Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Getting ready to move

Time is hurrying along, and we're eight days from moving out of our house, nine days from heading to New Mexico for a radical shift in climate. No more sharp, cold March winds blowing in our faces; no more ice storms coating trees and windshields; no more blizzard warnings as Dick Albert on Channel 5 tells us to bundle up against the co-o-o-o-ld. But also we'll have no more gentle snows with heavy, wet flakes falling as we sing Christmas carols with our neighbors in our community clubhouse; no more red and gold autumn leaves; no more tulips and daffodils heralding spring.

The movers arrive next Wednesday, and we ready as much as we can to minimize expenses. In the basement today, I pitched printouts of old manuscripts I had written with so much enthusiasm and hope. Merciless, I let go of those old dreams. The stories are all safely stored on my computer and backed up on my hard drive in case some day I choose to cannibalize my old work. But now, on paper inside old three-ring binders, those old dreams would cost me seventy cents per pound to transport in the eighteen-wheeler that will pull up in front of my house.

The last time we moved, we did so quickly, with little time to weed through the thousands of reminders of our past. This time the real estate market had turned to favor buyers, and we were slow to sell our house, leaving us with plenty of time to sell, donate, or discard our used-up belongings and ill-considered purchases of the past. The house is emptying, but there is still plenty to do.

Next Thursday, we will drive with our two cats from Massachusetts to New Mexico. Our route will take us through western Virginia and Skyline Drive in the Appalachians. I wish we could stop at a few of the many Civil War battle sites such as Gettysburg and Antietam, but our cats George and Gracie will be restless, asking if we're there yet.

So I am looking forward to the trip, but much more so to the destination, and most of all to settling down again, making new friends, and writing.

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