The movers arrive this morning and the furniture heads out the door, following the boxes upon boxes that we have already packed and moved to the storage unit.

By noon, our home for the past 23 years should be almost empty, save for some odds and ends that must still be packed or thrown away.

With luck, we will have the Liberty packed with essentials and two cats and headed West on I-66 by late afternoon, back to mountains, far away from the bustle of the city.

We return the weekend after Thanksgiving, take care of some last minute details, then go to closing to sign papers, turn over keys and garage passes, pick up a cashier’s check, and leave Arlington, Virginia, as a visitor, not a resident.

This 1,320-square foot condo in an 18-story high rise has been a good home, the center of our universe for 23 years. We came to it in 1981 with everything we owned packed into a rented Ryder truck. It took us three hours to unpack the truck and move into a temporary residence we thought when we would only occupy for a couple of years before heading back to what we then called “the real world.” We never thought it would become home.

But it did in a life that took many strange turns over two decades. That Ryder truck wouldn’t begin to hold all the material posessions that took nearly two months to sort through and move. A fleet of trucks cannot begin to hold the memories of life within these walls and in this area. Although we have had houses and residences elsewhere, this was always home.

Soon, a new set of rooms becomes home — a larger space surrounded by land, not concrete, a lifestyle that offers peace, not chaos, and a chapter of our lives that marks a beginning of a new adventure while another chapter ends.

Home, they say, is where the heart is. Our hearts left Arlington some time ago. Now the rest follows.

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