American Author, Caron Kamps Widden, Reflects On Life, Writing Novels and the Musings of Living and Traveling Around the Country and Abroad.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Change is Good...Right?
Tear down next to our flat in Antwerp
The last time I was in Antwerp, I realized that my husband (let's just call him Mr. Lane) was not joking when he told me the building next door had been demolished. Temporary supports had been placed between our building (to the left in the photo) and the newly refurbished building on the right. All that remains is a gaping hole -- quite a sight. The harbor area where we live is under total reconstruction, an up and coming, trendy district to buy real estate. There are great restaurants, a brand new towering museum and shops opening all the time. Usually when I show up, there are a few more people moving in around us. This is evident by the exterior lifts for furniture delivery...the elevators are often too small in Belgium for anything more than a few bags or a few people... therefore, everything is brought in through windows and balcony doors by way of lifts. It's quite amazing to watch a sofa or a grand piano being pulled up the side of a building. During the day, the area is full of trucks and union workers, hammering away, scaffolding and cranes are a way of life. There's plenty of noise, but nothing compared to what's coming when an entire building goes up right on the other side of our master bedroom wall. All this reconstruction reminds me of the many changes in my life back home (which is still Connecticut...for now). In the past month, I've traveled to the west coast to see my oldest son graduate from college and then back to the east coast to see my youngest son graduate from high school. That same week, a moving van loaded furniture I was happy to donate (downsize is my favorite word these days) to my older son for his move back out west to start his new job. A few days later, I found myself getting 'pumped-up' at orientation in Boston for my younger son's college. Mr Lane and I stayed in a dorm room (I guess so we could experience the whole experience) and didn't sleep much on the hard mattresses (glad I ordered that egg-crate pad for my son a while back -- he'll need it). We ended up talking (and panicking) late into the night. In addition to our sons leaving us high and dry (no tuition pun intended), our oldest, our daughter, our princess, is planning a beautiful wedding on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean this summer. So -- there have been trips out west to tour venues and emails with vendor info (I now know the difference between venue and vendor quite well) and we even managed to squeeze in some shopping for honeymoon clothes during the high school graduation weekend. Needless to say, it's a full plate these days. The dorm walls seemed to be closing in on us and even the fresh fruit and bottled waters we stocked in the mini-fridge (a big difference from our college days of Doritos and beer) couldn't sooth our nerves as we tried to figure out the logistics of our life. And then it occurred to me -- these are the days, these are some of the moments that we will cherish most when looking back...but still, I often feel like I'm running in a marathon from coast to coast and from event to event, and once my son is settled at college in the fall -- I too, will be relocating -- finally -- to Belgium. The funny thing is, all the construction going on around our flat in Antwerp seems like nothing to me. It almost feels peaceful. Life is always evolving and sometimes a little reconstruction is in order (sounds like a book called Restoration). My life on the lane is busy these days, and the race is definitely on, but it's worth every mile. See you at the finish line...