Moving Day. The transition between renters and homeowners. This is the big day we have been longing for, for over fifteen years. So, it’s about bloody time!
And yet, even as we pack the trailers and wave adieu to our home of more than seven years, I am struck by a sense of sadness. We have had three of our children while living in this house. We have experienced the most happy times of our lives, as well as the most sad times of any parent’s life, while living here.
This property we have occupied for almost a decade belongs to the Department of Main Roads, a government body who, if the title does not obviate, owns the land to put a highway through. Since we have lived here, they have changed their minds and are now going to occupy our neighbours (a soil manufactory) for their new road. This has opened the house up for new renters, and we must admit, we are very glad we won’t be there when constructions starts on that highway!
Having said that, for more than seven years, we have lived on this bush-filled 29 acres. Two of our children have grown up not knowing neighbours. They have been allowed to roam free, exploring the land closest to the house.
Because we live almost a kilometer from the road, with a thick screen of bushland between the road and the house, they have grown up playing outside in their birthday suits. They can argue amongst themselves
and scream at each other until their faces are blue and veins pop out of their necks without fear of neighbourly intervention.
In fact, shortly after we moved in, we drove home one afternoon to discover a bull in the spot where we park our cars. Not knowing quite what to do, we visited our neighbours for the first and last time, to ask if the bull belonged to them. It didn’t, but by the time we drove back home, the bull had disappeared, presumably to better pastures. That is the only time we have had any interaction with neighbours for the past seven years.
Since then, the only unusual fauna to visit our home is a couple of dogs who destroyed our goats, and a couple of horses. The usual fauna included families of kangaroos and wallabies, kookaburras, echidnas, turtles from the dams, sugar gliders, goannas and an abundance of snakes and spiders.
We recall when we first moved in, the kookaburras were quite bold. They would hang out with us on the verandah, waiting for the perfect moment to steal food from our hands. They would also fly into the house and pinch food that had been left on the kitchen bench. They stopped visiting quite so intimately when we got our kitty cat (for the mice), but we still enjoyed listening to them laughing in the trees.
A lot of our history is tied up in this old house. Mr Hammer and I have spent half our joined lives here, got married, bought grown-up cars, expanded family, saw kids transition from daycare, primary school, high school, and dreamed of a day when 3 monthly inspections were no longer a ‘thing’.
We also spent a lot of time starting conversations with the words, ‘If we owned this house, I would (insert major renovation idea here)’.
Yet, we move on to new environs to create more history, more memories. Bigger, better, happier. We can start those conversations, then finish them with a plan to actually do something, not simply just shrugging and feeling wistful for a day when we could actually partake of these major renovations.
So this is our Big Day. The day we become grown-ups with a mortgage and home insurance and responsibility for all the maintenance . . .
And here we are, the happy new homeowners with Keys to the House, looking ever fabulous in our classy moving gear.
How did you feel when you moved into your very own home? Were you excited to leave the world of renting behind you? Or were you just a little bit sad to leave a home that held so many memories?