Today is the one year anniversary of when my then-girlfriend (now fiance) and I moved into our house to start our new life together. We had been dating long distance for some time, but I started looking for a place for us to live last June, with the intention of Gretchen moving down from Baltimore to join me when I found a place. Fortunately, my parents helped me locate our house. It’s a one story, ranch style house that’s got about 2,000 square feet, hardwood floors through most of the house, a huge kitchen with the longest island I’ve ever seen, and an even bigger den. Monstrously huge. Three beds, two baths, and a backyard patio to boot. All for a nice financial arrangement. So, we signed up and my parents and I went up to Maryland to rescue Gretchen and move her down to Tennessee.
On move in day, we unloaded Gretchen’s truck with the help of a friend. It wasn’t too hard; she didn’t bring too much with her. It was a bit of a tiring day though, so when everyone had left, we got some Arby’s to go, came back to our new home, opened a bottle of wine and dug in. That empty bottle of wine (a Biltmore Riesling) is still on the mantel over the fireplace in the den.
Two days later, we moved my stuff out of storage and into the house with the help of a moving company. I had a lot more stuff, and the house started filling up. We had to put some 80 boxes of my stuff in the garage. Over the course of the fall and winter, I’d gradually go through the boxes, keeping some, throwing much away, repacking some so that now there are about 20 boxes left stored in the garage and room to park.
Gretchen and I slept pretty well that first night — we were tired. I woke with a pain in my back though from her bed — a new bed for me, one I wasn’t used to. A hard mattress. It took a long time for me to get used to that mattress.
We started unpacking right away and got most of the house unpacked rather quickly. Fortunately, we had just enough storage for most things, so it went well. We set up our new 46″ HDTV in our huge den and it looked great there. I know, I know — we could have gotten a 60″ or bigger. Didn’t want one. Surely 46″ is big enough, don’t you think? My last TV was a 42″ one. I like the one we bought.
I’ve always lived with nice and interesting neighbors around me, so I waited for new neighbors to drop by to welcome us to the neighborhood — a large residential neighborhood. I waited a long time. No one ever came by. I’m still shocked by that. To this day, I’ve spoken twice to the crazy woman to our left, not at all to the couple on our right, and a few times with the people across the street when I’ve gone over to be friendly. The other disappointing part of living here is the noise. We hear trains, planes, and lots of noisy cars cutting through the neighborhood, stereos blaring. It’s truly annoying, but I try not to let it get to me.
This time last year, I had just undergone a surgery just like the one I had this past Monday, and I was in considerable pain for another affliction. My dad had to come over to mow our yard; I couldn’t do it. Gretchen also had to shoulder a large part of the load. I couldn’t bend over at all. I finally had surgery for that last December.
During our year here, we’ve celebrated Halloween and Christmas together, with my parents coming over to join us, and we’ve enjoyed watching sports on TV, going for walks in the neighborhood, riding our bikes on a trail nearby, going shopping together, reading together, eating our meals together — with our two cats, Henry and Toby, we’re a little happy family.
I’m so grateful for this last year. The preceding year had been hellish for me for several reasons, and for Gretchen too. We have spent the last year helping one another heal. We’ve enjoyed this year, we enjoy our time together, and we look forward to a lifetime spent together. We’re quite fortunate. I love my fiance.