Last night, talking to our neighbor friends we are going to miss like crazy, I realized that Amos and I are something of an anomaly in having moved so much. They were asking us about packing, and we were telling them a little about where we are 8 days out from the move, and the way they reacted – like wow, you guys know how to pack! – made me think about our moving past. Amos and I have lived together for eight years or so, and in that time we have moved 5, almost 6, times. I know that I’m the one out of my high school friends who has strayed from our hometown the farthest, and that’s also true in my family. Amos is different; growing up in St. Louis, having a huge graduating class, he just doesn’t talk about those people anymore. When you have a close-knit group of 33, you tend to hold on a little more, even if you don’t see them much.
My rambling point is that I feel like a professional mover. We know how to pack, really pack our things, so everything comes through undamaged. We start packing weeks in advance to a system that allows us to use the necessities the longest and unpack in an orderly fashion. Once we’re done, we break down all our boxes – all standard moving boxes, sturdy and stackable – and bundle them according to size (small, medium, large, dish pack, wardrobe). Even as a child my family moved weirdly a lot. We weren’t a military family, but we did have some reasons for moving on down the road.
Childhood moves: 7
Adult moves: 9
This move will be my 17th move, my 10th as an adult, my 4th with children, and my 1st that takes less than 12 hours of driving. Those numbers feel ridiculous. Each move has had a reason; as a child I was picked up and transplanted for some reason, although I’m not privy to them all, and our adult moves have all made sense, like this one does. We are both weary of the nomadic life, picking up friends here and there, favorite restaurants and parks scattered all over the eastern half of the US. That life is kind of fun, in seeing how different people are place to place (and they really are different, in subtle ways that you wouldn’t imagine would even BE changeable), but we would really love a house. With a garden. And a swing.
And so in moving back to NY, we are chasing that dream a little. There we have people, we have parks and restaurants, and we are happy to revisit instead of readjust. I know you can never step into the same stream twice, but it is at least comforting to recognize the scenery when you’re up to your knees in water.