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Thursday, July 28, 2011

'A Distant City': Moving is done

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The view from Brian & Lesley's new apartment in Michigan;
that's a corn field on the horizon;
see the brown grass, the need for rain;
rain was light while we unloaded the truck,
then it let loose in a full-clapping thunderstorm welcome
when the helpers had gone home

I want to thank you for your kind wishes, thoughts and prayers for the Big Move. They bore fruit. The immense heat broke in a gentle rain Sunday night in NYC, before we packed the truck to the gills Monday. Then the rain held off while we loaded, letting loose again while we drove out of the city that afternoon. The drive through five states, including Pennsylvania, where veils of gauzy mist demurely covered the shoulders of the Poconos, was uneventful and easy. (I fell in love with Lesley & Brian’s VW Jetta, hardly letting Lesley drive; the guys drove the moving truck.) Yesterday, unloading with family in Michigan into their roomy apartment was exquisitely sweaty and leg-aching (third floor, no elevator).

Now the four of us (five with Poppy Seed, who is now the size of an apple; imagine, trading one Apple for another in one day!) are resting and recuperating at the lake for a few days. It is raining on this cottage’s tin roof in the early morning dark. I hear it patting oak leaves that surround us, insisting we stay indoors and sleep: Don’t move unless you absolutely have to. Moving is done.


 Their balcony is more like a porch, deep and partially covered.
Lesley's plants emigrated safely from a NYC windowsill
and now sit bookended by potted herbs and a tomato plant
we grew on the farm. Rain. The plants revel, as we do.


The Queens kitchen they left behind, with its street view;
that's the windowsill where the plants lived
(this photo was taken last year)

In my glad hours, I will make a city of your smile, 
a distant city that shines and lives.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke
from "In My Glad Hours"

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54 comments:

Susan said...

Ooh, a very nice view! And I love the porch. They will spend many summer evenings out there rocking their little apple-cheeked darling. Kudos for surviving an always arduous task. I'm glad you're resting at the cottage...no better place for it. :)

Ruth said...

Thank you, Susie. Their apartment is a very happy place, in anticipation of baby. We unpacked a few things yesterday, then left to play indoors. No doubt there will be board games. [Sigh.] :-)

Shari Sunday said...

I am so happy for you all. I can see you at the lake with all kinds of wonderful possibilities to anticipate. Good Job! Moving is never easy. 3 flights of stairs and no elevator????

Pauline said...

Love the poppy seed comparison! You will love being a grandmother.

Moving is always such a dual edged sword - the anticipation of a new place while saying farewell to the old. That's a long haul - NY to Michigan!

erin said...

how intimate our kitchens are! isn't that something? looking at real estate last night on-line (only dreaming) i was thinking just this, wondering who and how they lived, seeing snapshots into their lives. i consider my kitchen and i wonder how i could ever leave? and then i think, but i am not my kitchen or any thing, and so leaving should be easy. but when i leave here i'll still be, like a daguerrotype slowly rising, serving dinner to a new family. to see the Queen's kitchen, in a way, is to see her. i study the single polka dot mug:)

i'm glad you are all well. i'm even glad it rains. there you are together. and yes, there will be board games. candyland here just last night.

xo
erin

missing moments said...

so much more open space than NYC
hope they love it!

George said...

Welcome back, Ruth. Glad that all went well for you and your family. You were missed!

who said...

Nice sauce pan! What is that, a cephalon? :)

It's good to here the trip went smooth.

Nelson said...

From streetscape to landscape, their horizon expands. How nice. In which direction is their view of the ever-changing fields?

Maureen said...

Welcome back, Ruth. So glad the move went so well. What a lovely complex. And what a change from NYC.

Brendan said...

Welcome back. Glad to hear your daughter is in a closer neighborhood. Much easier to extend the grandmotherly rituals of welcome. - Brendan

neighbor said...

Ah, can I admit that I'm jealous their move is over, so almost-easily? I'm still in the throes of it, have been tripping over stuff for the last month as this huge thing takes place. Wish I had such good help, can't wait until I can take the chance to look out a window at a new horizon.

hedgewitch said...

So glad all went well with the move, Ruth. It sounds like it was as much energizing in its way as it must have been exhausting. I love the view out to the cornfield. Welcome back.

VioletSky said...

omg ---- I missed a line in your last post!!!!
glad all went well with the move. this looks so open roomy a spot to start a new life in.
having moved into a 5th floor apartment with no elevator, I feel for you! (and I didn't have a cottage to retire to for much needed recuperation)

Louise Gallagher said...

Those cornfields beckon as the poppy seed bears fruit.

So delighted to hear of the successful move. And what a treat to catch a glimpse of their view -- and their former kitchen view!

Welcome back!

cathyswatercolors said...

Did i read this correctly... baby? Oh my,how delightful!

ds said...

How wonderful that they have a green view from their new apartment,and a bit of the farm on their porch/balcony! So happy the move went well and you are all able to retreat to the lake for a well-deserved rest.
Welcome home, Lesley, Brian and apple-baby!
Welcome back, Ruth!

Oliag said...

Welcome back Ruth! The view is wonderful and I see those tomatoes and basil are very happy there...The welcoming rain is a good omen for those who have moved in I am sure:) Enjoy the rest and company...

xoxo
Gail

Babs-beetle said...

It looks absolutely lovely and I'm sure they will be very happy there!

Terresa said...

I moved 10 times in as many years. That did me for awhile.

Glad the move went well. And the Rilke quote is fitting/moving, too.

ellen abbott said...

Whew! Done and well done.

