When One Door Closes…


Just checking in…this New Year is beginning – as most do – with ridiculously large amounts of hope and an almost equally impressive amount of anxiety.  It’s all about balance…

They say that when one door closes, another opens.  Whoever ‘they’ are, may I call ‘b.s’.  When a door closes, it’s shut.  There may not be another door, hell there may only be a window that’s been painted shut for years.  That kind of closed that is going to take some muscle, intent and a few tools.  And then prying it open can take some time.

No worries, I’m not going to suffocate.  I’ve got the window wedged open a crack, and I can smell the freshness in the air.  I check on that door every once in a while, but I’ve gotta tell you – the damn thing won’t give.  It’s not supposed to.

We’re putting our house on the market sometime next month.  And as every cliche attests – after twenty three years, it’s far more than a house – it is the keeper of secrets and memories, of hugs and arguments, firsts and lasts.  My sneakers are in the garage, placed there when we moved in so I could be ready to run and it is here in the quiet of the morning where I also planted my roots.  It’s where I checked on sleeping sons every night and/or waited in the family room for them to sneak in from wherever they weren’t supposed to be.  It’s where we worked to blend a family and succeeded and failed and succeeded and failed.

It’s where I could hide or choose to be found.

We moved here when I was young.  Now I’m not so young.  I had a new husband who looked at me in that way I had always imagined.  Somehow romance existed alongside emergency runs for Frosted Flakes.  I knew that marriages morph and change – but I had no idea how malleable they have to be to survive.  And we’re still here, shaped in no small part by the moments in this house.

I brought my boys here and even though I knew they would grow up and leave, I didn’t fully understand how the ground would shift when they did.  Their lives and loves and futures so fantastic and I stand proudly on the periphery.  As my sister reminds me – that’s the way it’s supposed to be.  ‘Go find the balance, Grasshopper’.  I’m on an emotional hover-board.  And I’m clumsy.

So over these next few weeks, you will find me in the throes of purging and packing, preparing for a stager to come in and completely de-personalize what I’ve held so personally.  It’s disorienting to pack up the pictures that crammed every mantel,  use too much bubble-wrap to secure the art my mom created and/or the belongings that once were in my parents’ house which provide comfort and familiarity in mine.

And that window?  Yeah, it’s there and I am sure that in time it will open wider and with greater ease.  It looks like we’ll be building a new house – an experience I’ve never had – in a smaller city where there is family who are happily anticipating our arrival, and some understanding of its rhythms from visits there as well.  It will be a new story line – Mimi & Andy’s Most Excellent Adventure – as soon as it begins.  It’s this interim period where one is not yet saying good-bye or hello which is a little tricky for the heart.  Where there are too many moments being packaged and memory-making days on hold.  Can you imagine some of the stories I will get to tell though?  The karma truck is going on the road – one of these days.  I’ll keep you posted as soon as I figure out the right GPS coordinates.



66 thoughts on “When One Door Closes…”

  1. Love, love, love this. I could have written it as everything you wrote pertains to our lives right now. It’s going to be an interest experience, I know. P.S. My door is not quite closed yet, but almost.

  2. Mimi – you are so incredible–what you say has so much truth–you are right, sometimes the door closes and we have to find a sliver of window to crawl through
    I am thrilled about your new adventure–but sorry too as I know moving will be hard and wonderful, full of memories, and new memories in the making
    I wish you the best my friend — xo

    1. Thank you so much…a very surreal time for sure. And I’m hopeful that the time hurries along enough for me to feel ‘rooted’ once again! xo

  3. Sadness, happiness, memories cherished, and some rather forgotten. It’s funny how our homes become such a part of our family identity. I wish you truck loads of luck in the coming weeks and months, saving some for the other end to be sure…and as one who moves often and as immortalized on these very pages…NOT always well…I’m saying a prayer to the mover gods that when the time comes, yours will be smooth as glass. I’m excited for you. The move closer to family is never a bad idea and I know you and Andy and the sirs will find your new perfect in your new home. I soooo look forward to the updates on the journey…there are bound to be one or two stories to tell! Much love SK….xoxo

