Goodbye Dunlap Lane!

Written October 3, 2012

We moved!! Say what?! Yeah, not kidding. We have officially moved into the W. Washington house as of a couple of weeks ago and it feels like we’ve lived here forever. I think we envisioned it all for so long that it has just felt right. The last I blogged, we had recently completed painting of walls and stripping of wood floors, yes? And then Boom! We hurried along a few last details, did our inspections, and then deemed it all ready for our presence. But I’m getting a bit ahead of things.

Moving sounds so simple, doesn’t it? We thought we were doing great by hiring Two Men and a Truck for the big heavy stuff like beds and couches and the piano. (Grandpa Cuckoo, this video is for you so you know we got your gift to us safely to the new house.) By the way, poor Roxy hated this day and spent it in a constant state of panic, wondering if we were coming or going.

roxy by truck

The idea was that Two Men would move the big stuff, and we’d get the rest a little bit at a time so it would be manageable. The best laid plans. If I had a dollar for every time we said, “I think it’s just going to be one more van load,” I’d be able to make our first mortgage payment. In fact, Joel and Drew forbade me from saying, “We’re in the home stretch now!” since we obviously were not even on the stretch yet for the first dozen times I declared it. By the end, we were so exhausted that I learned what ‘bone tired’ really means. There were several nights in a row when I would have gotten up to take some ibuprofen at 2 a.m. if my body hadn’t hurt too much to get out of bed. Have you all registered that this house has three stories? That’s a lot of stairs for our 50-year-old knees and hips. Even Drew’s teenage self was wiped. How many times did I call him with, “Hey, is practice done? Can you please go to the house to continue packing and I’ll meet you there?” His response became a tired, “Where should I start?” He’s a good boy.

drew in kitchen

But now it’s over, we’re here, our joints are recovering, and life is good. Before we launch into the before and after pics of our new place though, we must pay homage to 2819 Dunlap Lane. Unlike my very un-sentimental husband, I feel the need to remember and honor the emotions and memories and support we have felt there for the past 12 years. We created a home in that space too…just like we have done on W. Washington. When we moved there in 2001 to be closer to the kids’ schools, the house had green shutters with hearts cut in them which Joel said he could not tolerate for one day,

house green shutters

so we changed them 10 years later.

dunlap after

When we arrived on Dunlap in May 2001, Alex had just gotten her driver’s permit,

alex permit

Calvin had braces,

calvin braces

Drew was a little squirt,

drew donut

I still wore ‘mom’ jeans,

mom jeans

Joel had hair,

joel hair

and we still had our much-loved first pet, Madison.


We immediately added on so our kitchen would be the center haven of the house. Here’s before…

kitchen before

and here’s after.

kitchen after

Ah, the kitchen. We pretty much lived in that space for the last decade. It’s where the kids did their homework while I made dinner.


It’s where Drew honed his love for cooking.

drew cooking

It’s where we hosted an uncountable number of gatherings for family and friends and just us, spilling into the living room or dining room or onto the deck if the weather was nice.

on the deck

It’s where my women friends gathered every other week for the most recent past year to chat for long hours over dinner prepared by Drew.

women at dinner

The kitchen is where Grandma and Grandpa Cuckoo sat on the red chair in the corner and drank a cocktail while we scurried around making many a dinner for them.

rr on chair

OK, so I couldn’t find a picture of Grandma and Grandpa on the red chair. This will have to do instead.

Oh wait! I did find this one with at least Grandma in the red chair surrounded by her loving granddaughters, MacKenzie, Morgan and Avrie.  That red chair was very popular.

grma with girls on red chair

Dunlap Lane was where the extended Sauer family gathered several times for a reunion. In fact, there was a bit of panic in the family when word of us moving got out. “Where will we have our Sauer family reunions?!” Wonderful memories of soccer games in the big yard, lounging on the deck hearing the familiar family stories, encircling a newly planted tree for our dear Kurt, and gathering in the kitchen for sharing. Again, in the kitchen. Always in the kitchen, right?

sauer reunion

The large, beautiful yard, so different from our next small garden adventure, is where we spent hundreds of hours digging in the ground, planting ten new trees and dozens of new perennials, thinning those perennials, trimming those trees, all the while picking up a LOT of dog poop and mowing a LOT of grass. It’s where the dogs ran within and beyond their underground fence chasing rabbits and robins and barking at every passerby, front and back. It’s where a varied combination of kids played flag football, tackle football, soccer, ultimate Frisbee, sardines, and, of course, German spotlight.

cousins soccer

And good ol’ Patches the hamster is buried in that great expanse on the other side of the electric fence so he didn’t reappear via Rudy or Roxy’s curiosity. Sniff.


A few other happenings, a little less Cleaver-like, are forever emblazoned as Dunlap Lane hallmarks, like the storm that knocked out the power right after we moved in and flooded the basement. Ugh! Roxy’s panicked flight through all three floors after eating a stray paintball (did you know that a blue ball with red paint and fish oil inside makes for instant purple poop?) Alex’s first, and last, experimental drinking party being busted up by her parents who came home early. Oops. Neighbor Ryan’s toss off a go-kart by a too-young Calvin as driver and cousin Charlie’s tumble off the half pipe and resulting broken arm.

half pipe

(This is not a picture of the actual incident, just a visual of the half pipe for your reference.)

There was a sad, sad trip to the retirement farm with kitty, Oreo, because she just couldn’t stop peeing in the basement. (And ‘retirement farm’ is not code for what you’re all thinking. We really did take her to a farm.)


And four shocking goodbyes to pet parakeets, all of whom looked similar to this one. This is a treatise all its own, so for now, all I can share is that golden retrievers and birds do not mix. It took us four tries to fully grasp this. Promise me you won’t try it.


I could go on, but this post is long enough as it is. Thankfully Drew reminded me to take a video of Dunlap Lane for posterity’s sake. You can watch it here if you’re interested. The thing is, I forgot to video the basement. Gah!! How could I forget the basement? It was an awesome basement for movies – dark as a theater with the lights turned off and movie theater popcorn always brewing in the machine in the corner. It housed a ping pong table, a pool table, our treadmill, the toy cabinet, our main TV, and Calvin’s bathroom. Yeah. We loved that basement. Big sigh.

Although we have taken ALL of these memories with us, I do believe that we’ve also left a few behind. There’s a lot of love in those walls ready to encircle the Rider family who will make it their home next, loving it and caring for it as we have. A big welcome to them!

Thank you 2819 Dunlap Lane.

Addendum written October 11, 2012: Joel and I officially closed on the Dunlap Lane house last night at 5 p.m. and turned over the keys to Rob and Natalie. This morning we hustled back there to dig up St. Joe (aka SJTS) and brought him to his new home. Feels good to be back to one home, yet a little sad to drive away for the last time. Sigh. 

sjts by plant

More blogs are coming soon. Thanks for your patience.


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Regina Leffers McCaleb, Ph.D.

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