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P is for Packing

April 18, 2015

Sometimes out of context famous quotes lose something in transition.  If you read my H entry, then you already know that I’ve moved frequently, but I don’t enjoy it.  When I was in college, I remember coming across a quote in Reader’s Digest attributed to Lorraine Hansberry:

 “Ah, I like the look of packing crates! A household in preparation for a journey!”

My first reaction:  This woman’s crazy–or she’s never moved.  Only after I read (and taught) A Raisin in the Sun did I realize this wasn’t necessarily the playwright’s sentiment, but that of Asagai, one of the foil characters.  It made more sense in context at least.

To me–and most of my family–there is nothing the least bit lovely about packing crates. Right now, as my husband and I are preparing for transition, moving closer to family, I’m starting to fill boxes and stack them in the garage.  (I hate to admit that on the other side of the garage are the boxes I never completely emptied when we moved here almost ten years ago.)

For now, since our moving date depends on when our house sells, I’m mostly clearing the clutter, throwing away what I dare, and then deciding what I can do without for an indeterminate stretch of time. Meanwhile, I’m trying to mark the boxes clearly, just in case I ned to go hunting for something.  So far, I’ve packed lots of books, but you couldn’t tell by looking at my shelves.  Today I sorted through cookbooks, filling a box with the ones I use less frequently. Some I hadn’t opened in years.

Since I don’t have that sense of urgency yet (no sign of Marvel’s “time’s winged chariot”), I catch myself stopped to read–books, notes, files, recipes.  I’ve found a few things I had been seeking for awhile. I’ve probably lost several more in my shuffling.  For now, packing feels a bit like make-believe, getting ready for a journey, without making reservations first.

I did this once before–packed up a year before a move, living in a rental house in the meantime.  When I finally sifted through boxes stored in a friend’s garage for months, trying to decide why I would keep anything I could do without for a year, I reached into a box then pulled back my hand.  A snake writhed inside the box.  I didn’t check first to see if he was a good snake or bad.  To me, they’re all bad.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 21, 2015 2:15 pm

    In these months of spring, I get restless for a new home and a new space. And I envy others’ talk of moving/selling their home. We’ve lived in our house for fifteen years. I have long forgotten all the work involved in moving. I think what makes it hard is when, after packing and packing and packing, there is still more stuff to pack. Hope you’re enjoying the A to Z Challenge.

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