    1. Ah WW, there will be stories for sure!! And I’m going to try like hell to find the funny parts, despite the weirdness of feeling less and less ‘home’ until I can once again call someplace ‘home’…xo

      1. You’re home is where your heart is…so when you feel homeless…snug a sir, hug an Andy, or kiss a baby toe. No worries SK, you’ll have the home for your heart before you know it! xo

  4. You hit the nail on the head. It’s between the goodbye and hello that is always a minefield of emotion for me. Good luck on your move and be sure to pack all your memories.

    1. Yup Kate, I’m with you – i’s being neither here nor there. Trust me, I’m going through bubble wrap like a mad woman – those memories are safe!!

  5. We live in the same house, but sometimes I don’t feel the earth moving below my feet as you do. Hold on baby, we’ll get through this together, and then start making new memories. As long as we get to do it together, I’m blessed.

  6. Oh Mimi dearest, that hover-board is the perfect picture…everything affects everything…the ‘pulls’to a new place, the ‘tugs’ to stay in the known place. The intangible treasures of roots versus the anticipation of new.

    I cannot wait to smell the fresh air and then enjoy the views from your window as you ride in the karma truck.

    P.S. I have a paint scraper for your window if you need it. XO

    1. Don’t you worry my friend – I’ll still be here when you come home in the spring…by then at least, I’ll know where my paint scraper is!! xo

  7. Ah honey, I know you are feeling drastically ‘off kilter’ at the moment, but as always your writing strikes the perfect chord. As much as we tell ourselves that we can make a home anywhere, all of those cliches that we trot out to ameliorate the ache somehow fall flat when you’re in the midst of it.

    You’ve invested yourself in your home–its sounds, its smells, its aura–that’s evident the moment one walks through the door and is embraced by a feeling love and a sense of welcome. But that’s *you* honey, at your core, and though it may take a while, you’ll create that in your new home, too, fear not.

    In the meantime, be gentle with yourself and listen to your heart. It knows the way….

    all there is…xoxo,l

    1. You know it very well indeed…and I know that all of this will even itself out and you will be visiting and creating memories with me, as you have done here…And I love that – and you.

  8. I thought the other day, randomly, about what if I had to move from my little rented bungalow, where I have called home for a mere three years and I got sad; to consider what you are tackling is so.very.much. Having experienced (for that is what it was…) twice, to have felt the kitchen and all the love (if only wall could talk…) it is palpable what is contained in the task before you…at the same, time, I adore what lies ahead for you and Andy and your tribe. Lots of bubble wrap, packing tape and tears…..and you say it so so perfectly about this interim, that’s what this is about. It’s this moment. Your home is you my friend. xoxoxo

    1. The key is looking forward and trying to put some imagery to it that I can hold onto as I enter this land of limbo – and may I say, that I never ever liked the limbo. And knowing how your home has become your haven delights me…as do the moments in my kitchen 😉 xox, m

  9. This is my life at the moment and I fully understand every little bit especially “not yet saying good-bye or hello which is a little tricky for the heart”. Being in transition between here and there is not easy. Take care 🙂

    1. I hope you get to greet one and bid adieu to the other soon Elizabeth – the interim is – well, neither here not there. Sending you good thoughts only!

  10. You connected all the dots with your heart and soul and I’m crying in the nail salon as I read this chapter. Who said it gets easier as we age? Of all the imagery and magnitude of feelings and reflections, I want to remind you that there is a book in here and I think “Mimi and Andy’s Excellent Adventure” is a perfect title. There is always hope. It travels with you wherever you go and whenever you need to get through something it’s the “wind beneath your wings”.

