Moving in, moving about

The commenter who has moved seven times in ten years will roll her eyes. But for me, this move was a massive event, physically and emotionally. 

What I didn't anticipate:
  1. Unpacking, you will handle every item you own, at least once. While we had divested at least half of our belongings, there was still an endless stream of things to place...somewhere. Our furniture fit, the paint colours sang, thanks to pre-move hours on the treadmill spent watching Nate Berkus.
  2. Moving alters your senses. Time expands and contracts, attention sharpens. Like travel, you can't auto-pilot through the day. Every feature, from wall sockets to street signs, demands scrutiny; you see more, do more. The move-in week was both one of the speediest and most expanded of my life. 
  3. You'll use all your various thinking skills, from investigating to directing to imagining. We've also found it good for the spirit, infusing us with curiosity and wonder. Full disclosure: we also succumbed to a few fights borne from exhaustion and frustration: "I thought you packed the picture hangers."
    We are walking more, shopping scarcely beyond the day's needs, aiming for a less-sedentary life. Here's the market, a six-minute walk away.
    Just down the street!
    Shoes! Spring in new city makes me interested indeed. I wanted to coax the low-heeled oxfords off the seller's realtor's feet. They were similar to these Fluevog Dohje's; price, $275.
    Fluevog Dohje

    I've also noticed the ultra-long scarf, worn as shown to soften a suit or dress, or bandolier-style with jeans. It's not steamy yet, so it doesn't look pretentious and hot (in the temperature way), but spring-fluttery. (Shown, Tavan & Mitto suit.)

    The long scarf
    And I need more French fluency. Bilingual Montrealers switch to English to accommodate my struggle, but I want to practice and improve my French. ("La paix linguistique ne profite qu'aux anglophones", is scrawled on a wall, a pointed  reminder that guarding the priority of the French language remains a vital issue in Quebec.) (Translation: "Linguistic peace benefits only anglophones.")

    18 comments

    Susan said...

    I would enjoy living close to a wonderful market like that one!

    Anonymous said...

    Fluevogs confuse me. I find them ugly, and also intriguing. Jolie laide shoes? I wonder if they are comfortable (which counts if one actually "walks" in shoes).

    Mardel said...

    I would love living in a place where I could walk to a market like that. It is something I have always wanted.

    In answer to yesterday's question, yes I am still considering a move. I cannot imagine not living in a city someday, but it may not be this move. There is no advantage to it for the shut in spouse who needs full-time care. I am considering the possibility of a move nearer to family for him for the intermediate term, and then another eventual move for me. There are still too many variables in play for firm decisions and the decision will not be made until sometime next year.

    Anonymous said...

    A market like the one near you can raise your happiness quotient considerably--I know, as I've been lucky enough to have had one nearby everywhere I've lived, from my small college town to Manhattan to the old-line suburb I'm in now. Walking does great things for you, you'll see. I have a pretty shopping cart--a wicker basket on wheels, from France--that I take everywhere. People always stop to admire it, and it does look nice filled with produce and flowers, but it also spares my back and shoulders. You're right to emphasize comfortable shoes, too. I like good walking sandals in summer, oxfords and boots with flexible soles in winter.

    That suit + long scarf is one of the best silhouettes I've seen in some time (reminds me of your friend Huguette's gorgeous summer-wedding outfit.) Such a graceful look, and practical, too. In Miami this spring, I found myself adding a long scarf of thin cotton lawn most days--useful against air-conditioner chill, sunburned neck & shoulders, wind-blown hair.

    C.

    Duchesse said...

    Susan: yes, first time I've lived so close to one.
    Anonymous: Usually Fluevogs are not my taste; prefer more conventional lines. These are about my edge. "Jolie laide" in some styles, cartoonish in others. But I have noticed that women with beautiful legs wear eccentric shoes far better than I.

    The realtor's were more classic but the same idea, taupe, off-white and black oxfords with similar heel. She wore them with a strict, narrow-legged black pant suit.

    Mardel: Access to, and quality of caregiving agencies is probably on your list, too. We thought, moving here, of the many turns life can take and what kind of elder care is available.

