We spent last week in Beverly, MA, at my brother-in-law’s house, where my niece recently learned to count to ten, excluding one and seven and repeating five. Numerically and otherwise, it was an unusual (but relaxing) week, mainly because: we didn’t have to pack anymore! After the movers took everything away and we were left with just clothes and odds and ends, life got a lot simpler. There is something to be said for simplifying your “stuff,” and you don’t need to move overseas to do it.
In fact, I realize as I type this, I am still at it. Because now we are at my parents’ house in New Jersey, and let me tell you, I was a high-school pack rat. It is taking me years to undo the packratness I inflicted on myself during the teen era. I was the kid who, after the prom, did not just save the tacky snow-globe and albums of awkward candids, but also (for example) the napkin from the prom, and maybe some sand from the beach we went to the next day… yeah. I was that kid. And every time I come home, I fill another few bags with trash and another few boxes with donations. It’s never-ending.
The scary thing is how much I’ve accumulated in just twenty-eight years. My grandfather moved into an assisted living community this week after fifty-plus years in his Long Island home (which is a whole other topic I can’t get my head around). He set aside what he wanted to take to his new apartment, and from his whole house he filled just a few boxes with mostly practical items and a few special mementos. The man is my inspiration right now, I am telling you. Because it says to me that what’s important in his life doesn’t travel in a box or a U-haul.
So, amid the mess of everyone’s worldly goods, here we are in New Jersey, hanging out at my parents’ and waiting for our visas.