    This is one of the most brilliant, beautiful and poignant reads ever put forth by the Karma Truck. Your gift, your talent and you abundant compassion for others has created a friendship circle for you that you never imagined; the lives you touched and those who touch yours each and every day. One day when we’re rocking in our chairs on the porch of the senior community in which we will be living, we will chuckle that no matter how many times we got knocked down, we got up and continued to believe in happy endings. You will find your way. You are human, somewhat fragile at this time, and afraid of what may lie ahead. You are a reluctant risk taker, but you are taking a tremendous risk: change. So, as I used to tell my teachers; there are two things that can happen when you jump off the cliff. One is that you will land firmly on the ground. The other is that you will learn how to fly. Mimi, you will fly. You always have and if your wings get a bit tired, I will always help you hold them up for as long or short a period of respite you need. Plus, there’s this guy, Andy (see above) and apparently he’s in for the long haul as well. His words provide the key to the happy ending I am confident will be yours.

    To the moon and back…

    1. Ah Jo…now I am the one with no words…I am just sitting here in the kitchen thinking about those cherished people who have been here at the round table with me – you and Ben included of course. And so I tell myself that if we continue to be blessed time will permit us more chances for new meetings in new places. Places that will become imprinted with memories and history of their own…so we can say, ‘remember when?’ and know to our toes, we were home…xoxox

      1. Home has been a special place in our hearts for years. It’s the celebration at the end of each day of the friendship with which we have been blessed. I look forward to many more ‘remember when’ moments and while memories may fade, the heart will always know. It always has.

    1. Russ, thank you…I’ve been so remiss in keeping up with my ‘blogging buddies’…I look forward to re-connecting with your updates as well.

    1. Wow! This could be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Mafitgnceni. I am also an expert in this topic therefore I can understand your effort.

  11. I’m excited for this new chapter for you. It can be painful to leave some things behind, but there are so many exciting times ahead. I look forward to reading all about them. I tear up every time I hear that song too, sounds fabulous live.

  12. A beautiful read, so personal and poignant. Eventually, most of us come to this point in our lives and yet you opened your own ‘window’ allowing us to to take a peek at what will be. Blessings as you move forward on your journey with thanks to you for sharing.

    1. Thank YOU for your warm and encouraging thoughts! it’s been a challenge to get back into the ‘blogging’ chair, and your words made me feel wonderful!

  13. Love hearing from you Mimi! I wish you the best and I do know the feeling that you are expressing about your home. In time, your new home will hold so many memories for you also. Best of luck on your new journey! Looking forward to your posts



    1. Hi Tina! Thank you for stopping by – I need to get in the groove of reading my favorite bloggers again!! I look forward to the journey – it’s this interim period that I could arguably do without. That said, I suppose it makes the destination that much sweeter…I hope all is well on your end…best, m

  14. Oh Mimi an exciting new chapter for you and all that happy and melancholy and excitement all rolled together. I need lots more details over grilled cheese at Amphora. I’m free just about any time, especially in this space in between…

  15. I wish you well in your transition Mimi. 💛 It’s hard when we have so much invested because we made a place a real home for ourselves . Although staging is hard, it helped me start to detach from the past.
    Although it will still remain in our memories and in our hearts…

    1. I am sure the staggers will help with this detachment…as I’m hopeful all will be well. I need to get through the ‘detaching’ and the time before I get to ‘re-attach’ that’s a little tricky..😉

      1. I hear you….. I like to imagine a salamander with those sticky feet clinging on to a surface. It’s impossible to pull the. Away in one sweep, but releasing one finger at a time gets them free….

  16. Beautiful writing from your heart Mimi. Keep working on that window and I hope you have a smooth transition into the next phase of your life, it sounds like a wonderful time to connect to family. 🙂

  17. The title of the post made me think of my pop, he would say if one door closes, run around the back and sneak in before you are noticed, I don’t know why that came to mind it just did.

  18. Hi Mimi. I’m sorry I’m so late in your return to our little world here. I missed you greatly. Thanks for sharing your news of arrival and departure, my friend. I am glad and sad, happy for the second wee one and lifted by Andy’s dad’s fortitude to continue to embrace what remains in his life while honoring what left him. You still have the touch to tell us about this from the heart.

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