The 11th Hour of Moving

Poem for Moving Day

That Will to Divest

Action creates
a taste
for itself.
Meaning: once
you’ve swept
the shelves
of spoons
and plates
you kept
for guests,
it gets harder
not to also
simplify the larder,
not to dismiss
rooms, not to
divest yourself
of all the chairs
but one, not
to test what
singleness can bear,
once you’ve begun.
Kay Ryan


I live among towers of boxes. It’s been this way for a month or so, as we eagerly dove into packing up 11 years of living in a big house toward moving to the next one.

It didn’t stress me out. It was exciting, exhilarating. Throw away this, keep that – the purging was incredibly cathartic. The more boxes I stacked in the living room, the family room, virtually every room, the closer I was to moving.

So yesterday when I visited the new house and realized the builder wouldn’t be done yesterday, and might not be done today, and I’m hoping he’ll finish tomorrow, the panic started to creep in.

The painters are planning to work through the weekend. I’ve asked the cleaning lady to push off a day to Friday, when she’ll come and clean out the closets and the drawers and the cupboards and scrub down the house so we can move in to it clean. Today will be a power-day at the new house because I know the builder wants to be done.

(By the way, I love my painter, Ed Malaga, and his son Michael. If ever you need a fantastic artisan who is a wonderful person, he’s the one.)

Except, every remodel project takes longer than you think.

It’s my first remodel so I don’t know anything. All I know is that the boxes are starting to close in on me and there are still cupboards in the kitchen and bathrooms that need emptying. When will that happen? (breathe, breathe…)

And then, there’s the moving in. Movers come on Tuesday. They’ll transport everything over there and Dan and I can begin the big job of putting everything in its place. (breathe, breathe…)

This weekend, the intention is to take the new desk and our bed frame over there and build both. Then the computer, so AT&T can come on Monday to set up the Internet and the TV. (So I guess we’ll need to bring a TV too.)

Personally, I’d like to bring the dishes and cutlery and drinking glasses this weekend and figure out which cupboards should hold which items. The kids are home this weekend, and two are feeling under the weather already. It’s -8 degrees outside today, so the electrician cannot yet complete the exterior work because it has to be at least 20. Oh and there’s a Cub Scouts winter extravaganza Saturday which I promised to take Shaya too.

(Breathe, Breathe…)

I knew moving would be a huge undertaking, and a stressful one to boot. I think of all the money we’ve already spent to get into this house and know there will be things we didn’t think of, things we need to purchase, once we’re in there. I keep the mantra of it’s just money in mind as these thoughts flit into my head, and I try to maintain my meditation practice every day because it’s probably the only thing that will guarantee sanity through it all.

Dan says that in February, this month will be a blur, and a faint memory. We’ll be in the new house, living there, making it ours, feeling our routines and our comfort in the bones of the structure. The kids will flop onto the basement couch and watch their big new TV with the fancy sound bar and invite their friends over because it’s just a good place to be.

We’ve decided to make foods from scratch, a different one each week – ketchup one week, nutella the next, bread every week. I have a cookbook that shows you how to make these pantry staples instead of buying them but the cover’s never been cracked.

The whole point of moving to this house is to live in it – not to chase after some-days and maybes and be so busy we don’t realize where we’re living. Dan and I have vowed to just be home more, to enjoy our surroundings, to truly live the meaning of home. That’s why we chose this house – it’s where we are meant to be.

We just have to get in there.

Ok, deep breath. Yoga poses at the desk. Big smiles for the kids. I can do this. Choir concert tonight and 6th grade dance-a-thon tomorrow night no big deal. Throw it at me. I’ll survive.

“I give you this to take with you:
Nothing remains as it was. If you know this, you can
begin again, with pure joy in the uprooting.” 
― Judith MintyLetters to My Daughters

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