For those of you who don’t know, my kids and I moved from Chicagoland to Florida last June. We’ve been living and working and going to school there for a year. One whole year! We’ve made a new life there. Now we’re back in Chicagoland for a couple weeks to visit friends and family. While we’re here, we are staying in our old house that hasn’t yet sold. Why not, right? I mean, it’s ideal! I don’t have to pay for a hotel (which I couldn’t begin to afford), and we don’t have to put anyone out by taking up residence with them. Plus, we’re right by all our friends and the kids can walk to their buddies’ houses.
I figured we’d pack air mattresses and a few things we’d need and we’d stay in a basically empty house. My friend Eric had other things in mind. He moved furniture into every room! I mean mattresses, a sofa bed, chairs, TVS, dvd players, vhs players, boxes of tapes, a kitchen table and chairs, camping chairs, a fire pit, a coffee maker, toaster, etc. My friend Janice spent hours cleaning my house to get it ready for us. Eric extracted the carpet six times because I had a tenant for a couple months this winter whose dog stunk up the place. My friends Eric, Janice, and Doreen, and my parents made sure we had food and supplies already stocked so we didn’t need to think about a thing. What kind of people go to all that trouble?! I have THE. BEST. FRIENDS. In the world.
But here’s the thing: It feels like we still live here. None of us can remember the past year in Florida. It feels like we were only in Florida for a couple weeks on vacation and now we’re back home. It’s the weirdest feeling. I’m afraid I’m going to have a hard time dragging some of my kids back to Florida when our vacation is over because they feel like they live here once again. I just know it’s going to be hard for them and I think it’s going to feel like they’re moving and grieving the loss all over again. As much as we’re all enjoying seeing everyone and catching up with our friends, I’m beginning to wonder if we should have waited a little longer before returning for a visit. Does anyone have experience with this? Have you gone back to visit old homes only to feel like you never left?
I guess we’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, it is so wonderful to visit favorite places – downtown Chicago, museums, Lou Malnati’s, Portillos, Greektown, and Jarosch to name a few. And it’s absolutely wonderful to see and catch up with my friends and family.
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