Thursday, March 18, 2010

Remembering Ike

I live in Texas, north of Houston, but I am not from Texas. I grew up in Southern California but I wasn't born there. When this school year is over late June, I will move to North Dakota and officially become a gypsy.

I have decided this move I need to travel lightly. The last two moves, I was expecting a baby and had no energy to dispense of some of the accumulated clutter. Someone told me they thought people should move every five years in order to minimize their belongings. I have moved more often than that (8x in 13 years) and have carried too much along each time.

Who else would care to look at the birthday cards I got at my birthday party when I turned eight years old? Is it really necessary to keep all the packaging when the original item is long gone, just to be able to look at the pictures on the box? I really don't want to wade through these boxes of belongings again, but if I don't, who else would? It's tiring and emotionally draining because I can remember so much when I hold these things in my hand.

Every move should be another beginning, an opportunity to refine our collection of stuff, a chance to learn more and experience new things. I don't want to be stuck sifting through the boxes of ephemera while everyone else is out there living. Trying to decide what will stay and what will go is difficult because it's a ranking of sorts. Is this cookbook more important than that pair of shoes or these dishes we never use? Granted, I could take it all, but it's getting too heavy to carry. I don't feel like I belong anywhere because I'm dragging with me all these pieces of my life and home in other places.

I won't miss hurricane season when we leave Texas for North Dakota. We hunkered down or sheltered-in-place in our house for Hurricane Ike. We were fortunate to only lose some trees and a rain gutter and section of fence. I am thinking, "What if Hurricane Ike had taken all of this away? What would I have wished I could keep? What would be long forgotten?"

This is a tremendous task in front of me. The Italian (my husband) is already off in North Dakota working and I am here, readying the house for sale, caring for my tribe of three, and sorting, sifting, and curating the stuff. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated...

Posted by The Editor.

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