Today, my friend MakesBread left the house she used to share with the man who is now her ex-husband and moved just a few miles into the home where she'll be living with her young son. Even though she wasn't traveling very far, she still had to take apart furniture, empty every closet, and pack all that she owned into what seemed like thousands of cardboard boxes. When we arrived at 9 am — me, my husband, my daughter, and Blonde Niece — the house was filled with furniture and boxes. Other friends and family members were pulling into the driveway. MakesBread had baked muffins, made a crockpot of vegetarian chili, and rented a big moving truck for the day.
It felt like a puzzle or perhaps the game Tetris — packing pieces of furniture and cardboard boxes, wedging in blankets and rugs, fitting everything into the moving van. Once the truck was partially loaded, I climbed up onto the furniture and sat atop a bookshelf that was balanced on a wooden dresser. I grabbed boxes that friends handed up to me and pushed them into high places, shifting and shoving them until they fit tightly.
When we arrived at the new house, we inspected it eagerly. How clean and empty it looked! But of course, that didn't last long. Soon every room was piled with furniture and boxes, and piles of miscellaneous items. MakesBread began unpacking the coolers to put food into the refrigerator. The potted bush basil filled the house with that spicy smell. A few of us took a break to sit on the couch, which was strangely positioned against the fireplace, and tell horror stories about the times we've moved. As it began getting dark, we unearthed a few lamps and plugged them in.
MakesBread has a long weekend of unpacking ahead, but she's home.