My middlest child graduates high school this year. My youngest graduates next year and then goes on to the local community college. When they graduate from there, my time here in this house is over, for good or for ill. So in three years, I’ll be starting my next great adventure.
I’ve started doing exercises to try to get into the headspace of what that will be like. The plan is to move to a farm, or at least a farm-in-the-making. I’ve been imagining this place since I was a kid. We had friends who were farmers when I was growing up, and their places were always magical to me. Especially the hay barns. Hay barns are cathedrals to me, with the same power of scent and the same transfusion of light. So I want to move to a place I can live in until they carry me feet first out the window. I’ve drawn pictures and maps of what my farm is going to look like, created business plans, collected infrastructure ideas. If visioning is creating, this place already exists in the world, just waiting for me to be ready.
I was in the grocery store the other day, buying 3 gallons of milk that will last 4 days and cost more than gas, and it hit me. In a couple of years, a half gallon will probably go bad in my fridge, as I won’t have a bunch of teenagers drinking it all. That was followed by the realization that my food budget will plummet when my kids move out. That’s kind of overwhelming to think about. I’ll be spending more to feed my animals than to feed people. Weird.
The latest thought experiment has been, “What will I take with me when I move?” The answer is, surprisingly, not much. Considering the fact that I live in a 3 bedroom, 3 story house, I think I can fit everything I want to take into one large Uhaul. I’m taking the freezer, the china cabinet, and one arm chair, but that’s pretty much it for the furniture and large appliances. I’ll take all my small appliances and cooking tools, but none of my dishes. Some special glassware pieces that I inherited from my parents, but none of my wedding china. The TV and games, but none of the Ikea shelving or the leather couch. I salvaged that in the first place, I’m sure I can salvage a replacement. None of the beds, except my old spindle bed which has been in storage for years. One dresser I inherited from my father. Probably not my fiber wardrobe, as the new house will have a whole room dedicated to my crafting. The camping gear. Maybe the books? I’ve purged my collection pretty hard, but most of those books I haven’t touched in years. My garden tools and bike. The pie safe that has been stored in the shed for 20 years.
Really, for the course of a life, the longest I’ve ever lived in one place, it’s not much stuff. But somehow, thinking about letting all that go, starting clean with only what I identify as MINE, is incredibly liberating.
I’m really ready for a new beginning.