There’s a shopping bag on the floor of my pantry filled with packing tape and permanent markers.

It’s in my pantry because I am decluttering like mad.

Because people are going to be looking at our house.

Because it’s up for sale.

Because we are moving.

To Tennesseee.

(Yes, I still have an English degree and I know those are sentence fragments, but it’s how I’m processing this).

Well, I’m not really processing this. I’m just trying to avoid the subject and enjoy the decluttering. Paige’s room has never, ever, ever been so neat.

And I have never, ever, ever been so cutthroat in throwing stuff away.

Everywhere I look, there is an opportunity to pack something that we don’t use often, or throw something away that was unnecessary/ugly/not worth it/broken/no longer useful, etc.

I like that part of moving, a lot. It makes things cleaner.

I like, a lot, that Rod and I and the family we made are staking out new ground together, that we will enter a town as The Burton Family, that we will live in a place we picked out together, that there will be a lot less ‘splaining to do, a lot fewer phone calls to our home asking for people who don’t live there anymore.

Yeah – this move is about much more than geography for me. I have 33 years of friends and anecdotes and landmarks and details in the 10 square miles that surround me, but I also have mistakes and consequences and reminders and knots about running into so-and-so somewhere that I am ready to leave behind…not to mention our winters, our salty roads, our taxes, our corrupt politics and increasing crime rates..

That said, I am completely NOT thinking about the Monday mornings after a trip when I am not besieged by mommy friends with playmates for the girls, NOT thinking about the birthday parties and book club meetings and Monday girls’ nights and Aurelio’s pizza orders and seeing someone I knew since first grade at the pediatrician’s office encounters that will no longer happen, NOT thinking about being much more than a train ride away from a summer walk up Michigan Avenue.

I love Nashville…oh, and the timing is so strange. Places we were falling in love with and making plans for new memories just 3 weeks ago are utterly devastated after the floods this week. All our people there are safe, but a lot of people are not. I guess in some ways this is showing me how much my heart is there, because my heart is aching for dear Music City.

The FOR SALE will be out there in a few days.  And if this house sells before July, we’ll be living on a bus until July, when we can take some time to find a new home. And if it doesn’t, we’ll be doing the delicate dance of, “Is this the last time we will____?” for an agonizing unknown period.

But at some point, it will, and we will go, and I’m excited, and I’m worried, because then what?