I started Moving Day by getting up at 9 AM groggy and sitting on the couch and thanking Ralph after he brought a cup of coffee and thinking I was not in good shape to uproot and migrate. At 9:05 my husband leaned back in the chair next to mine and lovingly reminded me: “Nels has a doctor’s appointment at nine thirty.” Here’s a man who’s about to single-handedly – well, nearly so, we only “hired on” one friend to move today – pick up every single material possession we own and transport it to our new domain and have a life in boxes for a few days. And he, my husband, is smiling and looking forward to all this.
So my son – who sleeps in until 11 AM some days – had to be dragged out of bed and dressed and taken out in the Icy. Freaking. Cold to the Mercedes (Ralph not only warmed up the car but made a bowl of polenta for The Boy) and driven to the doctor where we’re behind on six shots and Nels elected to have four of them and chose to have them in his legs (which is fortunate, because I think that’s where the nurse insists on doing them). And Nels was so brave and awesome and as I cuddled him just before he was repeatedly stabbed he said, “I’m not going to wiggle or kick, but I’m going to yell.” * And he did. And then we were done, and we got lunch together.
Moving went well; Ralph, Sophie, and our friend Michael had everything moved by about 5 PM, which I think is pretty incredible considering you know, we’re an American family of four. In this, our fourth move since having the kids, we have been shrinking in our possessions rather than growing them. I’m proud of this fact but also puzzled by and a little anxious with each bit of this or that we decide to do without: because what are we, if not our stuff? Now, dear reader, don’t get the wrong idea: know that we have plenty – plenty – of “stuff” and won’t be able to claim the ascetic satisfaction of knapsack living any time soon.
The cats were the last acquisition tonight (the chickens come tomorrow); the three of them crammed into two carriers – old, skinny and submissively-aggressive Blackstone in her own carrier, and fat, torpid bosom-buddies Harris and Mable crammed humorously in the other. The cats were very, very alarmed at first upon being delivered to the new home but after a bit of sniffing around and exploring and smelling our Stuff in the house seemed to settle just fine. Mabel now sits at my shoulder as I lean against our bed (our bed! our bed! King-sized! Down comforter! Smelling of our homemade Fels Naptha laundry soap! Heaven!) and steal a few minutes on stolen Wi-Fi from the neighborhood.
* He was determined not to jerk or writhe during his shots as he remembered, with a self-inflicted sense of responsibility, that fourteen months ago for his last shots he knocked a nurse across the room when he physically reacted to the needle stabs.