moving: what I know for sure

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My head is above water (gurgle, gulp). We can feed and clothe the young, do laundry, and sleep in beds. These are my only criteria for functionality after moving.

Yesterday, I found my desk and all my writing files (well, most of my writing files). My books are on their shelves, so I feel fully human again.

Did you know that May first used to be a general moving day in some cities? Everyone banded together, I guess; said: “Hey, let’s all live in chaos together!” Here’s more about that.

We have moved seven times in 13 years of marriage. Some moves were optional, most were not. Yes, I’ve learned a lot about moving. Here’s what I know for sure:

~The worst thing to have to move is dirty laundry. The second worst thing to have to move is the stack of boxes you haven’t unpacked yet from the last time you moved.

~There are some things that must be in their place(s) before you can feel fully human again (for me: my books). This is irrational. Unpack those things first anyway.

~Even though you put the bedding in a special bin, in a special place, so you’ll be able to find it right away and start making the beds as soon as possible, you won’t be able to find the bedding for at least the first day or two.

~If you happen to cohabit with a romantic partner, you will have different ideas about what the highest unpacking priorities are (me: books, kitchen stuff, bedding, kids clothes; him: TV, power tools). Best to accept this and forge ahead.

~Paper plate use is fully sanctioned during the seven day period before and after a move.

~You will not find the library book you’re sure is somewhere and you know you’ll find at some point.

~You will find a bazillion lego pieces.

~You have three partially-used bottles of molasses. Trust me, you do.

~Whoever coined the term “dust bunnies” has not seen my old house once emptied of furniture. Dust bunnies? Try dust woolly mammoths.

~Post-move chaos is best treated with a judicious combination of chocolate, the occasional glass of wine in the evening, and enough sleep. And also chocolate.

~No dwelling will change your life, but some feel better, somehow, than others.

I’m looking forward to being a working poet again soon. I’m happy to have a few deadlines coming up — reasons to leave the unpacked boxes unpacked and dive back into work. Meanwhile, you’ll excuse me while I set out the paper plates and cups and begin to feed the young. Thanks for reading. It’s good to be back in this little room for poetry.

9 thoughts on “moving: what I know for sure

  1. Ha ha and congrats! Now that your head is back above water, you can start swimming and gliding again. Over–and down–here in the South, we have three partially-used bottles of Karo syrup in the pantry, though, not molasses. Guess we cook more pecan pies than we do gingerbread.

  2. Yea, Molly. You’re back. Having moved many times ourselves,I found your list so right-on and hysterical. Where do we put the bedding we think we’ll find right away? And, best all, why do we move boxes we’ve never unpacked from previous moves? One of our sons has the right idea. He doesn’t look in his boxes before a move; he just tosses them sight unseen. Probably not a bad idea in the long run just impossible for most of us! Cylia

  3. Yea, Molly. You’re back. Having moved many times ourselves, I loved reading your list of things you’ve learned. What is it with the missing bedding, anyway? And I can’t even count the number of boxes we’ve moved that hadn’t been opened after the previous move. One of our sons never looks inside most of his boxes before he tosses them. “What you don’t know won’t hurt you” sort of approach, I guess. Not a bad plan probably, but also not one many of us can follow. Good luck on your deadlines and writing. Cylia

  4. Welcome back! I think May1st is still general moving day in Montreal… When we moved, my mother packed a set of bed sheets in everyone’s suitcase. However, she hadn’t accounted for blankets and comforters so we ended up in sleeping bags anyway. 🙂

    I appreciate your dust mammoths. I’m not sure why even rooms that are kept wonderfully clean look incredibly filthy once the furniture has been removed…

    • It’s the blankets and comforters that get you every time! The sad thing is I already have dust bunnies in the new house and we’ve not yet been here a week. That’s the problem with them — they metamorphose so quickly from bunny to woolly mammoth!

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