This BARELY qualifies as a strip. But it's a seriously major life event, so I'm okay with numbering it and adding it to the Seminal Works lineup for posterity.

It's 10pm on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. After a very short month of preparation, Sam and I have moved from the condo we called home for three years to our new house in a neighboring city.

We closed on the new house this morning, wiring thousands of dollars to a title company in exchange for a thirty-year commitment to continuously pay monthly for the privilege of home ownership.

We moved our cats in a few hours ago -- we have four of the feline bastards and I hauled them all at once, alone in the smart car. Three of the four handled their new digs fairly well, probably more excited to get out of their carriers than anything else. The fourth, Benny, was predictably terrified, hiding under the bed and hissing at the other three cats that occupy the whole of her existence.

It took Benny over an hour to finally venture from the room where she was first deposited. By now, after 10pm, although she still is randomly hissing, she's all over the new house, exploring the nooks and crannies and growing more excited by the moment.

In the days leading up to our multiple closings (the sale of the condo and the purchase of the new house) and our impending full-life upheaval, people kept asking both of us (me and Sam, not me and the cat) about how excited we were about the new house. Although we weren't terrified like Benny, we weren't exactly excited, either.

Of course, we should have been. This was a big deal. A huge deal. But it was complicated, stressful, and a LOT of things were happening all at once, which just made it that much more stressful. And complicated.

It wasn't until yesterday that I could answer the question with a modicum of genuine excitement. The reality of this transition was becoming, well, REAL.

It wasn't until I drove to the new house first thing this morning -- a forty minute trek that embodied the metaphorical and literal transition of a leaving behind an old home to start a new chapter -- it was then that the excitement became real.

Benny was dumped into the deep end of the pool and it took her a few hours to acclimate. Sam and I had days--weeks--to acclimate to the idea, but it still wasn't until we were neck-deep that we really started to get comfortable with it.

Because here's the thing:

We were never excited about moving. We were never excited about a new house (well, maybe *I* wasn't). We were never excited about changing cities. 

See, our first home was Sam's house down in Naples. I moved in with her. Our second home was my condo in Orlando. She moved in with me.

The thing we've ALWAYS been undeniably, irrefutably, and possibly even rabidly excited about was that this new house on Elm Avenue is our first home TOGETHER. This house will never be just "mine" or just "hers". It's ours.

THAT is exciting. That's also an incredibly long explanation that Sam summed up so eloquently in her Valentine's Day card to me.

I can't help it. I'm excited.