Beginning To Feel Boxed In

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Two words describe how we spend our days the past few weeks: packing and culling. My Beautiful Mystery Companion and I are preparing to move. Our house has sold and will have new owners in just two weeks.

Two weeks! I better get in gear.

We have lived in this lovely home for nine years and two months. It is the longest I have lived in one house in my entire life. When we blended our families and possessions together, we didn’t do much culling because our current house had plenty of storage and square footage. And in nine years, the stuff accumulated. Books, blankets, CDs, DVDs, dishes, clothes and so forth. So my BMC and I have been ruthlessly shedding possessions.

Daughter Mere took possession of 13 banker’s boxes worth of books, while another 15 went to the Estes Library, where I work. That’s less than half my book collection, so plenty of books remain to be packed. Our nephew Connor has become an expert book box packer, while his dad, Jim — my BMC’s little brother — is carefully wrapping dishes and glassware and filling boxes with them. Daughter Kasey is coming to get an entertainment center I built 20 years ago, as well as one of the televisions. It’s a family affair, though we are hiring professional movers to transport our stuff to its new home. I’m a familiar site at our two favorite thrift stores, where I ring the bell at the back door and unload the Rav once again.

The dogs are curious, puzzled and a bit paranoid. I can hear them thinking: OK, first you got in the habit of never leaving for the day, like you used to before the pandemic. Now you spend all day putting stuff in boxes. The cats think the boxes are their latest toys and enjoy curling up inside one for a summertime nap.

It was surprisingly easy to give up a chunk of my books. Heck, I have a couple more on order already. I have no intention of ending my lifelong habit of buying books. I just need to provide space for my new friends to arrive.

Packing up the shop was my first task. My ridiculously large collection of woodworking tools, both power and hand-held, has been crammed into a one-car attached garage for nearly nine years. It has been a long time since I was able to build anything, given how much noise these tools create in a place where we are surrounded by neighbors who would not appreciate the din. I will have to re-educate myself on how some of these tools operate, such as the mortise drill, the planer/jointer, and several handmade jigs from a couple of decades ago. Soon, I will be able to reclaim my lumber from its storage spot at Jim’s, set up a real shop and start making lots of noise without worrying about someone calling the law on me. I look forward to this.

I am purposely being coy about our new abode, not wanting to jinx it finalizing. Home sales are at a frenzy around here and most everywhere. The pieces of a home-buying puzzle require lots of folks doing their jobs, such as the inspectors, appraisers, pest control inspectors, insurance agents, title companies and, of course, the folks loaning the money. All appears to be headed in the right direction, but it ain’t over until a large woman sings. I’m optimistic, though. Hence, all the packing and culling.

There will be many things I will miss about this grand old house, which marked its 40th year in 2021. I love spending late afternoons in the gazebo, built by the talented Raul in 2019 after the May storm wiped out the deck. Or watching the sun set out our large picture windows in the living room, fireflies putting on a light show outside. Or walking the hilly streets of the neighborhood, admiring the fall foliage and reveling in the crisp air. And our incredibly kind next-door neighbors, with whom my BMC trades delicious treats – a few pieces of cake, half a watermelon, some fresh-baked cookies.

But it’s on to the next adventure, provided we survive the move. I have a habit of moving in summer, with the temperature is in the 90s and the humidity is off the charts. This move is no exception.

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