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My wife and I moved recently to a new house we had built in another town. Yes, we like it a lot. Thanks for asking.
But there are always those little things that you don’t think about before you decide to pack up all your worldly possessions and move them from a well-known comfortable home to a nice but completely uncharted place. You have to deal with all these things once you arrive at the new house.
I’m talking about things like the fact that the trees in our new yard are nice enough but they’re all out of place, in unfamiliar spots. At our old house I could look out any window, night or day, summer or winter and recognize every tree in the yard. I can’t do that yet here at the new place. It’s no big deal, but it sometimes bugs me.
Then there are the sounds of the new place. Every house, with their pumps and pipes and fans and ducts, have their own unique sounds that a new resident – like me – has to get used to. In our old place I was very comfortable with all the quirky sounds. I knew just when to expect them and how long they’d last and when the whole house would return to a deep nighttime silence. But our new place has all kinds of special sounds that go off at all the wrong times, like the pump and the freezer and new neighbor’s barking dog. All wrong.
From our old place I knew within a minute and 40 or maybe 45, 50 seconds exactly how long it took me to get to the places I had to go – the hardware store, car repair place, grocery store, my job at the radio station. It was clear what time I should be heading out the door and rolling down the driveway. I knew things like the fact that on certain days if I left the house 10 minutes later, the drive to my destination would take the same time and would be less hectic. I also knew all the alternate routes to take if traffic was unexpectedly bad in a certain place. In that sense I was very comfortable in my old town. After the move I had to redo all those time charts and adjust my daily schedule accordingly to the new ETAs – and I don’t even own a Blackberry.
Then came the first snowstorm of the season, and along with it, new plowing policies, habits and schedules as well as those of the surrounding towns. I know it doesn’t sound that serious, but when you’ve been living in one town for more than 20 years and you know all about such things it’s hard to change and adapt to all kinds of new things.
Come to find out, our new town plows and sands roads during a storm but some surrounding towns don’t. They wait until the last snow flake has finally settled into place before they even think about plowing and sanding.
All this isn’t enough to make me regret our move to the new house. It just makes me reluctant to plan another move anytime soon. And if I do, I’ll be sure and wait until the next town over sands its roads.
John McDonald is a humorist and storyteller who performs regularly
throughout New England. John’s e-mail address is mainestoryteller@yahoo.com.
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