All These Places Feel Like Home

After a brief hiatus from blogging, I am now reporting live from Massachusetts! Friday, April 23 was my last day of work; some friends organized a goodbye picnic over the weekend, and on Monday I commenced three days of packing. My routine was pretty much the same all three days: wake up, breakfast, pack till lunch, read The Time Traveler’s Wife during lunch (lunch the third day was on the floor, as all the furniture had been dismantled by that point), pack till everyone else got off work.

Three days turned out to be the perfect amount of time to pack everything up. Packing and moving is usually stressful, but I had enough time to go at a steady pace and I didn’t have more than a flicker of panic before I convinced myself that I would not be up till two in the morning the night before moving day, frantically stashing odds and ends into boxes. The soundtrack might have helped; on Day One, I listened to all the Mozart I have, plus Chopin’s Piano Sonata No. 2, plus Mendelssohn’s Reformation symphony and an hour’s worth of Songs Without Words. On Day Two, I started with the Bach cello suites, then segued out of classical territory with The Undertone and then The Kinks. Day Three required a little more energy to get going; I started with Gaslight Anthem and ended with Andrew Norsworthy. And then it was all done!

Here are some photos of packing and the move.

And immediately I digress: but I have to mention that it took about 7 seconds to upload this picture. THREE CHEERS FOR A WORKING INTERNET CONNECTION.

Books were the first to go into boxes. And oh my god there were (are)  so many books. I was surrounded, outnumbered, overmatched, outweighed, overwhelmed. I brought two full bags down to the sidewalk for people to take, and still packed up about 250. At least they are all of a similar size and fit nicely into boxes…

Here’s the beginning of the packing pile. There ended up being ten (10) boxes of books.

Add to that a futon, a bunch of kitchen appliances, and some clothes, and the pile becomes much larger. I wish I could be one of those people who has a backpack, two pairs of jeans, three t-shirts, and a jacket, but I’m just not.

I did get rid of some things, though – like these paper cranes, which were really heavy and took up a lot of space. (Once upon a time, for about half an hour, I knew how to make paper cranes. This is the only remaining evidence.)

On Day Three of packing, I went out in the morning for more packing tape and free Metro newspapers to use for wrapping up glasses and plates.

I have an unnecessary number of coffee mugs. But they are all unique…here’s Alice (“Drink me”), one from the Newberry Library from my first visit to Chicago, one with the London Tube map on it, one from Brussels (a gift), and a Hampshire College mug. Coffee mugs are my one kitchen indulgence; I really don’t have much kitchen stuff that I don’t use regularly.

Kitchen utensils, unlike books, are not conveniently shaped for packing.

Gotta pack creatively.

This pretty blue bud vase has a crack in it, but I packed it up anyway; it was a graduation gift from a friend, and it can still hold dry flowers (which are bad feng shui, apparently, but so is storing things under the bed, so I’m already not doing real well on that front).

Moving Day itself: the empty room.

All clean, swept and mopped.

Ah…one of the best road signs ever. This one, on 95 I think, seems to have a turkey on it; I prefer the one on 84, which has a cardinal. Either way – Massachusetts welcomes you!

And all the drivers on the Mass Pike are ready to run you over.

The U-Haul had a rhinoceros on it. Rhinoceroses are, of course, famous pack animals, internationally renowned for carrying heavy loads. Not.

The truck got the job done, though. And for once, it was perfect moving weather! Not raining, sleeting, or snowing, and not 90 degrees and humid either.

And now I’m here. Tremendously grateful to those who helped with the move, including my new housemates (who informed me yesterday that the nearest place to swim is Walden Pond – Walden Pond!); thankful as well to be back in Massachusetts, and in a town that is so green and quiet and peaceful – a complete 180 from where I was – even if their road signs are designed solely for people who have lived here all their lives and don’t need them anyway.

Regardless of road sign confusion, I’ve jumped right in. I found the town library and town hall; a couple decent radio stations; the grocery store, the drug store, the office supply store; how to get to the end of the red line at Alewife; and a frisbee team to play summer club with!

What I’m reading: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank, Thad Carhart; The Animal Review: The Genius, Mediocrity, and Breathtaking Stupidity That Is Nature, Jake Lentz and Steve Nash
What I’m listening to: Final Straw, Snow Patrol; Moon Safari, Air; Let It Be and Tim, the Replacements; Zen Arcade, Husker Du

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Filed under adventure, elsewhere, road signs

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