Moving Away From Your Dream House

Basalt Block Party

I don’t know how he ended up in my car but he was there with a big smile on his face, “It’s all gonna be fine,” he said, “You’ll see”. It was Fletcher, the boy down the street who once babysat my boys, before he went off to college. He was the one they loved the most for there were no rules other than to rush to bed as soon as they heard the car pull up.? He was that type of babysitter who? dangled them by their feet over the upstairs balcony and played games with them in the den where they had to jump from all the furniture without touching their feet on the ground. They laughed, they cried and they begged for more.

Fletcher and I were driving to our old house to try and get it back only, we were actually driving on the road that I grew up on back in Longmeadow, Mass, and I was dreaming.

Fletcher was in disbelief that I didn’t know any of the neighbors up the street and I informed him that where I may not know the neighbors, I once ruled that street way before it was ever paved, a time when my sisters and I flew off of sand dunes, now replaced with houses.

As we drove we picked up other friends of Fletchers until we came to my childhood house that stood strong and beautiful up on the hill, where it had stood for forty years. Nobody was home so we entered bravely, without approval. It was worth the trouble we might get in if we were caught. The house was divided by sun rays that were streaming in through the windows, warm and cozy. We looked around in awe.

Suddenly a nanny and three little girls, one with very curly hair, entered. I ran down the entryway to greet them and to tell them that we meant no harm. “You see, I lived here also with my sisters, just like these three girls,” I tried to explain. The nanny held no sympathy and told me that I needed to get out immediately. I knew that I would be reported for trespassing into a house that once was my own.

I woke up sobbing.

Yesterday morning as we sat in the backyard of the home we are renting, the boys shooting their air soft gun at targets of paper cups filled with water, I tried to speak with Wade about our house that we are under contract on and scheduled to close on in a few weeks, “I understand that the word is NO REMODEL, but let’s play that “what if” game that you love to play so much…What if, we looked at this list that I have devised of potential improvements. You tell me what it would cost IF you did the labor and what you would like to see done first IF we decided to work on the house just a little bit.” His reply? “Your mind works too much. You need to dumb yourself down woman!”

Of all the! But I see his point. He wants me to settle down, simplify,? be happy with what we have.

I haven’t written to you about our transition from our Contemporary home in the countryside to a rental home in Basalt. I figured that is not what my blog should be about, personal things. But I’ve changed my mind about that because I realize that I am too busy to give you the up to date information on what’s happening in Aspen and where to spend your fourth of July. I can barely get out of the bed in the morning with the daunting task of figuring out what to do with the boys in 100 degree heat while I pack up again just nine months after our move.

It is not as though there haven’t been benefits to moving to Basalt. I love living in a Western town where available parking spaces are attributed mostly to people riding their bikes or walking to town. It is a five minute walk to Le Cercle Community Studio, a yoga studio that presents movie nights with inspirational documentary films and full moon nights where yoga is taught to DJ music. And there is nothing like allowing your child to sleep in and then walk to Cafe Bernard for a morning bun (I have never had one but the experience of watching Brevitt bite into the soft, gooey hot bun is enough for me). And how about the Sunday outside market where I can walk to get fresh produce from local farms. In the evenings Tucker requests to get, “Dam Good Tacos,”? a delicious taco stand located at Basalt’s Center Circle inside the Phillips 66 Gas station, great food at cheap prices and a fun gathering place on the weekends.

So…we move again but fortunately we are staying in the town of Basalt. And with each move I purge, letting go of material things that

no longer hold any value for me but cling to me like excess weight. Also with each move we lose a bit more space, a lot more privacy and any amenities we once had but that’s okay, we access that through my travel writing and our ability to travel more. What we gain is the adventure of moving into a new neighborhood and the opportunity to call another house our home.




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There are 5 comments

  1. Connie Hammond

    Nice post Jillian. I like reading your personal stories; please keep them coming! It’s a nice change from all the other blogs out there vying for my attention and pitching me some new success solution 24/7! Glad to see you’re trying your best to enjoy the process. That’s what life’s all about anyway: the journey. Smiles, Connie :)

    1. Jilly3

      Connie, your comment has stayed with me. Thank You! I’m glad to hear that you enjoy the personal stories because I think that is what I intend to stick with. Howz business? Let’s sit down and chat in the Fall.

  2. Lani

    I agree with Connie. The personal stories are the ones that make the connections and are real. Of course I enjoy the travel advice too…but also appreciate the reflections about work/life balance and raising kids.

    Re: house and home, after I separated from my spouse very suddenly and unexpectedly, I lived in 5 homes in a little over a year. The process of purging and living with literally only the clothes on our backs was challenging, but oh, so liberating. We were in our last (large) rental for nearly 18 months, and boy, did we accumulate during that time. The move after that was the toughest one and I already have a basement full of “stuff” we don’t need and can’t fit.

    The less space, the less stuff. The less stuff, the less time spent caring for the stuff. The less time caring for the stuff (and the remodel dreams), the more time there is for real relationships with your friends, husband/partner, neighbors, boys, and ultimately, you and your wonderful writing. I totally empathize with you – there are so many days that I want to work on my house and make it a better place to live RIGHT NOW – but there are also days when I am able, in spite of myself, to ditch all of my hopes and desires to build legos and read adventures and postpone the perfect kitchen for the perfect afternoon. You, and only you, know the perfect balance between now and later, stuff and no stuff. Just please keep writing and sharing your gift as you figure it all out! You have an important voice!

    If you are looking for resources for simplifying and sharing, check out The new Guide to Sharing is cool.

    1. Jilly3

      Lani, you are sooo right on. It is a wonderful lesson for me to learn after having had so much. I love our conversations and will be following up on our discussion at the APR/NPR event next week.

      Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts!

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