COFFEE WITH KEITH
Last week, my column focused on 38 years of wonderful marriage between my beautiful wife, Nancy, and me. Yes, indeed, it’s been quite a ride.
And as you will see, I mean that last comment literally.
A week from today, God willing, we’re finally making the big move to the Boerne area from New Braunfels and we can’t wait to get settled into our new house and community, which we hope to call home for the rest of our lives.
But it will be move number … yes, you guessed it … 24 for us in those 38 years. I get tired just reading that.
Doing the math, which I frequently do but was reluctant to do in this case, I figured we’ve averaged moving about every year and a half during our marriage.
The house we are expected to close on next week will be the 10th we’ve owned in six different states. I’ve worked in seven. We’ve also lived in apartments, condos, rental houses, a mobile home and parents’ basements.
And to show how quickly things can happen, this will be the fourth place in Texas – and I’ve been here 3 ½ years. Egad.
I also moved three times during my youth and moved in and out of college dorms three times before I got married. How many total moves is that?
Feels like about 88.
That’s not too far off, if you allow a little exaggeration.
My life journey has taken me from Indiana to Kansas back to Indiana to Illinois to Wisconsin to Wyoming to Missouri and to Texas. Indiana housed all my childhood and college moves as well as several after I got married when I returned. I never lived in Wisconsin. I just worked there.
I moved into a rental house, a mobile home and a stick home in Kansas; into two different houses in Illinois; into an apartment and two houses in Wyoming; and into an apartment, a rental home and a house in Missouri.
I can’t even imagine the miles I’ve driven U-Haul trucks. I should own stock in that company.
Doing some research, I discovered the average person moves about 11 times in his or her life-time. The exact number is 11.4, but I can’t imagine what a .4 move is. Do you move only 40 percent of your stuff or only make it 40 percent of the way to the final destination?
Ha. Just kidding. I know the 11.4 number is an average.
I also found out that wealthier folks move less often.
What does that say about me?
Well, I am a career newspaper man.
I also learned that about 35.5 million Americans move annually. However, most of them remain in the same county.
That’s “county,” without the “R” making it “country.”
But Nancy and I have done that. We moved three times in the first year or so of our marriage – from an apartment to another apartment to her parents’ basement. We’ve also had to find temporary housing a handful of times before finding a “permanent” (ha) place when we’ve relocated cross-country – from Indiana to Kansas, later from Illinois to Wyoming, later again from Wyoming to Missouri and even from Missouri to Texas.
But, all of that makes the move numbers add up. And up. And up. And up. …
Growing up, I never gave moving much thought, even though we moved two times within the same general neighborhood before I graduated from high school.
But, I must say I never thought 30 or so (or is it 88?) would occur during my lifetime and that I would work in seven states, live in six and have 14 different newspaper jobs.
At least I’ve saved the best for last. And I really, really, really like that word – “last.”
Anyway, I better end this now. I’m going to need any strength I can save for next week.
Wish me luck.
As always, thanks for reading.