I published this on Facebook previously, but I figured some might have questions about the move, so…
So, we’re moving.
This isn’t something that we planned or expected, at least not now. But it came together very quickly, and it’s happening.
We’ve discussed downsizing after the kids were both out of the house, or at least off to college: We wouldn’t have pulled them out of school, or away from their activities and friends.
But our daughter Kelly is a Zillow enthusiast. And she began asking us about the possibility of moving last year. When we visited The Netherlands in November, she fell in love with the place, and started pestering us to move there. That was a bit too fanciful, but it was clear she was ready for a change.
So when April vacation came this past year, the three of us drove up to Montreal and had several hours in the car. And Kelly, again, was asking us about moving. So we went through a series of questions and answers, and Paul expected to be able to shoot down each possible place she might want to go. Because there was just no way this was going to happen now.
But by the end of this vacation, which included driving from Montreal to Stowe, Vermont, and then later to Pennsylvania for my sister Jill’s birthday, we had started coming around to the idea of moving. And in one of life’s beautiful coincidences, Jill’s mother Sharon was moving out of her family home to a nearby townhouse. We had been visiting for decades, and we’ve always really loved it there. The kids have cousins who are the same basic age, whom they love. The cost of living is lower. Mark’s drive to and from college is less arduous. On and on it went.
Mark wasn’t initially part of this conversation because he was away at college. So we had what was probably a very confusing conversation for him when we got home, and explained what we were thinking. He agreed that it made sense. And, of course, he’s 19, has his own car, and is already making big trips with his friends as it is. He will adapt to this change too.
So we’re moving to Pennsylvania. We left for April vacation not interested in moving at all, and came home with plans to move before the end of the summer. It happened in one week.
The past few months have been a crazy mess, with us putting all of our extra stuff in storage, cleaning and painting the house, and otherwise preparing it for sale. Paul had work trips three of the four weeks in May, and then an international trip in June. So we scheduled the open house for the one free weekend we had in that time period, and were surprised to get six offers immediately, two of which were well over the asking price. We sold the house two days later, and finalized the sale while Paul was away in June.
The schedule remains hectic because we already booked a vacation for August—again, we were not moving—and because we need to go back and forth to Pennsylvania to get that house ready, to move some of our stuff ahead of the final move, and to get Kelly set up for her new school. (We’ll be there again this week and are getting appliances installed, Internet connected, and estimates from painters, among other things.)
We’re going to close on our current house on August 22, so we need to be moved out by then. We close on the new house later that week. And then Kelly starts school the following Monday.
We’re not sure what happens next. We won’t be in the new house forever, and still plan, vaguely, to downsize three to five years from now. We have even vaguer plans to split our time, if we can, between two places. Maybe one of those places will be Massachusetts, maybe not. But we’ll be visiting as often as we can in the meantime. And we’ll figure it out as we go.
We don’t do this lightly. We moved to Dedham in 1999 when Mark needed his first cochlear implant surgery and this town, and our friends and family here, have been a huge part of our life over the past 18 years. But it’s not the 1980s anymore, and our ability to keep in touch with the people we care about has never been better. We intend to continue doing so.
Anyway, that’s what’s happening.
–Paul and Steph