Plans are Afoot

Hey, folks.  So, I have news.  In the next five weeks, my 18-year-old man-boys are moving out of the house and up to Portland, Maine and in with their older sister, we rented a bigger place for them (their sister lives in a small apartment in downtown Portland right now.)  They’re taking the bulk of the furniture and household goods.  And I’m moving, by myself, back to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I lived 20 years ago and where the girls were born.

I’ve kept this quiet for multiple reasons, including my job, which it looks like will be coming with me for the time being, since we’re all full remote due to the pandemic.  But deep down, also because I wasn’t sure I’d go through with such a huge change to my life.  I’ve been thinking about it for years, the way I’ve been thinking about going back to Italy – a thing I’d like to do, and maybe even plan to do, at some point in the future.

COVID lockdown has been wretched for me here, even though compared to lots of people I have nothing to complain about.  At the same time though, I’m surprised to discover it’s allowed me to really focus on what I want.  I knew I would move when the boys graduated high school this year.  As lovely a refuge as this house has been for us, it’s too expensive for one person.  I’ve spent two years picturing myself in an apartment in various neighborhoods in and around Washington, DC, and … I’m just not feeling it, you know?  I love Washington, but I don’t want to live here anymore.  I want to go back to Santa Fe.

Unsurprisingly, one long-distance move and one cross-country move within three weeks of each other requires a lot of planning and details, and I’m deep in all of that right now, including packing up my perfume collection and getting rid of the astonishing amount of stuff in this house, including things we stored here after my dad passed away in 2015 and we figured we’ll deal with it later.  Well, later is apparently now.  Anything I post before mid-June is likely to be some variation on AUGHHHHH WHAT AM I DOING THIS IS HARD WHYYYYYY so I’m uh not going to post those stress-bombs.  I may be posting on something interesting like the huge Brood X of the 17-year periodical cicadas, poised to emerge here at any moment like the world’s loudest, coolest horror movie.  (We’re laughing about the fact that of course we wound up with all this moving during Peak Insect, but that’s the way the schedules and leases worked out.)

They are taking Fat Stanley the maltese to Maine, he’s really their dog, he’ll have a blast.  I’m deeply sad that Lila isn’t going to make the move with me, my little furry talisman.  We were going together.  But I’m also acknowledging that how that would have worked out for her was a major concern – Santa Fe is high desert, at 7000 feet elevation, and she was old, with breathing issues and a heart condition.  Losing her here earlier this month was awful, but losing her there, maybe shortly after arrival because she couldn’t hack the altitude, would have been worse.

And of course I fully expect to be posting when I’m in Santa Fe, which (fingers crossed) will be mid-June.  If you have any thoughts and prayers, please send them up and out into the universe that this works.  We’ve taken familial vows not to have any stress-induced rages, and I guess we’ll see how that goes.  Wish me luck.

  • maggiecat says:

    Moving is incredibly stressful, so panic posts are fine if they help. I will be spending this late spring/early summer helping my sister downsize from a stuffed three story house to a two-bedroom independent living apartment due to her health issues, so empathy abounds. Take care and check in.

  • HeidiC says:

    How exciting! I’m so thrilled for you, and know you’ll be happy once this is all over.

  • Neva says:

    What a huge change, March! I really admire your decision and strength to go through it. For some reasons some people move around during their lives a lot and I feel it is a huge stress. I still live in the town I was born in, although I’ve spent a few years abroad. This is the usual process for my country and that’s the reason I think you’re a rock star! Santa Fe sounds so exotic from my Southern European point of view. I wish you a smooth transition to your new home.

  • Patty says:

    I am really excited for you! Hey, moving out of a place you’ve been in for years to another state is stressful, but it is freeing in so many ways. I mean, I had lived in tudors for decades, and now I’m in a mid mod with a pool.
    I never would have guessed that would have happened. But this time is for you, doing the things that make you deeply happy – whatever that may be! xoxo

  • ElizaC says:

    Looking back, I wish I’d moved to Santa Fe in my 20s. I’ve only been there once but the landscape and the culture (not to mention the Frito pie and sopapillas!), made an impact that is hard to describe. I did, however, find out that altitude and one Sangria can be quite a combo?

