It’s official: I’m now a person of no fixed address. The Fort Wayne house changed hands this morning, and it’s as empty as Paris Hilton’s head, except for a homely couch we left behind for the new owners (with their permission, I hasten to add) and a few Spriggy-grams in the back yard (which I meant to get to last week but then, whoops, it snowed a truckload and they became someone else’s problem).

This is Kate’s last day at school, which means I’m at loose ends until late afternoon, and I have the classic homeless person’s problem: Where to go to while away the hours? I opted for Panera, which has free wireless, a classic third-place customer attractor, something Barnes & Noble should learn — the “free” part, that is. Panerablogging will keep me from thinking too hard about the unique circumstances of this day: A full tank of gas, a recently serviced car, a packed suitcase, a little dog to accompany me and, best of all, a substantial sum in two casher’s checks at my elbow. Today’s mortgage payoff could become tomorrow’s down payment…or it could be my ticket to a new life with an address like “c/o General Delivery, Pier 66, Barbados.” Which is also unfixed, but in a much more interesting way than my current situation.

The high today is supposed to be 18. I’m tempted.

The load-out was yesterday, and oh, it was sad, after we’d run the vacuum the final time and mopped the floor and swept the garage and looked at what we’re leaving behind. It was such a pleasant house to live in, but time keeps marching along. When we moved in, it was a riot of floral wallpaper and dollhouse curtains. We minimized with pleated blinds and saturated colors. Now I turn on “Sell This House” and see gay decorators sneering over faux-finish paint jobs. Two of our bedrooms had faux-finish paint jobs. Bastids!

I left a bottle of champagne in the refrigerator for the new owners, which is what we found when we moved in. I hope it’s a karmic blessing of sorts. Old houses need all the help they can get.

It’s 15 degrees outside, and the dog’s been in the car for 90 minutes or so — wrapped in my fleece scarf, but still. Time to push my shopping cart down the road. In three hours, we’ll be Michigan-bound.

Posted at 2:08 pm in Uncategorized |

9 responses to “Homeless.”

  1. juan said on January 27, 2005 at 3:11 pm

    While you are waiting, you can start boning up on your new, more-intellectual, blue-state mayor:


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  2. James said on January 27, 2005 at 5:37 pm


    As the sequential owner of six (!!) houses in 14 years of marriage, I know just how you feel, right now.

    Two moves back, when we had that check in hand (we were between houses in Indy…) we asked Brigid (our daughter), “So… should we just move to Paris?”

    She gave us a look that said that she would never trust us with her security or a substantial sum of cash, again…

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  3. Carolyn said on January 27, 2005 at 6:01 pm


    If Katie isn’t crying when you depart the Summit City, count yourself lucky. Our 7-year-old Bonnie cried herself to sleep the autumn day we drove out of our beigeland neighborhood in aboite.

    It took her years to forgive us. But I say: Move ’em while they’re young or you’ll never do it.

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  4. Randy said on January 28, 2005 at 9:16 am

    A general query…has anyone moved from a large city to a small town? What did you think of the change in lifestyle for you and your kids, better/worse, a bit of both?

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  5. Carmella said on January 28, 2005 at 9:38 am

    We moved from a big town to a small country town. Love it love it…and I remember a bit of advice that Nancy had in her column from around the time we moved. You daresn’t flip off anyone who cuts you off in traffic, b/c it could very well be your child’s teacher!!

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  6. Dorothy said on January 28, 2005 at 10:23 am

    Ahh Nance, your description seemed so wistful, it almost made me wish I were hitting the road again.

    Randy – we went from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati, leaving behind a daughter at Penn State University and a son about to start his senior year of high school with a class of 500+ students. I’m happy to say the move was a terrific one – he was even named “Student of the Month” when nominated by his calculus teacher, who kept asking him the first few weeks of school: “Josh, did you start high school here, move away, and then come back?! You know so many people here!” He made friends quickly and loved the change.

    Now in South Carolina we are childless, with both in college. The kids got a little antsy here at Christmas time without any friends around, but they survived. It’s a much smaller town here and my husband and I like it. But there are lots of things we miss about both cities we left behind. We are slowly making friends and socializing more. Hope that helps.

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  7. Laura said on January 28, 2005 at 11:08 am

    I am very grateful I had the chance to visit your home, Nancy, which was lovely and gracious. The people who bought it are very lucky.

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  8. basset said on January 29, 2005 at 11:36 am

    Moving to Detroit at all is… well, let’s just call it a character-building experience. Moving to Detroit in January is just short of heroic.

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  9. joodyb said on February 1, 2005 at 6:32 pm

    we all know there are good faux finishes and there are bad. i have an idea alan wouldn’t have stood for any bad renderings.

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