By Bruce Stambaugh
Moving is not an easy process. No matter how much you plan for it, some unknown event usually happens. We kept waiting for that shoe to drop when we moved from Holmes County, Ohio to Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.
There are many variables in making any move, whether down the street, across town, or across the country. We moved 350 miles southeast, beyond the Ohio River, across several mountain gaps to spend our retirement years near our grandchildren.
That process began almost on a whim. On an exploratory search to see what our money could buy in Harrisonburg’s tight housing market, we found a place that fit most of our living needs. We quickly and unexpectedly reached a fair agreement with the sellers. And we were off and running.
My wife and I are not spontaneous buyers, especially on big-ticket items like a house. We recognized, however, that if we were serious about being close to our grandchildren during their formative years, we needed to move. So we did.
It’s no easy decision to leave the place you have called home for the best part of your lives. So the way we found both a new house and sold our one in Amish country played out flawlessly. We reached an amicable deal with our Amish neighbors to purchase our home.
The transition smoothness continued with the transfers of the standard utilities, insurance, and other household necessities. The easy flow and friendly folks astounded us once again.
We slowed down the pace a bit by deciding to rent the Virginia house during our transition time. We put our daughter in charge since she lives in Harrisonburg. The house was rented in less than a day.
We took our time moving, 18 months to be exact. The renters moved out in the fall, giving us the winter months to put our own touches on the house that would be our new home. That timeline worked just fine for the contractor and landscaper, who needed a smaller project during the slower winter months. And that’s just how it worked out. That also gave us the time we needed to declutter our lives of items that we either no longer needed or could not fit into our smaller ranch home.
Friends recommended a local mover, who also offered to pack all our items going to Virginia. You should have seen the smile on my wife’s face. It was the best $800 I ever spent.
Everything was packed and loaded in one day and delivered, unloaded, and set in place two days later. Nothing was broken, though a few items were left in Ohio. Wouldn’t you know, friends from Harrisonburg offered to pick them up on a trip to Ohio? See what I mean?
Given that the entire process took a year and a half, there was plenty of opportunity for a surprise to jump up and bit us. It never happened. My wife and I are very grateful that everything, the purchase, the renting, the moving, the remodeling, the landscaping, the settling in, fell into place that way.
As I reflected on all of this, however, I was mindful of those who have had life experiences where not everything worked out for the best. A surgery that went horribly wrong; an unexpected death; a traumatic separation of family members. The list is endless.
I am exceedingly grateful that everything fell into place for us. I’ll try to use that gratitude as a reminder to be considerate and charitable to those who can’t say the same thing.
© Bruce Stambaugh 2017
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