New House, New Place, New Beginning

A photo of our new house (from the realtor listing).

Tam and I worked furiously for the last six weeks packing and getting ready to move to the Chicago suburbs where we could be close to our daughter and her family. After the moving van was loaded, we drove four days though freezing weather and brisk winds and arrived at our daughter’s house in time to spend Christmas with our grandchildren for the first time. What a treat to watch them tearing open their Christmas gifts with glee.

They enjoyed every gift, even the socks and underwear that often bore pictures of fanciful creatures. In fact, many gifts were mash-up creatures including a “Shorse” (a shark head on a horse body) and a “Doguine” (a dog head on a penguin body).

The van unloaded on Dec. 30, so we’ll greet the new year unpacking and organizing. As I arrange my new office, I’ll take time organize things and set priorities for the new year. I resolve to blog more often and to resume work on the project I mothballed for the move.

While packing and unpacking I noticed many things I could work on including an unfinished novel, a couple of magazine articles, and a new edition of For the Zen of It (my collection of haiku). I should also organize and annotate the boxes of family photos I inherited from my mother. (They date back to the 1800s.) I need to select and scan them to share with relatives.

I’m also resolved to post weekly to this blog.

We spent our first night in the new house on Jan. 2 and have been unpacking ever since. Things will be livable soon. Then it’s back to writing for me and fiber arts for Tam

I always say I’d rather die of exhaustion than of boredom. Looks like I’ll get my wish.


2 thoughts on “New House, New Place, New Beginning

  1. Mark & Tam, That is a beautiful house! From this photo, it appears to be a ranch style with NO stairs. That is what I need (but smaller). And what a green, carefully manicured lawn!

    I am still on Chicadee, still love the neighborhood, but am increasingly frustrated by home maintenance that I can no longer do myself (if it involves climbing ladders) and can’t find reliable help with small repair projects. Of course, the house has always been way too large for me, and the stairs, which can not be avoided, have become harder to get up and down. ENJOY your new house, new community and being close to family. Dorothy


  2. This is awesome news to hear about you, Tam and those little ones being closer to one another. I don’t think I know what your daughter and her husband are doing in the Chicago area or for how long, but I’ll bet you and the fam will like the Midwest. My kids are all grown up in Knoxville, as I am. After UTK (the best teachers ever; thank you!) when Dr. Ashdown said nice things about me to a recruiter from Whittle Comm who called him one day (and I had answered his phone for him!). I became a copyeditor and worked on so many magazines, books, and the precursor to WebMD and then Chris Whittle’s Edison Project. When Chris ran the company into the ground, the same buddy who hired me at Whittle hired me at HGTV and I was copyeditor for the graphic design and corporate communications departments for years. It’s been fun and productive. David is no longer 3 years old, and Carrie isn’t 9. I’m astounded. Who woudda thunk? After years playing bass in a rock band, David finally went to Pellissippi and UTK and is an engineer with an aeronautics offshoot of Alcoa, and Carrie has had the best jobs ever: She went to school in 2000 in New Jersey then Ireland, where she stayed on as a seal rescuer, a paralegal, a North African refugee agency coordinator, and world traveler with potential for international incidents (C: “Mom–Monica and I are in Macedonia and there’s shooting everywhere. Soldiers are shooting people. We’re hiding and don’t know what to do. How do we get out?” Me, at work, unsuccessfully trying to be quiet and not disturb cubemates: “Uh, well, er, what’s Macedonia? Is it a country? Where is it? Try to find an officer and tell him you made a mistake going on vacay there.” The girls made insta-friends with two young soldiers and agreed to bring them pizza and go on a date if the soldiers would help get them to the border. It worked. Carrie returned here to her 6th-grade crush, Alex (leader of The American Plague rock band), and married him 25 years after meeting in the halls at Bearden Middle School. She and Alex began work at Discovery (formerly Scripps Networks; it helps to have a mom and an in-law there, I guess). I work freelance for the company and am Carrie’s proofreader and copyeditor for her writing assignments online. My 11-year-old granddaughter is in 6th grade and my 20-year-old step is at UT-Chattanooga. Covid played havoc with both of their school situations, but not in a bad way. Haddie is having a ball in middle school but fully expects to be miserable at some point. Ha Well, it’s terrific hearing about your move and your new year of writing. Best wishes to you and Tam. I hope you have such fun exploring Chicago. Becky


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