Tuesday, April 15, 2008

300 Cubic Feet of Stuff

Above: D supervises Mark, from the aptly named Above & Beyond moving company, as he packs all our worldly possessions into a 6'x7'x8' "ReloCube." He and his crew, Ollie and Steve, moved everything from the house into the U-Haul truck in about 20 minutes (sometimes carrying over 100 pounds of books at a time) and had the storage container fully loaded an hour and a half later--including travel time to the ABF terminal. It pays to have professionals on the job.

While sorting through all my paperwork over the last few days, I came across things I hadn't seen in almost seventeen years. The bank receipt from when I opened my credit union account, freshman year of college. A souvenir poster from the opening of the Star Trek Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton, January, 1998. A short story manuscript with handwritten workshop comments from Ursula K. LeGuin.

A lot of it got thrown away. All the bills and any documents with personal, financial, or other account information went into two big boxes which our friend Chris helpfully volunteered to throw into a shred bin at his office. In the end, only a fraction of what we started with ended up in that storage container. As D previously blogged, we spent the past week giving away a lot of stuff to various people, and we understand that even as our ReloCube is on its way to Oregon, a larger quantity of the stuff we shedded is on its way to Senegal.

It's difficult for a packrat like me to admit, but my stuff is not my life. I actually thought I might be having a mild panic attack a few days ago, when I was short of breath and having chills, but that turned out to be an actual illness with a 101° fever at one point. I'm better now, though D spent the better part of today coughing up half her lungs.

Anyway. I used to feel physically sick at the mere thought of losing any of my stuff, including and especially data, but I got over that after two major hard drive crashes in which I lost a lot of old emails and journal entries. I still like to save memorabilia--ticket stubs, toys, Playbills--but I'm not as OCD about it as I used to be.

It also helps to have a point of comparison. Our cats, Bayla and Jasper, were royally freaked out yesterday when the movers came tromping in. We'd been keeping them in the bedroom so they'd be safe from all the other people coming to take away stuff, but the movers had to take the bed, so the cats went into their playpen in the back room, and they were not happy about it. We'd been letting them roam the whole house at night, so they knew things were going away, but I can't imagine what it must have been like for them to realize that their whole world was being taken apart.

They seem to be adjusting pretty well, though. Both cats were in their customary places on the bed while D napped this evening:

Our rule for packing was that we'd only keep the things we couldn't replace easily or inexpensively. In theory, that meant we'd only be packing expensive hardware (like the HDTV), things with great sentimental value, or irreplaceable/hard to find/one of a kind items. I still maintain that my laserdisc collection meets all three of those criteria.

Dinner tonight: Rigatoni e Spinaci and Penne Calabrese, two of our favorite dishes from Frankie, Johnnie & Luigi Too, paired with a lovely Penfolds 2002 Shiraz Cabernet that Loren and Suzie brought back from Australia.


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At April 18, 2008 at 2:11 PM , Blogger LC said...

A huge step for you. I still get incredible panic at the thought of losing information and physical reminders of history. (Accidentally erased 2 weeks of travel journal once just after a trip and spent the next 2 hours in a shocked daze.) But you're looking ahead to the future.

Did you save that slip documenting your opening a CU acct as a freshman? That would have taken true willpower to throw away.


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