I love our garden. We get food out of it. Granted, we are not self-sustaining, but we’re self-augmenting…if that’s even a term. We have herbs all winter, veggies and salad all summer. What more is there to ask for? Well, eggs from our own chickens would be nice, but we do live 2.5 miles from town in a planned neighborhood so…we take what we can get. The parts we can’t provide for ourselves we get at the Farmers’ Market, and that helps the economy…someone’s economy, anyway.
I have reached the point in packing our home for the move where making a mess is not only inevitable, it is almost mandatory. Areas of the house that were beyond livable and well into the “nests of comfort and solace” are now stripped down to their bare bones, and we have a garage that is slowly filling up with boxes, packages, labels that warn people “if this box falls and its contents break, I will be hard-pressed to not cry.” The outermost layers of our onion have been peeled, and we’re getting to the nitty-gritty.
J is taking this in his stride. The crew that is working on our new home has kindly agreed to greet him with encouragement about his new house, and his big room and how soon we’re moving. Whatever anxiety and weepiness J had been experiencing about the packing process has been alleviated by these little kindnesses that come his way. We can tell that great progress is being made, and now we’re feeling the crunch of time heading our way.
Every day I made sure that we all remind J we’re packing to only move across the way. I reassure him of this because I know he loves it here, and I know that every time we pack our things and move far from wherever he’s spent a significant amount of time, it weighs on him. The fact that he now understands Queequeg (pronounced Chick-a-POW!) is one of the ways we’re taking things from here to there is a great comfort. He knows the distance is short, and he knows that the distance is familiar. That the street is one straight shot to the entrance to our neighborhood is comforting to my knees. I dread climbing that steep slope next to the dumpster, especially when humidity and colder temperatures turn me into a pretty close facsimile to The Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz.
I will be truthful: this is a little too easy. I keep looking around and finding that most of the things that I think require actual packing are done already, and I foolishly feel comforted by the notion of “the worst thing to pack will be the kitchen.” My temporary amnesia about previous moving experiences has prevented me from remembering how much trouble the huge desk in the basement really is, and how much toiling was required to get the couch into our current home. I am sure this will be dealt with in due course, and we will (once more) swear that they will rip our cold, dead hands from the door frame before we move again. Can you say “famous last words???”
My greatest problem I’ve been running into throughout the whole packing process, and I’m sure you’ll all recognize it: catch-all containers, drawers, corners… You know those plastic cups that hold safety pins, matchbooks, screws, extra buttons from garments you no longer own (but Heaven forbid you should toss the buttons…just in case,) and so forth. There are also the things that look simple-enough to pack, but that will prove daunting when the moment comes (what do you mean you completely forgot about the food processor, the blender, the extra crock pot, the cookie cutters, the CDs that live in a box in the basement???) J’s room looks easy now, but I’m sure I will discover some Lego concoction that has been hidden elsewhere in the house (maybe with those “community helpers” flash cards I’ve been hunting for high and low since last week?) and that will require opening a box that has been already labeled and taped shut.
Because our aim is always to get J set up before the rest of the household is settled comfortably, I am concentrating on that particular purpose and taking a more casual approach to everything else. It has come to our attention that TGG’s work schedule has him “free” the weekend previous to our move and completely booked the weekend of…which is most inconvenient and which he’s trying to solve by trading schedules with someone. Easier said than done at that time of year, of course. Dada is working his full schedule and then some at work, and spending a couple of hours working from the computer at home to make sure he doesn’t have anything terribly important dangling from his calendar when the time comes to move.
J…well…J is being a teenager. He is dreading the end of the summer program, wanting to be lazy about helping me, complaining when I ask him to get off his butt and come for a walk. As long as the medication isn’t wreaking havoc on his moods, I’m perfectly fine with all the quirks of adolescence. As long as I can manage the very light melancholy that seeps into his demeanor when he realizes we ARE packing and things ARE slowly disappearing from his line of sight, I’m okay with that, too.
What I’m not OK with is the mess. I find myself putting off doing dishes (a task I defer to J in exchange for a few hours of undisturbed organizing, arranging and cleaning) and wishing I could take a nap; I have realized that I will not really get a break until we are moved and this placed has been turned over to the carpet cleaners, the landlord and the next tenants. I am in full un-nesting and re-nesting mode…
But as long as it’s all for the better, and J is happy…I’m cool with the mess…