Home is Worth Working For

Posted: July 21, 2013 by writingsprint in Slice of Life
Tags: , , ,

movingFour months ago my wife took a new job with a national nonprofit in the Boston area. It was a fantastic opportunity. I supported her 100%. She headed north to start her job, while I worked on finding a job of my own and selling our house in Philly.

Living apart has been brutal. At first there’s the novelty of living like a bachelor again. Walking around in your underwear and eating pizza in the middle of the week gets old when you realize your underwear chafes when you’re not wearing jeans, and those pizza pounds go to your belly faster than they used to. When you get to the first weekend, the time that you used to spend with your wife, the house starts to feel empty. Philly and Boston are six hours apart, so we could only see each other once a month.

We sold our house and I was offered a new job, so the time came to move. I thought, no problem! I already packed most of our stuff; I’ll finish it myself! You’ll find that there’s a saying when you’re moving: take your estimate of how many boxes you’ll need and double it. I went back to Home Depot twice on the last day because I ran out of boxes, tape, and bubble wrap. My leisurely week before the move turned into four hours of sleep, racing the clock, throwing mismatched nonbreakables into a box labeled “miscellaneous” that’ll get shoved into the back of the truck. My wife told me I was her Moving Hero.

The movers did a great job, but it was late afternoon by the time they finished. I was dead on my feet. My wife and I talked, and even though we’d looked forward to being together again, we agreed that it would have to wait another day.

Around midnight, I woke up. I couldn’t fall back to sleep. I decided, the hell with another day. I’m hitting the road. I found you can make great time on the New Jersey Turnpike at 1:00 in the morning. Making a quick turnaround in Queens because you missed your exit isn’t so bad at 3:00 in the morning. And when you can’t lower your driver’s seat because the back is too full of the stuff that wouldn’t go on the truck, you can still sleep comfortably at a rest stop in Connecticut if you hook one leg across your gear shift and rest your head against the window.

Home is worth working for. The day that I arrived was the first day that felt right since we’d been apart. We kept looking across the room – and the pile of boxes – and just smiling at each other, because we knew we were together. If either of us left again, we were both coming back to the same place. Welcome home.

  1. Reblogged this on Christine Klocek-Lim and commented:
    Many years ago, my husband was laid off from his job (we lived in NJ). After months of searching, he found a new job in Pennsylvania, and had to get an apartment so he could work while I stayed in NJ with the kids. We had to sell the house, find a new one, pack, etc. I remember it as being one of the more difficult times in my life. Ultimately, everything worked out. This post reminded me of that time and what it felt like to finally move back home.


  2. Helen says:

    Loved this piece Matt! So happy for you.


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