Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pack It Up

Three weeks from today I will wake up in my new city – San Francisco.

I will be living out of my suitcase, and much of what will be in that suitcase will belong to Maggie the Cat, as I know she will need her blanket and her toys and her scratching mat to comfort her in her new surroundings. Fortunately, friends will arrive in my car a couple of days later, and with them will be a second suitcase full of things to comfort me – and extra clothes and shoes, of course.

The rest of my stuff – what little there is – will go in storage until I sign a lease on an apartment. Remember the 46 boxes of books I gave away over the past year? Somehow, I still have enough books to fill 14 boxes, though two of the boxes are really small. Of those books I’ve held onto, only three will go to new homes. The rest are now in boxes, taped shut and labeled and sitting in rows in the empty dining room.

Yes! Packing has commenced!

Talking about packing has filled up a lot of time in the past three weeks while I was writing instead of packing. The writing was welcome, several assignments I agreed to take on before proceeding to pack. A week ago Friday, I finished the last assignment at 7:30 p.m. “That’s it,” I said to myself. “No more working until I’m settled into my new place.”

On Monday, I decided I really needed to write one more article, get the July HealthWatch feature finished so my editor didn’t have to find someone else to do the job. Found a suitable subject. Interviewed her. Wrote the article. Turned it in on Tuesday. “There,” I said to myself. “That’s the last of the writing I have to do for now.”

On Wednesday, I packed. On Thursday, another editor at a different publication asked me to add a short insert to a profile I recently completed for her. Writing the insert required contacting the subject of the profile and asking just a couple of questions. Of course, I said -- glad to do it. Called the woman, got her thoughtful response and sat here typing away.

Then I started laughing. Writing is easy. Not writing is so hard for me! I love working with words, choosing strong verbs, eliminating pesky adjectives, letting a subject’s personality emerge through quotes. When I finished the insert, I sent it off and sat around for awhile. “Well, no more excuses,” I said to myself. “Time to get back to packing.”

All day Friday, I packed. Then I cleaned up and went to a wonderful party. People I’ve known for 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, even 48 years (that’s you, Susan) were at the party, all gathering to wish me well – and gobble up the delicious food prepared by Gerry and Tom for the crowd. We all laughed a lot, Ken and Charlene sang and as far as I know, Ron was the only one who got weepy. What fun!

Today, the people who are buying the condo stopped by. They wanted to walk through the rooms, see where their furniture would fit, think about what they needed to buy. “It feels like home,” they said. “It’s a wonderful place and we will be happy here.”

I am happy for them, and I will be happy in my new city just three weeks from today. Of course, I have packing to do -- but first, I just had to write this.


  1. packing is always the hardest part. I usually wind up look at everything and dealing with my memories. But, it's so much fun to rediscover what you've kept! I know you will enjoy the move.

  2. You've been "packing" to get rid of things for over a year. NOW you are "packing" to actual MOVE!!! Big difference! This packing is motivating - inspiring - exciting!! I hate to see the countdown numbers getting so small - yet I'm excited for you! And the writing will always be there. It is a part of who you are!