Ten years ago, I wrote a story for the Home and Garden issue of this paper about my challenges adjusting to a house after living in an apartment for so long.
By Georgetta L. Morque
Ten years ago, I wrote a story for the Home and Garden issue of this paper about my challenges adjusting to a house after living in an apartment for so long. I sadly said goodbye to my Super and city lifestyle and bravely faced a totally different world.
Over the years, hauling recycling down a steep driveway, shoveling snow and dealing with a stream of contractors became the new normal, along with visits from ants, mice, and even a bird plus a backyard full of deer and rabbits. Yet our family of five settled in and enjoyed the place that became home. Now suddenly, the children are grown up and we, like many, face the decision of do we stay or do we go.
Moving to a smaller place sounds sensible, but if the kids are not fully launched, or they come home regularly for vacations or visits, they need room. Do we move close by, return to my Manhattan roots, or satisfy a sense of adventure and chart a new course? And if the kids are still very connected to their childhood Rye friends, does that mean we should stay put? In the whirlwind of the past decade, it never occurred to me that these decisions would be looming.
“And then of course there’s the terrifying thought of actually moving.”
Downsizing has already happened on our block. Two houses have turned over to young couples with toddlers primed to enter Rye schools. Friends have also moved to new quarters. Ken and Bonnie Hirsch moved from a house in Indian Village to a three-bedroom apartment at Water’s Edge. While they don’t miss shoveling snow or cleaning out gutters, they do miss the privacy and beauty of their yard. Yet they now enjoy the waterfront and a community pool. “It’s a balance,” said Bonnie.
Logistically, downsizing sounds like a nightmare. What does one do with years of accumulated stuff? It becomes a matter of save or purge. The Hirsches came across freecycle.org, where they could post items they wanted to give away. Fortunately, someone collected their outdoor play set. And then of course there’s the terrifying thought of actually moving, which is never a pleasant experience.
Last year, a Rye couple sold their home of 20 years and moved to California since all three of their children were in college on the West Coast. I remember the mom saying that this was the most difficult transition. Who knew?