  • Debby says:

    That is so exciting, March. I could tell how much you loved it there from your previous posts where you mentioned it. I think it sounds like a great plan.

  • Millicent says:

    So happy for you! As you’ve shared bits of your life with us longtime readers, it’s been clear that Santa Fe is very special to you, and I’m really glad you’re getting back there.

  • VerbenaLuvvr says:

    Good for you! Santa Fe is awesome, we are jealous! 🙂 Best wishes and hope it all goes smoothly

  • Dina C. says:

    What an exciting announcement! The break-up of your household is just the ending of one chapter and the beginning of another new chapter in your life’s book, and I’m sure you’ll “turn the page” successfully. Personally, I’ll be sorry to see you leave the DC area because it means there will be less chance of us seeing each other face to face at a perfume meet-up as in The Days Before. Those were always so fun, wistful sigh. But of course I look forward very much to further blog posts about scent, lipsticks, or whatever the Spirit moves you to write about. You are such a compelling writer! And maybe in the midst of packing, you’ll run across forgotten scents, and that will provoke new writing fodder. Here’s hoping!

  • Musette says:

    you (and they) will be FOINE! Post whatever you want, Panic/cicada/panic/Stanloid(wherethehellisStanloid? Crap! I closed him up in that box!).. whatever you want. Just get Stanley out of that box. 😉
    I’m so proud of you for stepping off this cliff! You are Quing!

  • Cinnamon says:

    Oh, my. That is amazing — for everyone. Best wishes on the packing and moving. And most certainly post about the stress/experience/whathaveyou. We can send support and cheer things on. I have a big ‘thing’ for change. I have a sense of why but I still think it’s weird. I hope once you are all moved there can be a collective sigh and some a ha moments even though I imagine it will take a bit to settle in and adjust to missing each other.

  • Portia says:

    WOW! So exciting March.
    PLEASE write the panic pants posts as well. We’ve all been through moves, losing family to adventure and setting out on our ownsomes. Part of the event is the cataclysmic melt downs and inner monologue. SHARE IT!
    Santa Fe! So glamorous. Roxana Ville from Illuminated Perfumes moved there from LA a few years ago too.
    Now I will have two reasons to get there next USA trip.
    Portia xx

  • Maya says:

    Change can be disconcerting but it’s often the best thing for us. I have heard that Santa Fe is wonderful. I think you already know that and that’s why you’re moving there. Happy to send blessings “up and out”.

  • Koyel says:

    Good luck! With the move and everything associated with it!

  • Carolyn C. says:

    Can’t wait to welcome you back to Santa Fe March!!

  • Filomena says:

    Good luck in your new venture!

  • Tara C says:

    Being in the midst of an international move myself, you have my sympathies and heartfelt prayers for as easy a transition as possible. It took me two years and a pandemic to get me geared up to do this and right now it feels so stressful I’m regretting it, but hopefully this time next year I’ll be happy. I hope you will be too.

  • Calrayo says:

    Good luck with the moves! So much work, but how exciting.

  • Kathleen says:

    Best wishes with your move! Take it one day at a time and you’ll be there before you know it. One good thing about moving is a forced cleanse and purge, and a fresh start. I adore Santa Fe; it is a special place with beautiful landscape.

  • Pam says:

    And I do wish you luck! My husband and I moved back to NC five years ago after living away 30 years. Very stressful. Talk about too much stuff. Ours and the kids’ stuff they should have taken when they moved out. Finding new friends, new doctors, new mechanics, etc. But we survived the move and are glad we’re here. So I’m sending positive energy your way and look forward to hearing about your adventures.