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Oh, I forgot we had this hot-air popcorn maker!

Oh, I didn’t know we owned all these old picture frames.

Hey, look! We have a single bed. I forgot about this.

It’s one thing to forget where you put your keys or phone. 

It’s another to forget that you own an antique rocking chair, or a second patio umbrella, or a couple of mountain bikes.

But that’s what happens when you move around a lot and things are mostly packed up.

Sure, you may ask, “Where is the blender?” We ask, “Do we have a blender?  Is it packed away?  Here?  Or in the storage unit?  Maybe it’s in mom’s basement?  Or…”

5 Moves in 5 Years

This will be our fifth Christmas in a different house.  Fifth in a row!

And no, we’re not on the run from creditors, the police, or ex-spouses.

Y’see it’s like this. 

We sold our house in the autumn of 2010.  It was too crowded, and we wanted to be able to save money by having our office in the house. 

Our real estate agent assured us that if we rushed to get the house on the market before the end of November it would sell, but the closing date wouldn’t be until spring.

“Plenty of time to find a place to move in to.”

Word of advice: NEVER sell until you know where you’re moving to first.

“Don’t worry, no one would want to move in before Christmas and then we have the whole winter to find a new place to live.

We scrambled to get the house ready, filling a storage pod with stuff.

The house went on the market.  Lots of people came through. And…we received one offer.  A great offer. No inspection.  No conditions.  Cash.  Get out in 30 days.

30 days?

By December 1st?

That’s less than a month away.

And  ADD and Loving It?!was launching on PBS.

A score of friends came over, working in two hour shifts, and in one weekend got us packed up. 

Ava and Jimi were left to move the stuff that didn’t fit into the storage pods over to our office, as I left on a coast to coast tour of 7 PBS stations in 7 cities.  In 9 days.  And 11 flights. “Weeee!”

A mad scramble to pack, empty the house, find a place to live, cram everything into storage…  Everything except our clothes. Why?

An Offer we Couldn’t Refuse

Because friends offered to let us move into their late mother’s empty house.  House?  Mansion.

It was incredible.  A huge property.  173 years old.  Six bedrooms.  Five bathrooms.  (The dream home for incontinence.)

Fully furnished.  With way better stuff than we own!

It was up for sale. But it needed a lot of work.  Not easy to find a buyer.

Our friends were happy to have us there.  The deal was, if the house sold, we would move out. 

Their real estate agent had suggested that having someone living in a house often adds an intangible something that makes a property more enticing.  “People can tell if no one is living there.”  That seemed nonsensical to me, since the house was fully furnished.

But hey, I wasn’t going to complain.  Four times the floor space, all that history, a TV the size of a barn. And a swimming pool!  Which I swam in once!

We felt like millionaires.  The municipal taxes were more than our mortgage had been.  We paid rent, but it was embarrassingly low.

The only downside? 

The house was on the market, so at any moment we had to be ready to vamoose so prospective buyers could tour the building. 

As the months dragged past, and no action, we started to enjoy living like gentry.  And the furnished rooms were great for shooting videos.

But then… the house sold.

Unexpectedly fast.  We had 2 weeks to pack up a find a new place.  Buying?  No, let’s keep renting until we figure out where we want to live.

We ended up in another furnished house.  A year later we had to move again.  And now…

Do you have any boxes we can borrow?

Madness – But kind of Exciting

Who needs a gym membership when you can load and unload everything you own every few months.

It’s been fascinating and kind of liberating to discover how little stuff you actually need to be happy. Our clothes.  Our board games.  Some art supplies.  Hobby materials.

In the past 4 years we’ve lived in a couple of huge, beautiful, old mansions and also crowded into a 1 washroom bungalow as we took care of my mother-in-law. 

And the constantly changing circumstances have been mildly stressful.

Kind of hard to become set in your ways when every year you have a whole new workspace to create. Oh yes, we work out of the house.

Anyway, the saga continues.  But, we have taken the bold step of actually committing to a two-year lease.  “Ohhhh! Wow!  Will we get stuck in a rut?”

Probably not.  But I have to admit it would be so nice to actually be able to fall into a routine.  Does that make sense?  I know that I, like many ADHD adults, love novelty, change, and new challenges.

But I don’t mind admitting that I do crave a little bit of stability.

Of knowing where we’re going to be and off knowing what the year ahead will look like.  Of knowing what’s what.

And not shouting up the stairs, “Ava, where is my laptop? Have you seen it?”

“I think I saw it in the sun room.”

“Okay. Thanks…  Wait, which room is the sun room?  The one with the TV?  Or the one off our bedroom?”

Wish us luck.


Rick Green

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  1. magster August 2, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    What a fantastic set of news! I could not resist to tell you… very funny too. Thank you for emailing the news… because I got the “focus on work” spell… I welcome the awakening! Very impressive pic of the organized shelves!

  2. wiggle worm August 2, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    I totally understand where your are coming from. We have lived where we are for a little over 2 years now. But from 2007 until then, we moved 4 times with an average of 14 months per place. You are right… there is an excitement, but it is followed by total confusion of not knowing where things are. A lot of our stuff was stored in our son’s sign shop. He still is bringing us a tote full! and have to find places for these things, My biggest problem is storing things “in a safe place” and unable to find where that safe place is for months and months. I’ve been enjoying the various webinars, and the PBS specials. Very helpful.

  3. synapses August 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    LOVE IT! An excuse to purge. When in doubt, throw it out! You should sell your “Brand” to the real estate business. “Wanna sell quick? Hire Ava and Rick”

  4. MarieAngell August 2, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    At least you have a good excuse for not knowing what you own. On the rare occasions that I get in a mood to clear things out, I’m always in for a surprise–and I haven’t moved for 6 years. In any case, best wishes for your new digs!

  5. ADDcoachCandace August 3, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    I’m impressed that you get anything done at all, let alone the amazing things you do. The “get it done” part of the brain is always at the mercy of the stressed out part of the brain, and and you’re swimming with the triple threat sharks of unpredictableness, disconnect, and moving pods!
    Then again, sometimes resistance is a great way to move forward too. If you won a house lottery, maybe you’d spend your days puttering around in a housecoat and engineer’s cap.

  6. Tim August 7, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    When I was at university I had, as far as I can remember, 17 addresses. This includes grad school but it’s still a lot of moving. I don’t envy you, especially given that as a student I didn’t have anywhere near as much stuff as I have now.
    I hope the experience goes well.
    BTW, given that you are a fabulously wealthy and famous TV star, don’t you have people to do the moving? ;-)

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