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Many Moves

BOSTON (CBS) - Moving is tough on everything AND everyone. It does a number on the ankles, knees, lower back, shoulders and fingertips (not to mention other parts of the anatomy). Then there are the emotional somersaults a major move presents. Whether it's your home or business, the very thought of uprooting tons of long gathering stuff from one location to another is THE universal hassle, causing any human a shudder or two or ten.

Now the concept of movement isn't inherently unhealthy. Medical science tells us that merely sitting around is as bad for this generation as smoking was for the last one.   We're born to use these dexterous bodies of ours or face the flabby consequences.   But that's every day, every moment movement, the kind Jack LaLane touted fifty years ago. Major life moves are a different story. Whenever you hear the phrase "forwarding mail" and add the dreaded stressors of packing/unpacking, loading/ unloading and worst of all, having to chuck those adored but useless collectibles you haven't taken down from the attic in decades, well, that's a move of a different color.

As is often the case we me, I tend to go all out. They don't call me "Mister 110%" for nothing. I wish they stopped calling me that. Yours truly here opted to move not once, not twice but three times in the space of two months. The World Court at The Hague deems that type of behavior torturous.

Back in December, upon hearing that our apartment was to go the condominium route, my fiancé and I decided to search for another rental property. We ended up checking out three nearby open house opportunities the following Sunday. Instead of landing an apartment, we stumbled upon a magnificent house built in the mid 1800's in a neat downtown neighborhood. Remember the musical "Brigadoon," about the village that magically appeared only once every hundred years? Well, it's real and it arrived for us that Sunday. It was love at first site. Roberta and I agreed to put an offer in immediately. The deal was inked later that day. Memories of last winter's snowy mess that crippled city streets prompted us to shoot for a quick move, within a month's time before the flakes would fly. OK, a lot to handle in a short time, moving from apartment to new home. Nothing too unusual. That's move number one.

At the very same time my office/studio (the "day job") was scheduled to relocate to another part of the same building. We signed a new lease, finding it time to downsize a bit, a sign of the economic times.  Let's see, that makes two major moves----happening simultaneously. Most would settle for two biggies and crawl to the travel agent to arrange a Florida vacation by Christmas. But alas, there's more.  As we're boxing, tossing, reorganizing and tossing again, I find myself involved in a third move. This one is a bit different, being a single direction move. I sold the house in the suburbs.

I was lucky enough to find wonderful buyers for the family home of twenty-three years. They're a young professional couple with an infant, reminiscent of us when we first purchased the house decades back. It felt right handing over the place to people who had the same idea in mind as we had. To live and grow and love as a family under a secure roof in a stable neighborhood.

I cherish the memory of so many great times there. Birthdays, dinner parties, backyard barbecues, homework, bike rides, building that doll house, falling asleep on a lazy afternoon in the sun room. There are also the not so happy memories. Illness, disappointment, loss and the emptiness that occurs when kids leave the nest, when a partner passes.

Realtors talk about a house having good "bones," referring to its solid construction. I realize that a home is more than just its "bones". So like the people who reside in them, our homes are nurturing places for our souls.

Prior to selling, I was tasked with removing everything that identified the place as our house. That included furniture, mementos, photos, utensils, clothing and more. It took many weeks. I boxed sentimental pieces for storage, things that will eventually be delivered to my children when they're ready to settle into their own homes. I donated nearly all of the furniture to the needy. A very good feeling.

Finally, a few days before turning the keys over to the new owners, I returned to the home with two goals. The first was to do a thorough cleaning, to leave the place in a presentable state for the new family. Secondly, I wanted to and yes I needed to spend some time with the house, just the two of us. To have the chance to thank this old house for surrounding my family and me with warmth, protection and a loving environment. For always being there for whatever happened in our lives. We poured much sweat and equity into it as all people do. The house gave us so much back in return.

I guess I survived all three moves and by my calculations did enough of it in two months to last a lifetime. So it's back to speed walking and yoga, the right kind of movement to stay healthy. One does have to move for all of the right reasons.

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