    C.: A friend looked at that photo and said, "Isadora Duncan". But the car was fairly new then and I'm sure we can manage our long scarves.

    see you there! said...

    Happy to see you have moved and are beginning to settle in. For me one of the first things to make me feel at home is finding the perfect market - one within walking distance is so nice.

    Darla

    Marguerite said...

    Moving is so physically and emotionally wrenching whether you have done it once, or many times . I recently posted I have moved 4 times in the past 10 years due to loss of a spouse and subsequent remarriage. In September we will once again pack up house for a move to a new city, Austin, Texas. We are very excited. Glad things have gone well and will enjoy reading about your forays about the city.

    Susan said...

    Marguerite, Austin is a wonderful city as I am sure you know. The best of Texas and close to the beautiful Texas Hill Country. I know you will enjoy that city.

    Tiffany said...

    That market looks fantastic. How lovely to be able to walk there. Sounds like you're managing the rigors of moving remarkably well and finding pleasure in the experience.

    Anonymous said...

    "Linguistic peace benefits only anglophones." You are looking at the place from the point of view of someone who is financially secure and in a retirement life phase. If you notice the true elites, the Trudeau and Mulrooney children for e.g. are all perfectly bilingual and so can make their way in the reality of what is today's modern global worklife. When I graduated from college almost all head offices were in Montreal, if you wanted to get anywhere you had to live there; today all those jobs are gone. The people of Quebec choose to sell the economic future of their own children and grandchildren and choose language over financial opportunities. I don't think that having a lot of pretty farmers markets can mitigate that fact.

    Duchesse said...

    Anonymous: I'm not supporting that graffito, but reporting it as an indication of a person's opinion, rendered anonymously, just like yours.

    Though not "true elites", my children are bilingual and achieved that living in Toronto.

    My own generalization: there is far more accommodation of both languages here in 2010 than when I worked regularly in Montreal in 1980 for one of those large corporations whose head office left the city.

    It's not hard to acquire a second language (especially in youth) if you (or your family) value that ability for reasons of culture, politics, heritage, career opportunity or simply the pleasure of speaking it.

    materfamilias said...

    First, to answer Anonymous -- while not every Fluevog is a comfortable shoe (especially depending on the heel), many are surprisingly so -- much of the comfort comes from the sole which absorbs much of the sidewalk's hardness. And yes, they are rather jolie laide, aren't they? (although again, not all models -- and the colours are often quite delectable!)

    And second: are you thinking of taking French lessons? Or will you rely on daily conversations, leDuc's help, etc.? Pater and I have really been enjoying the sessions with a great tutor, but now, of course, I miss the opportunity to practise in my daily life.

    Duchesse said...

    materfamilias: Yes, originally I'd planned to take an immersion course in August at UQAM (as I had long ago for several summers) but may have a work project that will require me to take a less intensive class.

    emma said...

    This is a fascinating post! I may not plan on moving, but I think I could have some of these sensory experiences taking a trip...it's good to shake things up, isn't it?

    Duchesse said...

    emma: Yes; moving is very much like traveling except you are not gping back to the familiar place. The new place eventually becomes familiar.

    Shelley said...

    I love moving because it does mean that I am reminded that I do own a lot of stuff (some better than others). I love 'nesting' - finding places for that stuff. That market looks terrific. Walking makes me very particular about supportive, comfortable shoes. That scarf might be OK as long as one didn't wear it in a convertible ...

    Duchesse said...

    Shelley: I think we're more savvy to the peril of cars now, but revolving doors are another story.

    Marie-Christine said...

    I won't bore you with how often I've moved, but let's just say 'plenty'. I'm not sure I know how to cope with a life where spring cleaning has to replace moving cleanup :-). Still, if I have one piece of advice, it's this: you may have thrown out half your stuff, you may have paid an arm and a leg to bring the rest across continents/oceans. But if you arrive at the other side and while unpacking think 'what's this doing here?' you should get rid of it right away. It's impossible to get rid of enough with just the pre-move passthrough, where you may be still too emotionally attached to stuff. Don't flog yourself, just dump it, better late than never. This is especially true if you change countries, climates, whether physical or social ones. Your life will be different here, you'll need different stuff, that's just the way it is.