16 May 2011
So the moving van arrived, on a cold rainy day. And my portion of my parents’ stuff was offloaded. When it was done, what had been beautifully shown in my parents’ spacious house looked like a crowded consignment shop of furniture and stacks of boxes.
When I was in CA with my sister deciding who took what part of our family’s life home, and what was donated to charities, it seemed so simple. I envisioned my home as an amoeba about to absorb some of my past.
Yeah, well the amoeba has indigestion, and I forgot amoebae need to divide when they get BIG. No farting out the carved Japanese desk, or the history books, or the three shin -height tables, or any of it. My amoeba was overloaded.
The Prince Consort took one look, and said, “Let’s unpack.” I countered with, “Not until I have as much fat and calories as humanly possible from the nearest fast food place.” And we did.
Days later the boxes were mostly unpacked, flattened, and stacked for recycling. But my house was still chaos. And so was my head. I remembered my mammography appointment twelve hours too late. Although maybe I didn’t really need that mammogram. After all, I did have the full body scan and pat down by San Diego TSA in February.
Funny that having so much stuff made me crazy, crazier. I’ve been a pack rat since birth. Always fighting the propensity to be a star on one of those cable TV hoarding shows. But here I was faced with a paradise of too much, and I got depressed. I just wanted to go away, or have it go away.
TPC calmly helped me relocate the stacks of boxes to the garage, for loading into The Dude (our minivan) and transport to recycle-land. And that helped. Being able to see across the foyer into the dining room. Much better.
TPC rewired the decades old lamps I’d hauled home. With new shades and finials, they settled into our house. Having light always helps. (Well, not completely. I was still overloaded enough that The Prince Consort stood two registers over when I wore the surplus lampshade into Lowes for return credit.)
Bit by bit, I moved pieces of furniture around. It was beginning to fit. The carved desk and chest made the back bedroom the Asian-themed room, I’d always wanted.
I unpacked the Japanese chests in the dining room. And found my dad’s Cancer Survivor cap. Until that moment, I had only cried at his memorial service when I saw the Marine Honor Guard who fired into the heavens twenty-one times. Sending a warrior home. But that crumpled blue Cancer Survivor cap. He died of cancer, but not without fighting it for ten years. He was a warrior and a survivor.
The table from my Dad’s family needs the furniture medic. My dad was a fearless repairer of household things, and a proponent of ‘use what you have’. But duct tape has an atomic life that is just short of a cross country move. My dad’s family moved to California before the Gold Rush, from the Mid West. I don’t know how old the table is, but I’d like to think that it’s come home.
I guess as the last box is unpacked and the last chair hunkers into its proper spot, as the boxes truck off to be recycled, the amoeba is farting out some room and getting comfortable with the new. And so will I.