Monday, May 7, 2012

A Moving Experience

Last week I took a hiatus from my daily writing (except chronicling Kathy's progress on my Thursday post) to move our household from Wellesley to Sherborn, MA.

On weekends and nights, we packed, moved, and unpacked.

The rules we followed during the process were

1.  Living things first - ensure the health of each other, Kathy's father (who is moving in with us), and our animals
2.  Empty the old house -  although it's appealing to focus on creating a new life, the old one must be swept clean first
3.  Focus on basic function in the new house - bedrooms, the kitchen, and bathrooms are more important than the living room, family room, or garage
4.  Repairs to the new house - no matter how attentive a seller might be, there will always be dozens of small repairs to do whenever a house changes hands
5.  Aesthetics in the new house - it will be weeks before all the boxes are emptied and everything is restored to order.   That's ok.

When we packed, we triaged items into three piles - save, donate, or recycle.

During the unpacking process, I reflected on the things we kept.   Why did we save the things we did?

Because they are meaningful parts of our lives.

The photo above illustrates a few items from the top drawer of my dresser:

C. Everett Koop's Coin that he gave me in 2008 after I presented the Koop lecture at Dartmouth

The neckerchief holder for my cub scout uniform from 1969.   My father made it for me by hand tooling leather using supplies he purchased from the Tandy Company in the pre-Radioshack days

An integrated circuit tie tack given to me by Professor Frederick Termon, commemorating the first microprocessor used in Hewlett Packard products.   The chip has an embedded photo-micrograph signed by David Packard and Bill Hewlett

A tiny birdhouse that my daughter and I found while geocaching at one of the most remarkable geocaches - the Depot in Needham.

A sleigh bell that my daughter received when our family spent a winter's night on the Polar Express.  I can still hear it's sweet sound 

A coin, a piece of leather, a plastic tie tack, a little birdhouse, and a bell may seem like trinkets, but to me they represent milestones, emotional moments, and treasured memories.    They may have little monetary value, but to me they're priceless.

During our move we wanted to consciously think about what we own and why we own it.   Now that we've moved, we're reducing our belongings to those things that really matter as we chart a new course to the future.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Moving was always traumatic for me, but you're past the worst part, packing and unpacking.

I look forward to hearing how your chickens and Square Foot Gardening interact. Good Luck in Sherborn. It's a wonderful town.