Chainsaw“‘Cause I’m movin’ on up, you’re movin’ on out… movin’ on up, nothin’ can stop me! Movin’ on up to the east side. To a deluxe apartment in the sky, time to break free, that’s all I need, that’s all I ask for — room to breathe! Room to move ­— that’s all I need, that’s all I ask for, give it to me. Room to move, everybody needs — a piece of the pie!” Lyrics excerpted and mangled from Movin’ on Up from British band M People 1993, and the Jefferson’s Theme song 1975-85, performed by Ja’net DuBois; Room to Move, new wave group Animotion circa 1989.

From the early stages of inception, once we’ve gained adequate perception, with the occasional exception, we have a rough-hewn conception of what “home” is. Initially it is what it is, as can be perceived by any preschooler’s drawings. A tiny box, with a triangle on top, maybe a window (never a door — windows are more fun). This overshadowed by a cluster of huge stick folk, each representing members of the household. (Incidentally the reaction one gets from asking a preschooler – “Why is everybody naked?” is priceless).

There is something to be learned here; as every child knows and with age has forgotten — “Tis the people within that make a house a home”. Ah, but with time, age and imagination the house itself begins to grow. Evolving with every daydream and becoming fantasy-laden as thoughts of a “dream-home” surpass where the heart is. Still it’s sad that when we finally reach the age of actually being able to purchase a place to call our own that we realize the impracticality of exit slides, trampoline floors and glow-in-the-dark walls.

For most of us dreams die with reality and daydreams of our “dream house” slowly diminish. As parameters become redefined to finding something that works, within our budgets, settling for what we can find or accepting an offer we can’t refuse. The later was the case in 1997 when the deed to the current House o’ Saw found its way into my hands.

By no means was a run down, 1964 model, 3 bedroom brick with one bath sitting on a 1/2 acre plot my idea of a dream home. But it had a spiral staircase so that was a start. Plus the move would be easy, seeing as it sat on the lot adjacent to my folks and the house I’d grown up in. And that in itself presented an interesting problem. You see, when you leave the nest you want to spread your wings and soar… not fall out of the damned tree into the neighbor’s yard. More importantly when you’re young and free who in hell wants to live next to their parents? My father assured me many a time prior to and at closing that they would be moving when they retired in a few short years. It’s been 24 years… they’re still there.

But it was what it was, available and well within a mediocre budget. Has become what it is and though loathing, admitting to submitting, in time it reluctantly became a home. It’s fine, this’ll do! Work here, play here, retire here and die here… unless we win the lotto…or receive another offer I can’t refuse….but what are the chances of that?

So we’re moving. To a different 1960’s styled brick, 3 beds, 2 baths, 2 car-ported joint on a 5 acre parcel, with a barn thingie and lots of woods all round. It’s sorta like a farm so our goat will be quite happy. As for myself… not sure yet ­— gotta get past this moving part first. And this time it’s not just a stroll across the backyard.

Only when you move from one long-lived local to another do you come to understand how much s*** you have acquired. Keep, donate, sell… my gawd the plethora of crap knows no end. We’ve been “moving” for weeks all the while trying to make one house livable and the other one sellable. Halfway in and out you just wanna give up, because you’re giving up everything you’ve known for the unknown and it’s not fun.

Our only hope is to apply lessons learned from our youth: we start by drawing a tiny box, with a triangle on top…

I welcome almost all questions, comments via FOCUS, or email me at [email protected]. Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused! See ya.