The move. (Part 1)

A little background:

The plan was for us to never move into the old Little Village house (a former convent that they’ve rented from the Archdiocese for 12ish years). They had bought an old apartment building in the same neighborhood and had begun renovations that were hopefully to be finished by the time we arrived at the end of July. Alas, it was not to be and they had to battle many setbacks and challenges as they tried to get the house ready–additions finished, renovations completed, and the whole house furnished–for us to move.

The completion date was perpetually uncertain, not because of anyone’s fault, but because of every detail in a major renovation presents its own set of challenges to surmount. That uncertainty led to some understandable stress for some of our house.

It’s hard to not know when we have to be packed and ready, what weekend will probably have more unpacking than unwinding, and to generally know that what is beginning to feel like home, will only be for….. who knows how long?

And of course, regardless of the fact that we were for sure moving, everyone had feelings on whether they actually wanted to move or not.  I gauged three major sentiments:

  1. “I can’t wait to move. This house has too much err…. character. The mold, the cracks in the walls, the plaster that perpetually falls on the counters. The new house will just be nicer. Let’s move asap.”
  2. “Let’s not move. We’re settled here…It’s home.  The character is part of the Amate experience, particularly the LV one.”
  3. (in true Melissa-fashion, I fall into the third category, half/half). “We get the best of both worlds. Living in the old house lets us connect with prior Amate volunteers and their experience. They can still think of us as legit LV-ers. 😉 But, we also get to experience the joy of the new house since volunteers will live in it anyway from now on!”

The move.

Fast-forward to mid-november. We learn our move date: December 9th. Yay! Ok, we get into moving gear and start getting in the packing mindset post-Thanksgiving.

Then December begins: Oh wait… you’re moving December 8th! Ok, so we get in EXTREME packing mode and prepare for the move. I wasn’t too stressed about the move at first. Moving has never made me too stressed before. I mean, I moved to Chicago via airplane without ever stepping into the Midwest before (that’s just a personality thing not a tooting my own horn sort of thing just to clarify lol). Some good insight prior to the move came from a friend who told me she would be really stressed in that situation because change is hard for her. That was so helpful to keep in mind as I saw the stress settle into my roommates early on in the process.

And then…it turns out that even though I don’t get overly stressed moving on my own, moving with 8 others is a whole other ball game 😉 It was great to see everyone pitch in and prepare the house for moving but it was also sooooo interesting to see where everyone’s priorities and preferences lay.

Picture this during the packing process:

Melissa: Don’t throw that out!!!! It could be used for hospitality or future Amate volunteers.

Everyone else: “We’re throwing it out. We’ve only used it once/not at all…

In my defense, sometimes holding on to extra sets of mugs or a crockpot is helpful for hospitality.  In their defense, purging is good for the soul and for living simply! All that to say, the stress began to wear on us 😉

Anyway, the timing worked out really well as far as our December 8th move date. I had off work because of the Immaculate Conception (perk of working for the Archdiocese!), so I was able to be a liaison between the movers, Amate staff, and the LV volunteers! And then at the end of the day, I had a meeting with my spiritual companion, where she challenged me to ask the question,

“How is God moving in our moving?”

What a GREAT question! And an even more important question beginning the next day, when our gas got turned off. And stayed off for a week. For the next week, we had no heat, hot water, stove, or oven.

But we’ll save that for part 2! Stay tuned 😉

The Amate family in front of our new house!
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