Ted left his house around 9:45 AM. He filled up his coffee travel mug at our place and drove off into the proverbial sunset–or sunrise as it were. Sure gonna miss him. Movers were efficient and ahead of schedule. He told me to keep the extra key “just in case”.
Ted was our friend and neighbor. After a bit of a rough start over some kind of property line dispute of which I have little memory, where he got defensively angry for about ten seconds, the misunderstanding was quickly resolved and-long story short-we became friends.
It didn’t hurt that our daughters were besties at the time either.
Friendship meant watching each other’s cats while each of us was on vacation, sharing bonfires, and holiday get-togethers on his porch with brother Mark (#1) and friend Mark (#2) or Nibs as Mark#2 is affectionately known. While we enjoyed the view from the best-porch-on-the-block-for-sunsets, Ted and The Marks — accompanied occasionally by Ted’s daughter and other musician types who happened to drop by — would serenade us with folk, folk rock, rock-and-roll and traditional songs and jams whilst we all supped libations du jour late into the night.
Ted’s love of music drove him to Nashville where his musically inclined, literary aforementioned daughter moved before him. Upon his return after each successive visit it became increasingly clear that he was falling in love–especially with East Nashville and its vibrant music scene and clubs.
When he listed his house and it didn’t sell soon enough, he found the perfect acquaintance to rent it to for the perfect price at the perfect time and everything else just fell into place just as perfectly.
We had little preparation for the departure of our closest neighbor/friend. “I’m moving in two weeks,” he informed us after his latest visit to Nashville where he found his own perfect apartment available immediately.
We were in shock.
In the same week, the neighbors behind us–who we weren’t close to–also sold their house and were out of there quicker than you can say Hank Williams.
Change was in the air.
Geez, it seemed like we should be moving as well. With the neighborhood going through changes that hadn’t exactly been helping our home’s value, it was easy to feel like we were going to be left feeling very alone and out-of-step with the trend to make change at opportune times.
But we still don’t know where we want to be…or go.
So we stay…for now.
Even though we feel change is in the air for us as well.
Not only do we feel change a comin’ with the official start of fall less than 30 days away, but because-although we love the home we have poured sweat and tears into-it’s a bit lonely with our daughters’ infrequent visits, empty rooms no one is using and–yes–the departure of our closest friend.
Change is good. Change can be hard. It’s like a loss. Like something died.
But we have to release it. For we can only experience the new if we let go of the old. And, there’s plenty new out there waiting to explore.
This is what I keep telling myself.
Hopefully it will help the transition and spur us on to make our own, big change for the perfect place at the perfect time.
We’ll let go of the idea of holding on to a too-comfortable house, to a town we’ve become too-comfortable in, along with the resistance to change and to our friend’s new, future self.
I look at it this way: With a brother also in the Nashville area, we’ll have multiple people to visit.
We’ll be visiting Ted in his new neck of the woods.
But it won’t be the same.
It will be different, and that’s okay.
But, I’m keeping the key…just in case.
(photo credit: Jean Compton)