home. Putting holes in the wall for curtain rods and knowing I won’t have to take them down and patch the holes a year later.
Here’s something I’m excited about. I’m excited to get a butter dish. We may even already have a butter dish somewhere, I know we had one at one time, but I think we downsized it. A butter dish is a single-purpose item, and feels like a luxurious, dainty thing to have when you move every year. We got rid of a lot of goofy kitchen gadgets and at the time, it felt great. Somehow, goofy kitchen gadgets still irritate the hell out of me. We’ve been using a “disposable” plastic storage container for our butter for years.
But fuck. I’m getting a goddamned real butter dish. We’re buying a house, we are goddamned adults, and I’m getting a butter dish, for sure.