We are definitely in the home stretch.
What does that look like, you might ask?
Well, since every move is different and requires various levels of divestment, organization, cleaning and the like, it is difficult for me to generalize. I can only report on what I know, so in no particular order, I herewith present the telltale indicators that we are in the relocation end game.
1. The Husband simultaneously cut his leg and hand this morning on broken glass while trying to repurpose an old picture/poster frame. Suffice it to say that he was unsuccessful in his task. No stitches were required for either wound but the bleeding needed to be staunched with band-aids; the adhesive to which he happens to be allergic. Fully aware that he was inviting a strange crop circle-like rash, he was eager to remove the offending bandage from his leg as soon as he possibly could without reopening the cut. As he ripped it from his very hairy Jewish man-leg, his scream, more intense than that of the original injury, was reminiscent of a woman getting a bikini wax. (We are still in possession of several framed posters that would be lovely decoration for college dorm rooms. Gratis!! If anybody is interested, please let me know by the end of the week. This is a serious offer.)
2. There are more open garbage bags and garbage boxes around the house right now then there is useable furniture. We figure that we have divested ourselves of about half of our possessions. Seriously! The sheer amount of trash that has been generated by this move has made me very aware of our environmental footprint. I am appalled, embarrassed, horrified, mortified, shamed, humiliated, and any other synonym you could possibly come up with. We have one final trash day in The North Jewish Ghetto this week and then another appointment with Just Junk scheduled for the weekend. We have taken to counselling anybody who is even considering a relocation within the next two decades to begin the process of cleaning and purging immediately. We are NOT joking!!
3. We are now confined to one functional room that has exactly two chairs in which to sit. (This statement does not allow for the bathrooms which of course offers adequate seating.) That room is the bedroom and while many might think of worse places to spend all of one's time, I have begun to think of myself as a political prisoner under house arrest. You know that you can move around the house, but that you are most definitely limited in those movements.
4. You know that your move is imminent when....the stress causes your hair to dry out, your skin to break out and sleep is a miserable afterthought. Oh...and I am eating far too much chocolate and yet have dropped a few pounds. Craziest diet EVER!
5. I have spent hours over the last several days washing, sweeping, vacuuming, and disinfecting. This house will be cleaner than it has been in years, and it was never dirty. Why am I going to all this trouble for people I have never met and have absolutely no feeling for? Because I'm a nut, that's why. I'm just like Golda in Fiddler when she said, "I just can't leave a dirty house. "
6. I had taken to leaving the TV on switched to my favourite all-news channel while packing. I had to cease and desist because I couldn't remember where we packed the Rolaids, GasEx, and Pepto Bismol.
7. I have been actively searching for my sense of humour, but it seems to have gone AWOL. I find that I am taking offense at the most innocuous of statements. I'm tired, ill-fed, and feeling enormously displaced. My sarcasm detector has taken a sabbatical so if I jump to conclusions I shouldn't, please cut me some slack. I am at the end of my tolerance rope.
8. Speaking of ill-fed, we are trying not to stock up on too much food because we will just have to move it next week. As a result, we are having to get creative with meal planning. What kind of vegetarian meal can you all come up with that involves 20 or so bottles of flavoured vinegars, 6 jars of various flavoured mustards, dark chocolate ice cream sauce, and 8 Roma tomatoes? Recipes happily accepted.
9. I have taken to wandering around the house in search of tasks. As our list dwindles, I am finding it hard to believe that we are actually moving next week. I suppose that I think that keeping busy will keep me from crying. When I first started writing about this move back in May, I was unequivocal in my belief that it was just a house and a home is where the memories are made. I still believe that to be true, but this endless process of sorting, organizing, and purging has brought the past flooding back. I remember bedtime stories read, birthday celebrations, pool parties, youth group sleep-overs, arguments fought, weddings, bar mitzvahs, graduations, a goofy labrador retriever, camp laundry, a shiva, giggles, tears, Shabbat dinners, a few backyard Kabbalat Shabbat services, dear ones who were here and will never see the new place, and yes...even the f***ing squirrels. It all happened here in The North Jewish Ghetto and in this house. I better understand now why my sons are having a bit of difficulty with this move and I am more incisively aware of their nostalgia and their pain. If I have been dismissive of that, I profoundly apologize. I hope to be able to convince them with a more acute sensitivity that the new place is a good thing for The Husband and me, and that new memories for all of us will be made there. No, it won't be the same. But if home is truly where the heart is, it can only get better.
Ten days and counting.....