from Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer


No father knows that he is carrying his son up the stairs for the final time. p 99

If all goes well, and the stars align, our fridge will finally be delivered today. We’ve been without one for almost a month due to mishaps and and miscommunications. It seems almost surreal that we would have a working fridge, I’ve become numb to the one that’s sitting lifeless in the kitchen. In the beginning I used to open it when I needed something, only to quickly be reminded that it was no longer working and had become, in essence, a big warm empty box.

And if said fridge does arrive and becomes sufficiently cool, we will make one last trip over to the old house to pick up the remaining food. Everything else has been boxed, packed and transported. Carted off to the new house or donated or made its own final journey to the dump. I gathered the last of the tomatoes and will dig up the rhubarb to transplant it here. I’ll take a few final pictures to remind me of what I don’t want to forget.

I have heard from many people that moving to another state is so very different from moving ten miles down the road. So true. We ended up going back and forth between houses these past few weeks. Packing up the car each time with odds and ends until every square inch was fill and then making the trip on the dusty back roads. And I guess I got used to it. I became familiar with every rut and divot, the places where I could speed (just a little) and the spots that required extra slowness.

And I guess in a way this became our normal. Making several trips a day or picking up a load after work became the way of things. As I look back now, with the wisdom of a woman who still has a houseful of boxes that need to be unpacked but whose bruises are fading, I see it was a transitional time. Almost a weaning off of the familiar and becoming accustomed to the new. Each time we would pull up to the house to grab more boxes I silently said a prayer to “Let this be the last time.” All the while knowing that it wouldn’t be and some small part of me was glad. If I don’t move everything out, then I don’t really have to leave…  It’s not that I want two houses or the hassle of living with one foot in each, but it’s hard to say goodbye.

I wasn’t conscious of most of the lasts. I do remember before we took the bed apart thinking “The next time we sleep in this bed it will be in the new house.” Maybe that’s the better way to approach this situation to focus on the new house, the new space, the way our lives will be forever changed by owning a place instead of renting. But the new and the old are jumbled like socks in a moving box. Hellos and goodbyes are two contented kittens sleeping a pile in the sun– you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins.  Firsts and finals overlap in my heart so I don’t know how to feel.

What I do know, is that right now I am sitting at the dining room table, which has finally found a home in an actual dining room. I have two dogs sleeping at my feet– one old, one new.  There are, blissfully,  a few more days of our vacation left. Tomorrow we will make the trip down to see T and take him to lunch. If all goes well, we will have a small fridge to give him. But only if the big fridge finally arrives. Fingers crossed.





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