Bin Living

Our summer moving saga commenced last weekend. The paces of moving now have
us living out of boxes and plastic bins until the end of the month. Oh,
well, and suitcases and duffels for an upcoming jaunt to the Great Lakes State. I
will do everything I can to resist complaining again about the inconveniences of

D. and Ph., after all, have been tremendous. Whatever D. packs, Ph. carries,
stacks, carries again, etc. He took his last Regents exam for the year
today and without complaint went about mowing the grass this afternoon while I
was away at the local Honda garage yet again for the problem of intermittent
brake noise (from the brand new brakes we had put on back in late
February…this was the third (and final? final!) brake-adjustment visit
in the interceding months). I will do what I can to resist complaining
about the inconveniences of several hundred dollar brakes that squeak and grind
so loudly that people turn their heads and stare.

Just three years ago, we lived in Kansas City. The move at the end of
this month will deliver us to our third (and final? final!) home in Syracuse.
The next move will not be local. Since I finished my BA in 1996, I
have lived for more than one month in ten different places (four in Michigan,
four in Kansas City, and two in Syracuse). Longest stretch at the same address:
four years. It comes as a downer when I realize that six (and soon seven) of
these moves have relocated Ph. over the last ten years. In these days leading up
to moving yet again I feel desperate to live at the same address for four years
again. You might have guessed it: We are expert in the forwarding of USPS mail.

I posted a bunch of stuff on Craigslist this week. Desks (too big and
heavy for the new second-floor office space), a television, a Marantz
stereophonic receiver, an exercise bike, some random wall hangings and
knick-knacks. The Marantz was a hit. Swarms of technicians and
hobbyists inquired by email. The TV has been claimed. The wall hangings
swiped up just this afternoon.

The weight of paper is, more than anything else, the reason I dread moving.
Paper and hide-a-beds. And washing machines. Those three things
spoil what might otherwise be an occasion to celebrate a fresh start.
Fortunately, the hide-a-bed loveseat has found a permanent new home (permanent
as in I hope never to lift it again). We will move it there, say
good-byes, and never own another one. The washing machine stays.
This is an advantage of renting. But the paper, the books, the file
cabinet. Ruthless. Saturday, Ph. and I carted four carloads of bins to the
garage at the new place (where the new LaLo has been generous to give us a
corner space and a head start on filling it in). Upon hoisting an
especially heavy container, I put it back down again and lifted the lid. Rock
collection? Inside were paper-filled binders–the Collected Life Works of
Ph. No wonder he’s so enthusiastic about the haul. Preparations for
this move remind me that I have too many books (even if, deep down, I know it’s
always going to be too few), and that I have felt some struggle in organizing
and focusing my work-a-day paces in anticipation of the looming, imminent


  1. If it’s any consolation to you as a parent: as a child, I moved no less than 10 times and never remained in one house or one school longer than 2 years until I was in high school, when we stayed in the same house/school for three years, after which we promptly moved halfway across the hemisphere the summer before my senior year of high school.

    I say it has made me resilient and adaptable.

  2. If you won’t complain… I will

    But seriously though, I can understand the fatigue with moving. Granted, I don’t have children in my equation, but I do know a little about being a single woman and having to ask family for help. The exasperated sigh and look of despair my father gave me when I first mentioned this upcoming move makes me determined not to put him through it again.

    And books… Monday night, I packed up five boxes of books. And that’s not even counting my kitchen where the exam books are located.

  3. Now that I look at it again, the numbers probably suggest more transience than has been the case. With the multiple moves in KC and in Syracuse, Ph. has been able to stay in the same schools (with one exception in KC, but it was the same school district, and he had friends at the new school). Adaptable and resilient sounds right. Still, I’d prefer not to move.

    I didn’t realize you were moving, T. Let me know if we can lend a hand. Seriously. In just a couple of hours, Ph. and I can make a dent in whatever must be carried. I’ll write it off toward good karma. Or count it as a deduction on my taxes or something.

    Speaking of books, I haven’t started to pack them yet. I’ve tried to tighten the stacks and get rid of extraneous books. Making matters even worse is that a good 2-3 arm-loads of them are library books. Yuck.

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