Or, as the Brits say, moving house. That’s what I’m doing this weekend (having closed on the new house this afternoon), so posting will be sparse to nonexistent until Monday. I’ve never owned a house before; let’s all hope it goes well.
Update. Well, the immediate agony is over (and believe me, moving in a blizzard is agony; it took 14 hours and the movers barely made it… but they got everything there in one piece, bless their hard-working Russian hearts); now the protracted agony of unpacking begins. But it’s all worth it: from our front windows we can see the hills across the Hudson in the distance (instead of a brick wall across the street), and outside the kitchen window is an apple tree (instead of another brick wall a few feet away), and deer come right up to it and munch apples while you watch, and the house, though small, is full of light and has an upstairs and a downstairs and a balcony and skylights, and I think we’re going to be happy there.


  1. Good luck. Give yourself a month not just a weekend. Moving/setting up house is a lot of work!!!

  2. Woo hoo! I hope it all goes well. Remember that setting up your computer, establishing an Internet connection, and posting a weblog entry should be the top priorities once all your possessions have been unloaded into the new house.

  3. Congratulations!
    And then, of course, you’ll trip over a bit of loose linoleum, or realize the back porch is a little unsteady, and that could be dangerous, and what’s with the hum in the refrigerator? I’d better call the landlord and–what? What’s that?
    It’s a feeling to savor–a delirious combination of pride and despair. (It really ought to have a name, you know.)

  4. You’re about to learn many new words, or new meanings for old ones. You’ve already done points (the bribe you pay the bank to lend you the money) I assume, but there’s still much ahead. Ground fault interrupt circuits, snakes (as in plumbing), estimate (as in double it for money and triple it for time), circuit breakers, molly bolts, and many more fine expressions. Ah, the joys of the hardware store.

  5. Americans don’t say “moving house”? But the ambiguity! Madness.

  6. Americans in Hawai`i say ‘moving house’ (and ‘rubbish’ instead of ‘trash’). But then the Hawaiian translation of ‘English’ (as a language) is `olelo Pelekane, lit. ‘language Britain’.

  7. Have fun. I hope you have someone who is as anal as my wife was about getting those boxes unpacked (we’ve moved three times in the past 4 years or so). If it had been up to me, they would have sat and festered for an awful long time.

  8. Yes, I carried around a suitcase with the stuff I took to university (and never used there) for around ten years, I think.

  9. Thanks, everybody! Just taking a few minutes off from last-minute packing, using a dial-up connection (ah, memories) to check my mail and blog.
    kip, Mary Kay: Aiieee!
    Joel: That’s interesting. A relic of pre-colonization days, I presume?
    Murph: I’m in exactly the same situation; my wife just announced that she refuses the designation “anal,” but I don’t think she would deny that she will not allow the boxes to sit around anywhere near as long as her lazybones husband would try to get away with.
    OK, enough lollygagging — gotta get offline and back to work!

  10. Whereas I, if I knew I were to move yearly, would never fully unpack.
    Best of luck with the move, lh! I hope it goes as easily as it can.

  11. Good luck! Also, you’re moving to upstate New York, right? But still working in the city? I remember this from a MeFi thread, or something…anyway, I hope you still have access to the NYPL, somehow.

  12. Oh, I hope you’ll enjoy small town living. It’s a whole other world but, cards played right (polite, baking pies, knowing just the right amount of gossip to make you valuable, plus a dose of mystery), it’ll prove a fine and lovely thing.
    And praise that wife of yours, boy.

  13. Did yer sneak out to the local cyber caf an take a peek yet. Have fun; Trust you have been to Sears to get yer snow blower.

  14. Congrats on the new house! I feel for you on unpacking boxes. I still have a box or two left from my move this summer; I doubt they’ll get unpacked until we move into an apartment in Chicago a year and a half from now.

  15. Hoppas att det har inte varit för tråkig att flytter.
    (The Swedish word “flytter” means move house, which is nice.)
    I don’t think I’ve really unpacked for the length of my adult life, hélas. But then, I am also not married.

  16. Congratulations!
    Home ownership is a wonderful opportunity to learn all kinds of new skills, like wiring, and plumbing, and the joys of duct tape and electrical tape…
    But seriously, have fun! Paint an entire room purple!

  17. C. Bloggerfeller says

    Good luck!

  18. Nathaniel: Yep, I take the train now, an hour’s commute into Grand Central, just like a Cheever character. Feels weird, let me tell you.
    Gail: I praise her daily, believe me!
    PF: That’s astonishing. How did I not know the Hawaiian flag has a Union Jack? And how did they get that accepted by a country that fought a war to get out from under that same Union Jack? Anyway, now it makes sense that they also say “move house.”
    Thanks again to all; now that I’m back from moving (and a day out sick with a wretched cold that hit right after closing — stress-related, you think?) I should be able to make a smooth transition back to regular blogging.

  19. The history of the Hawaiian flag. Useful enough.
    Glad the move went well.

  20. Congratulations. The new settings sounds idyllic.

  21. Best wishes for the new home, the deer, the apples, the view, the light and the love.

  22. Wow, didn’t know you were moving away from the neighborhood…wish I’d known, as I would have liked to get you a beer at Bohemian Hall or some other suitable place. So are you in Westchester now?

