The catchy tune, “We’ve Only Just Begun” has become my theme song over the last weeks.
It all began when I started to pack for our move. I looked at the small stack of boxes lining one wall and realized with a hint of despair, “I’ve only just begun”. This statement proved to be true as the moving date drew near and I surveyed the mountains of boxes looming ominously in our living space. I couldn’t understand it. I had worked so hard at minimizing, purging, and decluttering. And yet, from closet and cupboard, from shelf and storage, all our worldly goods created a staggering pile of STUFF! It was depressing.
Finally the moving day arrived. Bless the movers who handled loading and unloading the truck. Plus dear friends who packed a utility trailer with awkward items such as the barbecue and patio furniture, brooms, mops, rakes, and tires.
Driving to our new home the moving truck suffered an overheated radiator and the highway was closed due to a ‘vehicle incident’. Finally we arrived, hot, tired, hungry. More friends arrived with food, energy, and willingness to unpack the truck, speeding up the unloading process considerably.
Surveying the stacks of boxes in our new location I realized once more, “we’ve only just begun”.
Step one: prep bedroom so there was a place to sleep. Step two: unearth the kitchen and family room so there was a place to eat and crash after a day of unpacking. And finally, step three: everything else.
Adding to the chaos were a few minor details such as replacing the worn carpet with laminate flooring and some carpet, adding closet and pantry organizers, and having every room, all the trim and every door repainted. We were grateful to have our skilled, cheerful, meticulous friend on the job, but when it’s one person, painting takes a long, looonnnggg, time. When it took five days just to repaint the bedrooms and a bathroom, leaving the main floor and basement, I realized: “we’ve only just begun”.
Our theme song connection
Several weeks after our move, I set out to join the local library system. New card in hand, I wandered the aisles. Several caught my attention, and with a sense of nostalgia I decided to read Randy L. Schmidt’s biography: Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter. Though I could recall a number of The Carpenters’ hit songs, I knew very little about their story. As I read, I was surprised to discover that Richard Carpenter, Karen’s older brother, was the driving force behind The Carpenters. He was a multi-talented musician, singer, songwriter, arranger, and eventually producer.
Interestingly, Karen’s musical start began via a high school marching band. After a few months she ditched the assigned instrument, a glockenspiel. She was much more fascinated by the drums. Practicing with enthusiasm, she quickly developed a talent and flare for her instrument of choice. Richard soon encouraged her to join his jazz band as the drummer. Drums were her passion, and singing was an afterthought. Yet others began to take notice of her voice, encouraged the duo to feature Karen, and soon their first hit single hit the music scene: “(They Long to Be) Close to You”.
The Carpenters’ second hit, “We’ve Only Just Begun”, hit #2 on the Hot 100 list. Richard’s arrangement transformed this former bank jingle and along with Karen’s distinctive vocals, the siblings’ career launched.
We’ve only just begun to live
White lace and promises
A kiss for luck and we’re on our way
We’ve only begun
Before the rising sun we fly
So many roads to choose
We start out walking and learn to run
And yes, we’ve just begun
Sharing horizons that are new to us
Watching the signs along the way
Talking it over just the two of us
Working together day to day
And when the evening comes we smile
So much of life ahead
We’ll find a place where there’s room to grow
And yes, we’ve just begun
A new journey
Packing, moving, unpacking, repainting, replacing flooring—these tasks were overwhelming at times over the last weeks. Slowly, incrementally, progress was made, day by day, week by week. Hubby and I are beginning to feel settled. Most days we can even find the items we need.
Once again we are in a new house, community and neighbourhood, with new memories to make. We are “sharing horizons that are new to us…working together day to day…and when the evening comes we smile….and yes, we’ve just begun.”