Sunday, April 1, 2012

How to Move



There's a giant cardboard box in my study with my ex-husband's new wife's name on it. Her name is crossed out. My older daughter C's name is written underneath it. Soon I will cross out C's name and write, "linens and towels/my horse collection" on it. I can see that the box will be perfect--padded on the top and the bottom with sheets and towels, my vintage TV cowboys and their mounts nestled safely between. This move is a ripple from the giant stone hurled into the almost-five-years-ago waters when my husband told me our marriage was over.

First I moved my things out of our bedroom into our guest room where I had a lock installed on the door. Then I went traveling, visiting anyone who would have me. Four months later, I bought a townhouse ten miles away from my old house. I made temporary living room furniture from my moving boxes. A wall unit for my books and the stereo. Doubled-up cardboard boxes strong enough to hold lamps served as my end tables. In my old house, the new wife emptied her boxes and arranged her things in the furniture I'd left behind.

The old house where I'd raised my daughters was a sliced-open wound whenever I thought of it back then. It was good I wasn't there to see their things stuffed into boxes and hauled from their rooms to make way for new children. Last week those boxes journeyed down the freeway in C's car to my townhouse so we could sort through them in preparation for the move to my new place. The place we call "The Beach House!"--though it's on the marina, not on the sand. Yesterday C and I skyped with her sister M--I held up each shirt, each sports jersey, each bracelet, each pair of earrings, CDs, and photos and let her say "yes" or "no." Afterwards C and I   filled my car with bag after bag (saving the boxes for my next move) and roared off to Goodwill.

In a few days C will load a couple of those salvaged boxes with her modest amount of worldly possessions, pile them into her car--or give them to me to save for her--and head to a new job on her next ship.

Meanwhile the leftover tower of empty boxes sits next to my desk, each marked with its own history, ready to be filled and marked again. New names. New places. The boxes tell the story.

9 comments:

Puanani said...

First of all, I think you should get rid of that box with all the names. There are many lovely boxes at that box store on Colorado. Xoxo. Secondly, I am so happy you are moving to The Beach. Marina. Beach. It all has salty sea air! Have fun in the transition! Xoxo.

Pauline Gaines said...

As painful as I imagine it must have felt to leave the house where you raised your kids (I did the same thing 9 years ago), I think it's WEIRD that your ex's new wife is living in your old house, with the ghost of a former marriage. Ew, do they sleep in your old bed?? Better to start fresh. Congrats on your new townhouse!

Ms. Moon said...

Yeah. You're the lucky one. You get the new place and and the salt air and the complete joy of putting everything where you want it and there are no ghosts to fight you for space.

I commend you on your ability to MOVE.

Elizabeth said...

Yay. It's time for cake. Call me.

janzi said...

Good for you making a move to start all over again,. this time with the wind and the sea or water so close will be a rebirth you'll see... You have been so brave putting up with all these transitions, and that b.... who moved into your home, didnt have any class at all!!! Good on you, moving on painful though it was, you look like you are getting out of all the wet blankets and doing good... hugs from the other side of the pond..Janzi

Jules said...

Oprah de-stresses with tequila: "Oprah emphatically professed her preference for tequila over wine. She also expressed a love of thin crust pizza over deep dish, crunchy peanut butter instead of bacon, and as far as music, it’s Jay-Z on Tuesdays, and Paul Simon on Sundays."
http://www.imperfectparent.com/topics/2011/09/09/oprahs-secret-for-dealing-with-stress-meditation-tequila/

N2 said...

May the salty air sweep away the last of the old marriage cobwebs. Every woman needs a house to call her own. Glad that you are getting one. x0 N2

Wrinkling Daily said...

I have boxes like that, all crossed out and reused and you are so right, they do tell a story. It is hard to think back to the gut-wrenching days, as you so aptly put, where the old home was sliced open. But you are right, each move is a little easier, and we lose our attachments and learn to hold on to what really, truly matters. I wish you all the best in your beautiful beach house.

Lilith said...

The last four years of my life have been similar to yours, except I'm the one that left. It's beyond tiring to live in between for so long. I am a little jealous though, salt air, a marina. Enjoy woman.