By Kelly Baughman

Nothing in life is worse than dying…..except moving. Always a glutton for punishment, I have managed to move probably 100 times in my life, but particularly twice within the last six months.
After getting a divorce and selling the waterfront home we owned and lived in for nearly ten years (by far the worst part of the whole deal), I moved into a rental in a typical, run of the mill, local neighborhood. Within days, I knew I had made a big mistake.
The house was fine enough, but there were few windows, and even on a sunny day it felt like a cave. It was dark and dreary inside, my neighbors were less than friendly, and the Blue Angels buzzed the house so low on their weekly practice days that I actually screamed and ducked inside my own house.
But the worst part was the backyard. Don’t get me wrong….it was perfectly fine…fenced with enough space for my three dogs to play. However, when I would open the door to the backyard for my pups, their reaction was much like mine… “Where’s the sand?” They would reluctantly go out into the grass and aimless meander around for a few minutes before getting bored and coming back in. I felt the same way.
I knew we needed a change, so I found a cute waterfront condo just steps away from the beloved house I lived in for all those years. Never thinking it would actually happen, I made an offer that was quickly accepted and within 30 days, it would be mine.
Upon hearing this news, I scanned the rooms at the rental. I had literally just unpacked the last box from the last move, and now it was time to do it all over again. Kill me.
I packed and packed for what seemed like an eternity and felt pretty good about being ahead of the game. Then the movers came. Eight hours later, the furniture and boxes were gone, and anyone who has moved knows that the worst is just about to begin. There were little things…lamps, hanging clothes, throw pillows….everywhere. I thought about burning the house down to save me the headache, but an arson charge just wasn’t worth it. Four days later, the move from THAT house was done.
Now allow me to paint you a picture of the chaos I create for myself. I failed to mention that in my new condo, I decided that a kitchen renovation was in order. And I decided that doing it simultaneously while moving in would be no problem. I need my head examined.
The demolition was pretty much over by the time the movers came, but the mess was insane. Sheetrock dust was everywhere, there were holes in the floor where we had moved appliances and needed new tile, and electrical wires hung from the ceiling. None of them were hot…otherwise I’d be dead. I only ran into them at least ten times while carrying boxes that will probably give me back problems for the rest of my life.
When the dust quite literally settled again after the move, my anxiety level (which should have diminished) was now at stroke-con 5. While my boxes were labeled, the movers had no choice but to stack them five high anywhere and everywhere they could. I always fancied myself to be the type of woman who would be on The Real Housewives Bravo series, but I found out quickly that my life obviously fit in much better on an episode of Hoarders. The place looked like Fred Sanford’s backyard.
As I found myself alone with my three dogs, who stared up at me like little deer in headlights, I assessed the situation. Not a single inch of floor space was able to be seen, the kitchen still looked like someone dropped a nuke, and I couldn’t even find a single pair of shoes to replace the ones on my tired and now bloodied and blistered feet except a pair of granny house shoes. (I ended up wearing those fluffy monstrosities for the next three days with no shame everywhere I went. It was that bad.)
I knew some damage control had to be done, and most people would’ve started moving boxes around and organizing the best they could, but old “Lisa Vander-Sanford” over here dug for the essentials…a plastic cup and a box of wine. It was the two things I knew how to find, and it turned out to be a lifesaver.
I poured myself a cup and headed out to my balcony to relax while the sun set. Instantly, my stress melted away, the dogs were happy, and I realized why I had put myself through all of this….there’s nothing better than the views and the serenity of Perdido Key.
And while I’m still not done by a long shot, I have kitchen cabinets, a clear pathway to my bed and balcony, and all the time in the world to unpack in my little slice of heaven that’s all mine! After all, life is good at the beach, and if you ever forget how lucky we are, move away and make a return. Despite me needing some anxiety medication and some hair replacement therapy, coming home to the water was the best decision I ever made.
I just never want to do it again.