I’ve done my fair share of packing up households because of a new job. Never my own. Always my husband’s…and now my daughter’s.
Let’s see, a change in jobs in 1976 landed my husband and me in The Big Apple. We were in our mid-20s then. That was fun, especially since we’d left one island, Oahu, for another, Manhattan. Worlds apart, though, if you’ve had the good fortune to visit both. Lucky us, having resided where tourists love to vacation.
Four years later, we moved again. This time, Redding, Connecticut, to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. As different from NYC as one can get. Only 11,000 inhabitants at the time. Probably not many more now. Great place to raise our newborn. Lots of wide open spaces. Exploding fall foliage colors that knocked our socks off! Small town parades. Country fairs. An idyllic setting where everybody knew everybody.
When our daughter was 11, we moved again, much to her chagrin. We trekked cross country to Seattle where hubby got a promotion. And here we’ll probably remain, unless Hawaii, land of our birth, beckons us home.
Just because hubby and I were settled, however, didn’t mean our daughter was. At age 16, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she trained for 5 years, hoping to become a professional ballet dancer. Because she was young and didn’t yet drive, I moved with her. For 2 1/2 years we managed on our own, while my husband remained in Seattle earning a living.
Dancers go where the jobs are. And so our daughter moved once again, to Nashville. I flew back to Atlanta to help with the packing while she was at work. She lived and worked in The Music City for 6 years. Midway through, she downsized to a smaller, cheaper rental which meant another move. Of course, I was there to help our daughter whose broken hand was in a cast. Discovering a bed bug larvae didn’t help the situation any. Neither did the reappearance of the cicadas who rose from where they’d been sleeping for 13 years, in the ground beneath the trees in and around Tennessee.
A year ago our daughter decided to pursue a different dance path. She moved home with my husband and me while she auditioned hither and yon, and danced a couple of gigs in Houston, Texas. Storing her belongings meant moving stuff around in our house. Throw in a couple of remodels, and we had to move things around again.
One year later, we’re packing up our daughter’s furnishings once again to move her back to Nashville. She’ll be dancing with a newly formed, contemporary dance company this time.
At this stage, I could probably get a job with a professional mover. I’ve packed enough boxes in 43 years of marriage, I could probably do it in my sleep. Which reminds me, preparing to move leaves little time for rest. A couple of catnaps here and there suffices.
Because moving also involves selling and buying houses, or renting apartments, I’ve become a pro at that too. Because both my husband and my daughter have had to get on with their jobs, I’ve been the one to handle the transitions.
Everyone who knows me, especially those who have visited any of our homes or rentals will attest to my being able to whip a place into shape in no time. In fact, I can do it as often as the spirit moves me, which of late hasn’t been as often as it use to be. The spirit’s a little more settled these days, owing to wisdom…and because my “get-up-and-go”…got up and left.
Something my daughter said yesterday in the midst of packing up several boxes, ensuring they wouldn’t break the mover’s back when he lifted them, made all my years of moving worthwhile. Stopping dead in her tracks as she was heading down the hallway, my daughter returned to where I was bent over fitting wrapped items strategically into a box. As I stood up and faced her, she placed her hand firmly on my shoulder and with eyes wide and grinning from ear to ear, she said…“You’re amazing!”
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