At Home

$1 Per Pound

While preparing to move, I learned that it costs approximately one dollar per pound to have movers load and transport belongings from Calgary to Houston.  In light of that, as I pack this week, I frequently look at an item in my hand, wonder how much it weighs, and then try to decide if it's worth it.  Usually, I think it is, but I am on the fence about a few things.  Heavy items receive particular scrutiny.

I have a collection of fashion magazines from around the world.  I considered tossing them; magazines are so heavy.  However, when I prepared to move them to the bin, I ended up thinking of the trips, cultures, or friends associated with each, and a happy half-hour passed.  So, they made the cut, for now.
Other things were not difficult for me to part with.  My desk, the second piece of furniture I ever bought as an adult, drives me crazy and weighs a ton.  Gone.  Sold to the new tenants of the apartment.  My kitchen table, which I really want to replace, might not actually look to bad in the new place, so it's in, for now.  Movers will insure your belongings at replacement cost, for a fee.  What would you replace if the truck with all of your belongings went up in flames?

A few items have been moved more than once now without being used, but somehow they sneak into boxes husband's old motorcycle jacket...the sushi making set that I have only used once but still think is neat...the old wine corks that my husband swears will be turned into something else teaching materials that were so hard-won that I'm not quite ready to give away.

We decided to do our own packing, instead of the moving company doing it, which could save us as much as a couple thousand dollars.  I thought I would hate this process, especially after so many moves in a short period.  Instead, I'm finding it therapeutic and useful.  I'm forced to acknowledge each item going into the box, clear up unfinished business, and finish the process by a firm deadline of Sunday night.

I try to remember that life is not about stuff...having the most stuff or the best stuff.  But I am also intimately familiar with the comfort my belongings bring me.  When I first returned to our apartment earlier this week, after more than two weeks of immersion in Minnesota and Houston; family, friends and our new life, I felt ornery.  The smoke alarm was beeping with a low battery screech and a scary automated voice, the outside air was crackly and below freezing, and my husband and cat were far away.  I looked around the apartment, remembering all that we went through together here.  Standing there in the middle of it, with my mind still lingering in the U.S., I could see my husband and I sitting across the room on the couch, almost like ghosts, trying to figure out what to do, how to feel better, and how to plan what would be next.  We spent many evenings here that way.  At that moment, I missed him more than I ever have, and we had only been separated for a few hours.

Now I've been back for two days, and this morning I woke up feeling closer to normal.  I was back in the rhythm of our space, and happy about the small details: my coffee and toaster, sleeping in our bed and using our familiar shower.  It's just stuff, but on the other hand, it's how we feather our nest, and we chose it for a reason.  In all honesty, the Calgary stretch of our life was a hugely challenging time for me. However, our apartment, and the space we created here, made me happy during some of those difficulties.    I'm not sorry to be leaving Calgary, but I'm definitely mindful and grateful of the growth, learning, and experiences that we have had here.