Price Has No Relationship to Value

Nostalgia is not your friend. Sentiment is your enemy. You must be ruthless.

Everyone I know has a story about when they moved into their current home. I recognize the dazed look in the eyes of military or corporate families who moved every few years.

It’s the story of people who gave up barbeques, backyard swing sets, antique furniture, and expensive sports equipment. They are the people who gazed around at the pre-moving mess and said, “Where did all this stuff come from?”

You think about what you paid for that outdoor patio furniture that you only used a few times last year. What about your mother’s silver that you’ve never taken out of the box?


Your aunt’s dishes? That ugly bedroom set?

What you paid for something, in the end, comes down to what you can shove into the moving van or the U-Haul. What you paid for it has no relationship to what you can sell it for at a yard sale. And it comes as a surprise that no one wants your worn out couch. Even if it’s free.


The moving van for me arrives on Wednesday.  My helpers and I will load all those carefully-packed cardboard boxes into a 28-foot empty space. The more of those 28 linear feet you use in the van, the more you pay.

Lately, I’ve just opened my wallet and let it bleed because I’m selling my house at the same time. Moving is expensive.

The upside? With all the useless crap gone, I can see the good bones of the house. This weekend I lay on my couch and looked through the floor-to-ceiling windows as the clouds gathered, first the hail, and then the rain fell.

I’d never had that view before since the couch had to be on the opposite wall to accommodate all the clutter. I’m sad about that. I’m leaving a lush, mountain forest environment for the downtown landscape of Ottawa, Ontario, the nation’s capital.

But I want a new life. I leave behind supportive friendships of twenty years. I know I’ll be lonely.  It’s taken me twenty years to form these friendships, and it’s unlikely I’ll have twenty years to form new ones. People aren’t Legos you can just plug in.

I want a new life and this is the cost.

Please tell me the story of your move and how it turned out.


This entry was posted in Mar Preston, Moving, New Life in Canada, Ottawa and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Price Has No Relationship to Value

  1. Judith Cassis says:

    Good Morning Mar,
    I am one who will sorely miss your presence in our forest community, yet I am excited for you on this next adventure. Moving can be just that; an adventure. To view it in the grand scheme can overwhelm.
    When I moved almost 25 years ago from my home in Michigan to my new life in California, I did so with very little trepidation. I was excited about a new life among the palms and near the ocean. I didn’t expect to fall in love with the mountains, but there you go. I can’t see myself ever leaving, but I know that life will present what it presents. Who knows where I will find myself years from now? If I live in the present moment it doesn’t matter.
    I left a lot of “stuff” behind in my last move. I will leave a lot more behind as time goes on, and gratefully so. What will always go with me, and you as you settle into your next life in Canada, are the memories. Nothing is more precious. And you won’t have to pack them, sell them or give them away. They travel well.

  2. Mar Preston says:

    Oh my, Judith, you must know what you’ve meant to me. I’m glad you’re on the plane with me and my cats for an easy segue into my new life.

  3. Susan de Gaia says:

    When I moved from British Columbia back to California, it was exactly what I needed. For months, I had had a recurring dream: I would wake up to a blue sky and celebrate warmth and sunshine. The dreams would come in the morning, followed by waking up to a typical grey sky in B.C. I missed B.C., my friends, and the life I had made there for a long time. I still do. Making a home is a process of becoming part of a community, something that can only happen in a deep way when we are present in that place. But these days we don’t have to miss people as much as we used to. We will still have our online chats, and we can even do Facetime!

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