25 August 2022

Those Thursday Places: Leaving our Battle Creek Home after Thirty One Years

There are a lot of memories when you live in one house for thirty-one years. My husband and I have been sharing our favorite memories of living at 309 N. Moorland Drive in Battle Creek, Michigan since we decided to downsize and move to Kalamazoo, Michigan. 

It started a little over a year ago in Spring of 2021. Kirk and I decided it was time to think about moving to a more manageable place as we age. We both saw our parents having to move in their late 80's because of health problems and we didn't want our kids to have to deal with that. Plus, I'm a little bit of a control freak and wanted to make the decision myself, with Kirk's input, of course. 

We decided we would get our Battle Creek house ready for sale, have a couple of garage sales, and look at apartments in Kalamazoo. We did not want the stress of trying to sell a house and buy a condominium at the same time with the way the real estate market was, and still is. I never realized how tight the rental market was.

First, I made a list of apartment possibilities in the Kalamazoo and Portage Michigan area. We took a day and did some drive by's to make sure they were in areas that we would want to live in. I made pro and con lists on the way. Moving Tip: Look at the cars in the parking lot. They tell a lot about the renters and the management. The next step was to set up some appointments to see what was available. We wanted a three-bedroom apartment, but those are hard to find.

Kirk outside our new home.

Every place we looked didn't have any availability. It was discouraging. Finally, we visited SaddleCreek at the Preserve, in Texas Township. It is on the west side of Kalamazoo. Rinda, the leasing agent, was wonderful. She didn't have any available apartments but took the time to show us an apartment and talk to us about when an apartment might become available. This was late April and she thought late August or September. When someone moves out of Saddle Creek, the entire apartment is upgraded. Although, it was a two-bedroom, Kirk and I really liked the development, the location, Rinda, and the apartments. This was the only place we put money down to reserve a spot. I am so thankful we did.

Was it hard to say goodbye to our home, our neighbors, and our friends? It was, but this move has been one of the best things we ever did. It was a hectic summer and Kirk's mom died about a week before the sale on our house closed and our move. The move was tiring. I'm not able to lift as much weight as when we moved 31 years ago! 

I have never once thought we made a mistake. The hardest part for me was getting rid of all the things I saved for my kids. Can you believe they didn't want their baby clothes, scrapbooks, toys from the 80's, or their Boy and Girl Scout books, uniforms, or badges? All those things and more I had saved. I took a lot of pictures and found good homes for most of it. I saved one tub of things per child and put the tubs in a closet.

We have many good memories of our time in Battle Creek. Here are a few:

  • Kirsten and Travis starting Kindergarten and going through 12th grade in the Battle Creek Lakeview school district.
  • Kirsten's success with music and theater in Battle Creek.
  • Travis's success with DECA (Distributed Education Clubs of America).
  • Soccer, baseball, softball, track, and golf matches. Many soccer games and track meets in the rain. 
  • Kirk and I coaching youth soccer.
  • Kirk's success as an elementary school counselor and being awarded Elementary Counselor of the Year twice.
  • My volunteer successes at fundraising for PTA and Lakeview's Show Choir Spartanaires.
  • Making the house a home.
  • Doing too many house projects ourselves.
  • All the celebrations-our special tree trimming parties.
  • Numerous birthday celebrations.
  • Getting to know Kirsten's and Travis's friends who would visit.
  • Many Mario Kart competitions. "Who hit me? I'm in last place!"
  • Engagement parties for Kirsten and Chase, Travis and Alayna.
  • Dog sitting my grand pups, Ella, Study, and Caesar.
  • Enjoying the gardens and gazebo in Spring, Summer, and Fall.
  • Summer fun including bike rides, trips to the school playground, playing in the pool, looking at stars, playing volleyball, and more.
  • Kirsten running into the basketball hoop with the car and Travis never letting her forget it.
  • Travis getting caught with liquor in the trunk. It was confiscated and returned on his 21st birthday.
  • and so much more.

It was a wonderful place to raise children. We could have grown older in our house, but it was time to put Battle Creek behind us and move on. We will now begin to make new memories in our new home.

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