Moving: An Act of Value Choices


In September we will move 15 miles closer in towards Washington, D.C.  These last 12 years we’ve been nourished by suburban country living with 2 acres of land, a lovely comfortable home, and wonderful neighbors. I thought this was my last house. That I wanted it to be my last house. But, with age has come a change in values.

Surprising to me, we aren’t downsizing that much. We’ve bought a house that is once again more space than we need. A baby step in down-sizing. Big enough for each of us to have a study. Unlike our current home, we won’t have room to house all the children and grandchildren should they come to visit at the same time. But, we’re open for business when one family comes at a time.

Critical to our move is proximity to close friends. With no extended family in our geographic area, we wanted to be near our “adopted” family of friends. Before moving, I made the rounds to check and see if friends had plans to retire elsewhere. The ones I spoke to all intend at this point to stay put. From others’ blogs I learn that many of you made decisions to move to be near family, or to move to a different climate. Will we change as we grow older? Perhaps.

But, we love the city. And, we’ve been neglecting all the opportunities the area affords. Because we’ve been “outside” in suburban countryside, I have easily talked myself out of volunteer activities, and cultural events. After three hours a day of commuting to work, my 75 year old husband has no interest in going back into town on the weekends. Our two lane road after dark, during the long winter months, has gotten a bit old these last couple of years. And David has no desire to retire, so another reason for the move is to reduce the kind of commute.

Besides friends, and distance of commute, and availability of cultural and volunteer activities, comes the awareness that we are closer to emergency services, to grocery stores and doctors, to our church community, and all those aspects of community that take on a different kind of meaning as one grows older.

Will this new house be my “last house?”  I find I no longer think that way anymore.  It seems a good house. I’m hoping it will be a comfortable home — a space for us to do the work and living of our lives in this stage of living. Beyond that, we’ll just have to wait and see.

In my next post I’ll share a bit about what I’m learning about myself in what I’m throwing away, and what I’m saving, in the inevitable sorting that comes with such a move.

I’m so glad to be back in the blogging world, and look forward to catching up with your postings as well.




About helena grace

Actively seeking how to live in this seventh decade of my life with creativity, compassion, and imagination. While I'm a retired lawyer/mediator and life-long community activist especially in child advocacy, my relationships with others, two-legged and four-legged, define the source of my growth. My spiritual life connects deeply with music and in the community of the creative. I treasure being a mother, wife, grandmother, and daughter. I experience glimpses of the divine in children's illustrated books, peoples of the world, artists, especially of indigenous art forms. I am intrigued at the possibility of finding kindred spirits in the blogosphere, and exploring how to be authentic and maintain a sense of the sacred, and perhaps the private, in such a global dimension.

4 responses »

  1. This move sounds very interesting to me. I too don’t think in terms of “last move” anymore. I went through cancer treatment in 2010 and learned that it’s best to think more in terms of today rather than some day. I figure I’ll roll with the punches here on out. I grew up in the country, isolated a great degree, now live in the “benches” of the mountains in Utah which is a great combination–neither complete isolation like the country but only a short drive to all kinds of activity. I think it would be very nice to be within walking distance from the things we like to do, casual dining out, parks, the gym, etc., and if that turns out to be in our future, it sounds great to me. I’ll look forward to reading more of your moving adventures. D.C. has always been one of my favorite cities to explore.

    • “Walkability” factor has become one of the drivers in the housing market in the D.C. metro area, and one of the values we had to weigh against space desires, outside room for the dogs, and price. In fact, this was such a factor I think I’ll write more about it in my next post! Thanks for the reminder about how key this value discussion was for us.

    • You are right. I’ve just allowed the chaos of my life to deaden my creative juices. And definitely good idea for a post since I’m still discovering how to go into the woods and leave enough breadcrumbs to find my way out!

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