Big Changes by Deb Meredith

mcoledoorAs a child, summer meant months of unstructured time. School ended, and the days took on a different rhythm. I spent hours reading, writing, drawing, and swimming. I would make elaborate plans to sew things or build things, and then actually have the time to complete my projects. We sometimes took a trip somewhere new, and usually made a return trip to the ocean.

But this summer, as soon as school is out, we’ll be doing the opposite of relaxing. We’ll be moving. Moving is always stressful and highly traumatizing, but it will be even more so for us since we’re leaving New York. We’ve lived here 10 years and we’re trying something new by trying something old. We’re moving back to Virginia where I grew up.

I am going to miss our dear friends here, being able to stop in at an art opening on our way home from dinner, the sense that you could do anything or eat anything at anytime (although we rarely took advantage of it), my local swimming pool, and all the amazing energy and creativity of Williamsburg.

But New York hasn’t been all wonderful for us—the expensiveness, the lack of green space, the pollution, the noise and the crowds are ultimately what’s driving us away. But I don’t want to dwell on all that. I want to look ahead, breathe deep, and tell myself we’re making the right choice.

Here’s what I’m looking forward to in our new home: a yard, a garden, a compost heap (all related), more space, an office for myself with a door, seeing my family more often, being close to the mountains, not having to suffer through a big traffic jam to leave town, having a more relaxed life, and living in the south again where the spring starts earlier.

I’ll be continuing the Lydia McKenzie series from a more removed perspective, and I hope it will take the series in new and interesting directions. And, besides, it’s a great excuse to return again and again to visit New York. After all, it’s “research.”

Happy Summer everybody!

14 thoughts on “Big Changes by Deb Meredith

  1. Wow, Meredith – that’s a huge undertaking. Good luck with the move and I hope your new home will give you everything you’re looking for. And I agree with you, it’s always great to have an excuse to visit NYC. It’s funny though. I grew up there and lived in Brooklyn until we went overseas and I when I go there now, I am as lost as a fart in a blizzard!

  2. Leaving New York…ummm…well, you will miss the food, that I can tell you. You will probably miss your friends and the immediate availability of just about “everything”, but if you give yourself the chance to listen to your body hear itself without the constant din of th Big Apple, I believe you will quickly feel the stress (you might not even known you had) just seep out of your clogged New York pores.

    I left almost 7 years ago and moved to Slower Lower Delaware…the best move I ever made.

  3. Moving is so hard, isn’t it? Even when it’s not such a huge change as the one you’re making. I’ve never lived in a huge city, and over the weekend at Printers Row I had lunch with a good friend who grew up in the suburbs and moved to The City and we talked about the differences. We concluded one way of life is not inherently better than the other … it’s different. I’m sure you’ll always be glad to have had that experience. And you never know, you might go back!

  4. Thanks for sharing your new york wisdom Eve–and Eve’s Mom! Leaving is definitely bittersweet, but I’m trying to look forward rather then back.

    You’re right, Kris–we may come back. We don’t rule out the possibility, but right now we’re ready to try something different. And we certainly don’t regret our time in the city. It’s been an amazing experience.

  5. Sounds exciting to me! We have beautiful lake property in South Carolina and I so want to get on with our plans to move there from Texas. But the economy tanked and now we will wait until my husband stops screaming “The sky is falling, the sky is falling.” Good for you and good luck moving. That part is daunting.

  6. Good luck Meredith! I know you’ll make your life great where ever you physically hang your hat! And it’s o.k. for it to be different, not necessarily better or worse…just different! 🙂

  7. I hope you get to your lake soon, Leann! I’m going to miss all the mystery writers I know in NYC–but I know I’ll see them at Bouchercon, Malice and all the other festivals, as well as keep up with everyone on-line.

    And thanks from dropping by Jen and offering the words of encouragement.

  8. I moved from New York almost a decade ago, and, like Eve, when I go back now, it’s strange for me. It’s like everything has changed and nothing has. Last time I was there, I had fun, but I couldn’t wait to come back to the hills, fog, and bay. Good luck with your move!

  9. Best of luck in your move, Meredith. It is a nice area to grow up in, isn’t it? I’ll hope to see you when we come through town.

  10. That’s good to know, Tiffany. I think I may enjoy NY even more as a visitor.

    Thanks for the welcome Alan! I’m sure I’ll be seeing you at MWA meetings down there…

    And let me know when you swing through town, Katie D. We can stage a mini-Tandem reunion!

  11. Meredith, I can only imagine what it feels like to prepare to leave New York. The consolation is that you are going to have such a great time having some “space” under your feet.

    And, of course, that New York is an incredible place to visit! (Just call ahead and make sure your hotel has shower curtains.)

    It was so great meeting you last week!

  12. Thanks Best Pearls! We try.

    And it was terrific to meet you, too, Katie. As I pack, I keep thinking to myself “an office with a door, an office with a door…”

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