Lil Coyote said...

hi ruth, i am in michigan just now as i read this and it is raining.
not that it matters, but i approve most heartily. but keep a lil NY in ya!
lc

Ruth said...

Hi there, Shari, thanks so much. Actually we were thinking there would be three flights too, but only two! I suppose in the European manner of counting, there would be three.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Pauline. I assume by your knowing statement that you must be a grandmother. I'm already pretty geeked about it.

So far, there seem to be no down sides to leaving NY for them, thankfully. I think it wore them down! But there are still many things about it that they love about it. It's just living there that got old.

Ruth said...

erin, as lovely as it was to move them into a beautiful, big space Wednesday, I longed for the place to become their own, be lived in, with their stuff arranged and used. When I first visited their apartment in NY, I was so taken with the ways they organized everything in their tiny spaces that I went around with my camera documenting it. Lesley is a designer, and her sense of space is incredible. She's not a neatnik necessarily, but she knows how to fit things into limited spaces.

I am tickled you like that polka dot mug, as I bought it for her in Dublin. I love the dots, and I love how the bottom is wider than the top. :-)

Ruth said...

Reena, thanks. You can imagine that the limited space in NY was even more confining with packing boxes piled high. The new place really does feel open, inside and out.

Ruth said...

Thank you, George. It really went amazingly well, without a major hitch. And it's quite nice to be missed.

Ruth said...

Hi, Dusti, and thanks. I don't know the brand of the pan, but I don't think it's an expensive one like that.

:-)

Ruth said...

Thanks, Nelson. I was glad for the long drive between cityscape and landscape, because it helped the start of the adjustment. Their balcony view faces west, I believe. Can't wait to have you over.

Ruth said...

Thanks a bunch, Maureen. I can't tell you how ready they are not to live in NY. They love the city, but not living there any more.

Ruth said...

Thanks a lot, Brendan. Yeah, I keep pinching myself that they, and baby, will be so close. I pictured handprints on the balcony slider Wednesday.

Ruth said...

Neighbor, just a little longer for you, I hope. The move was not easy, it was truly a lot of work. But it was relatively problem-free, and there was much to enjoy along the way, like that long drive resting our weary legs and arms. The destination made it worthwhile, and I wondered often how we'd have felt moving from spacious to confined. But hey, people have to do it all the time, especially these days. We do what we can, and find gifts where we can. Best wishes to you in your transition.

Ruth said...

Thanks so much, Hedge. It is terrific to have all this behind us. Now L & B get to do the unpacking in that lovely space.

Marcie said...

Nice to have them close to home!! Hope you get some time to relax..now that the big move is over!

Vagabonde said...

I am pleased that the move went well and that you are all safely back in Michigan. I thought about y’all and hoped that the weather would be nice.

Montag said...

Kids always move when the weather is the hottest and most humid... or wet. It is a love for the extremes.

A beautiful place and beautiful pictures of... places in the heart.

amy @ Souldipper said...

Sweet, sweet memories. Blessings for all to wear through comings and goings of family.

Ruth said...

Violetski, right??? (I assume you mean the bit about granny me . . . )

Yikes, 5th floor walkup! Wish you could have had this place. You know it firsthand, and now after a couple of days we are restored and ready to go back to our respective homes.

Ruth said...

Thanks so much, Louise! The corn fields are even more beckoning in person, as you can imagine. The scenes they have traded couldn't be much more dramatic.

Ruth said...

Cathy, YES! January baby . . .

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, DS! We're pinching ourselves at the bounty of all of it. Ahhhhh . . .

Ruth said...

Oliag, thank you, my friend. A whole new chapter of their lives is beginning with a new home, new job, new baby. We're trying to absorb it all.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Babs! I wonder how many times on Wednesday I said to Lesley: "I love your apartment!"

Ruth said...

Terresa, 10 moves in 10 years? That's almost as bad as 10 babies in the same time! Thanks for the welcome back.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Ellen. You know what it's like, having recently moved your sister.

Ruth said...

Hi, Rick. Thanks for the hearty approval! They are so happy to be in our state, and we are to have them. I don't think they can help but keep some NY in them. Lesley has already been saying, "get over it . . . " a few times, in a sweet Michigan sort of way . . .

:-)

Ruth said...

Marcie, thanks so much! Now we are rested and ready to go back to routines. They get to unpack, and that will be gratifying too, though a lot of work.

Ruth said...

Vagabonde, thank you so much for your thoughts and wishes for us. It really couldn't have gone better, and the heat breaking was a gift we kept thanking the skies for all day Monday, that and the rain not pouring until we left.

Ruth said...

Montag, I'm afraid I'm one for a bit of drama myself in the weather category. But there are better times for drama than others ...

Your last point is well felt, the best beauty of the place is in the locale of the heart where we connect. Thanks.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Amy. Our gratitude is huge and does lay a nice foundation for this next chapter.

VioletSky said...

Yes, I meant Granny Ruth! You must be especially chuffed to have them so close by.
Congratulations to you all. (I must have been half asleep when I wrote that almost incoherent comment!)
I am having trouble imagining living in NYC becoming old...

Arti said...

Welcome back, Ruth. I'm glad to see timely weather follow you and everything's settled now. What a tranquil place, and a view of a cornfield! I'm sure you're so relieved to have your daughter and son-in-law so close by. I'm sure that's a better place to raise a family than NYC. ;)

Barb said...

I can see the view is spacious from the porch and the sidewalks made for a baby carriage.

Ginnie said...

The thought of you having R&R at the cottage after the move, with the rain caressing the tin roof, is wonderful. It sounds like the whole thing will be a memory for years to come. So glad you're all safe-n-sound!