Posted by: alegra22 | August 28, 2011


Last Monday I began packing with enthusiasm. “I’ll have this done by Thursday,” I declared. “I’ll rest on Friday and then I’ll spend Saturday and Sunday cranking out a draft of the thesis so I can spend next week focused on moving, painting, getting the children settled in.”

Today is Sunday. My hair has forgotten what a brush feels like and has returned to its feral, surfer-girl ways, minus the saltwater and muscle-tired excuse of having spent the day paddling into waves. I’m surrounded by boxes some half-packed, others labeled and taped.

On Monday, I began with a system that involved care and forethought. By Friday night I was nearly in tears, convinced that when I turned my back, our belongings were multiplying like magical toads, tumbling out of the cracks, falling from small holes in the ceiling, littering the floor and staring at me with unblinking eyes.

There have been so many moments in the last few weeks I’ve wanted to record but instead I’ve gathered those moments like precious stones to my chest, allowing their weight to gather and sink me deep beneath the currents of negotiations, building inspections, life insurance, lawyers, and a To-Do list that roared and divided like rapids moving forever toward the future.

I’ve rested on the cool, quiet bottom. Holding my breath. Feeling the light filter down. Feeling the gentle swaying of my hair around me. Pretending not to notice my lungs burning with need.

When the house went unconditional officially, I dropped my stones and came shooting up to the surface. I felt the rush of movement surrounding me, our family being carried forward, away from where we have been to where we need to go.

Now, I look at the bare walls, at the house I’ve been dismantling for a week, and I let the effort and exhaustion move beneath me, a current of joy. I breathe in the dream of space and light and a home that will hold us safely. I imagine it waiting for us. The ocean our river is tumbling toward.



  1. The kitchen is always what gets me amazed. How can I have so much cooking stuff? I use most of it and whenever I move it seems like more boxes are kitchen than any other room. When I get to a new place the kitchen is the first place I set up, arranging and rearranging until it feels like home. You’ll be packed and moved before you know it, it looks like you’ve got a great start. I’m sending strong friends with big trucks vibes to you.

    • I love your new avatar!
      Yes, I’m almost done. The above picture of chaos really does account for 80% of our ‘boxable’ stuff. The rest is furniture. I get so tired not just from the packing but from the mess…the disorder wears me out. I’m really looking forward to the ‘moving in’ process. I like putting things away.

      • I figured it was time for a change. This was a Saturday at the zoo. He pretty much slept through it all but the older kids had so much fun!

        I’m looking forward to reading stories about the process, the chaos that led to the organization and the bliss in the new house.

  2. I know what you mean about belongings multiplying when you aren’t looking! We rented a fully furnished condo for just over a year, and brought nothing but two weeks worth of clothes and our dogs. 14 months later, we had to send home six huge cartons of things we’d accumulated over that time, and that’s what we didn’t leave behind or throw away. Weird. Sending good vibes for your new digs! XOXO

    • Thank you for the good vibes :-). I am trying not to let myself get too overwhelmed/exhausted because I am so grateful/excited to be making this move. I think it comes down to ‘the mind is willing, the body is weak’…
      And yes, it’s amazing how things multiply. Wait until you have children. I get worn-out by the tide of ‘small, mismatched’ things and the decision process of ‘trash, recycle, find a place for this thing-a-mabob’.


  3. Children add so much stuff, and so much to do at the same time as whatever mission you are on. But I feel bad for my children, because one day, they may be facing my stuff/rubbish/things to be thrown out or recycled… how can we get so much in to one place? I know we have too much, but I think I would have to move before I could really get myself to throw all the rubbish out… You rock and you go go go, wishing you a lot of fun moving in! (ps do I get it right and did you paint Sol’s room just so you could find the perfect house to move in to?)

    • Yes, you got it right. We were joking as I started the painting that we’d be moving soon…little did we know that we’d make the decision officially and almost six weeks later be gone!
      You nailed it by mentioning the environmental issue. I find the clutter challenging not just because I like a tidy space, but because every time I have to do a big clean-up, looming in the back of my mind I’m thinking of the waste, the landfills, etc. It’s really difficult for me to shut that off and I end up emotionally exhausted by it.

  4. You and DC have done such a great job in getting to where you is!I’ve heard that buying a house is one of the top three stressful things people do in their lives…I’m sure you know the other two!

    Now that your in your where, and have been for a while, the strong sense of satisfaction you have is a wonderful feeling. Again hindsight is a powerful thing! Getting things done and ticking boxes is all a part of life…but it’s made so much easier with a loving family. Lucky you have those.

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