See comments for David Walker at the end of the previous blog entry for reference!
I like the imagery of the turtle-shell house... mine is not as easy to carry around since I am the family historian, record keeper, and genealogist. I have mountains of materials that belong in a library for those who may one day find it useful in defining their lives, their stories, their connections. Old letters, old photos, old secrets, old clothes, jewelry, memorabilia - these are as much a burden as a gift. Perhaps they are more of a burden as I continue to age...
You are blessed to have your home for 35 years in a neighborhood shared with others over time. Your stories mesh and dance in parallel harmony as you age. This is our 8th home in our 41+ years of marriage - we've had and lost many friends and neighbors over time and distance. We currently live in a townhouse community where nearly all couples work full time. While there is a diversity of ages and ethnicity's, the only thing we share are the streets as we drive in and out of the development. There is no community center, therefore little or no community. I work at home and see very few people in the course of a day - even when I walk a mile or so each day. Dog walkers come to walk the neighbor dogs, school buses bus the children away in the morning and back in the evening. Rarely do the children play outdoors - either no parent is at home or there is too much fear for the children's' safety. It's rather pathetic, or so it feels to me.
So nothing really holds us in NJ, plus the taxes and cost of living both are quite high. Eventually, we will need a one-story home and I'd like to move while we are as young as possible since the very process is intimidating at our age!
Living backwards might not be such a great idea - our friends at the end of life are our friends because of shared life's experiences. So if we were to live backwards, we'd end up losing all the meaning that comes from those connections, wouldn't we?
By the way, I've been following Melody's adventures this year, too. She writes well and has great photos to fully illustrate her text!