While it would be nice to end the evening on such a celebratory note, our job is far from complete. We've committed to attending a reed-collecting workshop for our thatched roof in Michigan in two days time. All of our worldly possessions must be packed tonight, as we have a twelve hour drive ahead of us tomorrow. For some ungodly reason, neither of us thought to box our things in advance.
We've been living with my mom more or less full time for two years, focusing on paying off the land. It has been a huge pleasure spending so much time with my mother as an adult, and we've all become really, really close. Suddenly, for the first (or second) time, we're facing the reality that we're moving away. The thought of it is heart-wrenching, and it makes us want to cancel all of our plans and live here forever.
As we sit at the kitchen island, eating cereal and drinking emergency espressos for energy, we're feeling stunned. How did we dupe ourselves into believing that "just taking a load of our boxes" to Vermont would be easy? What on earth compelled us to spend the last two months ignoring this huge task? Did we really think it would be devoid of time-consuming work and emotional repercussions?
Unsure where exactly to start packing, I begin right where we're standing: the kitchen. It doesn't seem like it should be a big deal, but in reality, it's quite a production. Jodi doesn't care for cooking or baking, so pretty much everything in here is ours. By the time I'm done removing our supplies, the shelves are practically empty, sparsely littered with a sad can of corn niblets here, a lonesome box of pasta there.
The scene reminds me of a melancholy image of Mother Hubbard's cupboard from a story book I had as a child. Apparently, the bleak illustration has been deeply ingrained in my psyche—the memory of it, combined with my exhaustion and realization that we're moving away, is making me a little weepy.
With the cabinets mostly bare, every last scrap of counter space is covered with hills and mountains of our pots, pans, cooking tools, and food, all heaped together, all ready to be transported to the camper. It didn't look like much when it was all packed away, but out in the open like this, it seems monumental. The hours fly by as we shuttle it all to our camper.
It's 1AM by the time we've finished in the kitchen. As we stumble along slowly, deciding on the next room to vacate (we have belongings littered everywhere in the rest of the house! How did we accumulate so much stuff!?) the enormity of the task at hand weighs heavily on our spirits. With each passing minute, our productivity wanes, and we find ourselves increasingly cranky, sleep-deprived and emotional.
By 7:30 AM, light has gradually filled the sky, turning it from the blackest ebony to a grim, steely grey. The windows are spattered with icy raindrops, and each trek out to the camper to arrange our things is becoming more slippery and treacherous. Still, we're awake; still, we're packing; still, we can't stop shaking our heads in wonder at our uncharacteristic lack of physical and emotional preparation.