Now before you all overreact, no, I haven’t taken up the “Art” of pugilism. I’m a lover, not a fighter as you all well know, although to look at my face you might think otherwise. However, I have just completed a bout against a much larger opponent and feel as if I’ve been kicked by a large and especially bad tempered horse. Having heard that my new place will be ready soon, I began the process of packing up and moving my possessions into storage in anticipation , there being a month between moves. This proved to be a bigger task than anticipated as I was under the impression that I’d divested myself of quite a lot of extraneous items already. Not so.
In the end it required the purchase of 30 banker boxes to pack up the majority of my stuff – largely books, which should come as no surprise to anyone, but it was not as easy as that – my car is not designed for haulage and packing it full of boxes, clothes and furniture is a task worthy of a Tetris world champion. Add to this the fact that I was making three trips a day in 80 plus degree weather and you can imagine just what a slog it was, with most days ending with your humble writer drenched in sweat and with aching limbs.
The storage unit seemed large enough at first, and I made the most of the space, stacking boxes as tightly and as high as possible, but it soon became clear that it was not going to be enough – even a pint pot can’t hold more than a pint, and I had somehow managed to cram in a quart. Even the thankless task of reorganising wasn’t sufficient, although it did buy me quite a bit of extra space, but not enough to avoid the need to rent an additional smaller space to take the overflow.
This wasn’t a solo task, however. I had the kids with me and they were more than willing to help me as I recovered the television in order to donate it to Goodwill by helping to move some of the furniture out of the way as I moved the heavier items in order to clear a path. They are as excited about the move as I am, so it took little encouragement to get them to help me.
I did this on a day I had been waiting for for some time as our trip coincided with the delivery of a very, very nice piece of furniture restored to full glory by a schoolfriend – a Scandinavian Mid-Century Modern cabinet that will grace the living room of my new home and provide a worthy resting place for my rather impressive collection of single malts.
I mentioned furniture earlier, and this needs some elaboration. The only bed I was able to move was my sons’ as it disassembles very easily and is small enough that the mattress fits (only just) into my car with only a modicum of intense discomfort for the driver, although the frame had to be lashed to the roof using home made duct tape string and a firm grip on one of the slats through the sun roof whilst driving. For the bigger pieces I rented a truck and after an appeal for help was assisted by two friends who evidently had nothing better to do on a Saturday morning. Even with three people it took two trips and a great deal of effort to move my bedroom set, futon and other assorted items, although I’m pretty sure the beer and pizza afterwards went some way to restoring us to something close to normality.
I’m thankful at least that I didn’t have to move my daughters’ bed. I had been given a captains’ bed which took quite some effort to move, and as the bedroom in my new place is too small for both kids’ beds I made the decision to give it away. It was snapped up in no time, and whilst this was a load off my mind I had some trepidation over how my daughter would react as she loved the bed, especially the “Secret compartment” in the base. However, she took the news with equanimity and nary a complaint as I explained that as only one of them would be using the kids’ bedroom at a time, there really wasn’t much point in trying to cram two beds into such a small space.
“So where are you now?”, I hear you ask. With the bare minimum of clothing and a few books I am spending a month living with my sweetie until my new place is ready for occupation. This presents a whole new situation but more of that anon. It feels weird to have one’s whole life packed up and stacked in a storage unit (and a friends’ garage). Is that all we are, merely a collection of appliances,furniture and personal possessions? It makes me wonder what some future archaeologist would make of such a find and what sort of picture of 21st Century life they would compile from such an assemblage of items. Would anyone care? I hate to go all Marcus Aurelius on you, but it does make me wonder about how much of ourselves we invest in our property and how much it reflects who we are, or who we think we are. Perhaps some 35th Century Howard Carter would break the seal on my unit and in an awed voice whisper ” Ahh, a heavy drinking military historian with a taste for late 20th Century music and a wardrobe to match” ( See “Dedicated Follower Of Fashion”).