  23. Congratulations and good luck!

  24. Happy to hear it all went well!

  25. That should read ended well, not went well. Cursed fever, boiling the brains.

  26. That guy with the nine-pins is from up there eh?
    But closer to the ground is closer to the truth in a lot of ways.
    How much of what we speak has its roots in the soil? And how much was spoken first to bind the neccessary to our sheltering hopes in seasons like this.
    You’ll see those deer in other light once you’ve invested in some flora, labor or love. Someone told me once deer need to take in enzymes, not keeping any, so they’ll eat the geraniums, then they won’t, the hydrangea, then they won’t. Pretty from afar, sweet and seemingly gentle, not so decorative around the homestead, without stout fencing. Raccoons too eh? Just you wait. Tolerance of other life-forms and garbage in tight containers. But spring in the country makes it all worth while.
    Envious congratulations,

  27. Oh deer, oh deer – a bit of raw sheeps wool here and there to keep them at bay, for a while. Perfumed soap, moth balls, clumps of dog hair (or the whole barking dog if you are so inclined) also work, for a while. Potted plants near the house invite them to browse. Hostas will make you happy. The onion family thrives unmolested. Duct tape is a home owner’s best friend. Electrical tape to repair a pin hole leak, until the plumber arrives (days or weeks later). When things look less than rosy – beer first. There is nothing more wonderful than a house, a home, a garden, the country side. Enjoy!

  28. Vidiot: Yep, the northern edge of Westchester (aka the part ordinary mortals can still afford to live in).
    As for the deer, believe me, my wife is so happy about their presence she won’t mind working around their appetites when it comes to planting things. She grew up with deer and geese and beavers and raccoons and the occasional bear, so it seems homey to her. Me, I’ll have to get used to this nature stuff. But so far I like it.

  29. (The Swedish word “flytter” means move house, which is nice.)

    Cf. Scots flit ‘move house’. Also Rudyard Kipling’s story “Dymchurch Flit”. about the departure of the fairies from Britain when Cold Iron got to be too common.

  30. It should have been flytta, not flytter, and tråkigt, not tråkig, though.

  31. > Americans don’t say “moving house”? But the ambiguity! Madness.

    flytte (intr.) = move (house)
    flytte (tr.) = move (something)
    flytte sig (reflex.) = move

    No ambiguity.

    ‘Den Danske Ordbog’ online says that etymologically, ‘flytte’ is some kind of causative of ‘flyde’ (float). The things you learn!

  32. PlasticPaddy says

    Flit in English has similar origin. Flėche in french would also seem to belong but why the ch , I thought the gh in flight was a scribal error?

  33. David Marjanović says

    The gh in flight is real, because fly has one too: German Flug, fliegen.

  34. Flit, it turns out, is directly < Old Norse flytja. The native verbs are fleet (mostly obsolete) and float. Fleche is one of those French borrowings from Frankish or a related Germanic language, and Spanish flecha, earlier frecha, is an etymological nativization of it.

  35. Trond Engen says

    There’s more going on here. There’s at least four different verbs

    1. The strong verb flyte “be afloat, be adrift” (ON fljóta, Eng. fleet) < Gmc. *fleutan- : *flaut-.

    2. The weak verb fløte “set afloat; transport on water” (ON fleyta, OHG flōzen) < Gmc. *flautíjan-, its transparent -jan- causative.

    3. The weak verb flytte “move” (ON flytja, Sw. flytta) < Gmc. *flutjan-. This is a -jan- verb to the noun *fluta- “being afloat”. The verb is confined to North Germanic.

    4. The weak werb Nyn. flote “set afloat” (ON flota, Eng- float) < Gmc. *flutōn-, another causative derivation. 2 and 4 seem to be conflated in several languages.

    I don’t understand the vowel of English float.

  36. January First-of-May says

    I’m assuming that fleet is where the adjective fleeting comes from. Doesn’t seem very obsolete in that meaning, but I suppose technically it isn’t a verb any more…

    Presumably flitter (and/or flutter) is a frequentative of some kind. Is the noun flyte fluyt flute “a kind of ship” related in any way?

  37. Float < OE flotian, the o-grade of fleet.

  38. David Marjanović says

    2 survives in German flößen “go downstream on a raft as a method of transporting wood”. It had a post-Sievers variant (*flautjan-, with an overlong syllable, instead of *flautijan-) which underwent West Germanic consonant lengthening (*-tj- > *-ttj-) and gave us a lot of paths named Flötzersteig.

    “Raft” is Floß.

    I suppose fließen, floss, geflossen is 1 despite meaning “flow”.

  39. Fluyt is apparently a reuse of fluyt ‘flute’, whose origin is unclear: it may be imitative, or possibly from Latin flatus ‘blowing’.

  40. Moonlight flit

    The phrase moonlight flit denotes a hurried departure at night, especially from rented accommodation to avoid payment of rent owed—cf. fly-by-night.

    In this phrase, flit is a noun use of to flit, originally used in Scotland and Northern England to mean “to move house or leave one’s home”, especially secretly so as to escape creditors or obligations.

    The phrase was moonlight flitting in Scottish use; it is first recorded in A complete collection of Scotish [sic] proverbs explained and made intelligible to the English reader (London, 1721), by James Kelly:

    He has left the Key in the Cat hole.
    He has left the Key under the Door.
    He has taken a Moon light flitting.
    He has gone without taking his leave.
    I wat not what he has done with his Tripes, but he has taken his Heels.

    These five are only proverbial Phrases, to signify that a Man has run away for fear of his Creditors: The last I heard only in Ireland, I suppose it is not used in Scotland.


    Earliest instance found was from 1823.

  41. Trond Engen says

    I wat not

    Isn’t this straight out Viennese?

  42. David Marjanović says

    Close enough: /ɪˈʋasnɛd/.

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