Monday, October 4, 2010


I think this move to my aunt & uncle's house was my twenty-second - somewhere around there.  It sure doesn't get more fun with experience, but I still enjoy some of the unpacking and arranging things, especially my books.  Someone told me once I was a "nester" - taking time and care to arrange my space before I work or live in it.

I was born way into personality type A - anal retentive, uptight, things have to be just so, etc.  I'm a bit more balanced now, 'though I'm still exploring this new, type B territory (such as chilling out a bit too much and forgetting to pay my bills...).  As I packed for the 22nd time, however, it was interesting to see that I'm still type A in that regard.  As a result of that, I didn't have everything packed when it was time to move, and a relative, who's more of a type B packer, (or maybe he just wanted to get it over with) helped me out.  I noticed these differences in our styles:

Type A:  Like items must go in the same box
Type B:  Put box at edge of table or shelf and use arm to sweep anything and everything into box, or put box on floor and use hands like an excavator (I had to look up the name of that thingie) to pick up whatever is nearby and dump into box

Type A:  Every little space in the box must be filled; this means you need to spend time looking around and thinking about what would best fit in that space.  Try a few different things to see which has the best fit.
Type B:  Once stuff is in box, close it

Type A:  Everything has to be arranged in the box so that all of its space is used efficiently (therefore you can get more stuff in it); re-arrange things a few times if necessary
Type B:  see above

Type A:  Tape box shut
Type B:  see above

Type A:  Label boxes according to rooms they go in or items in box
Type B:  What's a label?

Fortunately, at that point in the moving process, I was just thankful for the help.  I thought many times about just packing what I wanted to take with me and then leaving a sign on the front door that said, "Free stuff - please take!"

One day I was loading stuff into my car (we stretched the move over several days and smaller loads - I discovered that I like that way a whole lot better than one move with a big truck).  During one trip from the car to the house I stopped, looked at the front of the house, and thought, something's different.  Then I realized my shepherd's crook/plant hanger thingie with the bird feeder hanging on it was missing.  I was going to leave it at the house anyway, so I didn't care about it being gone, but I was curious.  I walked closer to the spot to look for clues, but my love for Sherlock Holmes hasn't translated into practical use, and I learned nothing about the plant hanger.  What I did learn, however, was that the front of the house, the entire front of the house, was covered in faint black mold spots.  You can't see them until you get up close.  Top to bottom, side to side, the spots were everywhere - the house looked like it had polka dots.  I looked at the other sides of the house and found more mold spots.  I'd known there were small patches of mold inside the house, but they didn't seem to be growing so I didn't worry about them.  Suddenly seeing that my house had the moldy chicken pox was a shock, and now I'm really glad I'm not living there anymore.  I told my mom that if I stop acting weird, it must have been the mold.  (I hope I don't.)

The next day, I was unloading other stuff from my car into my new digs, using the door that goes from my room into the back yard.  I walked out of my room and was heading to the car when I stopped short: that shepherd's crook and bird feeder in my aunt & uncle's back yard looked awfully familiar....  Later, I asked my aunt about it and it turns out my uncle had grabbed it along with the other stuff he was loading into his truck one day.  I never would have thought to bring it along, but seeing it there touched and encouraged me.  Now I have a reminder here of the yard I loved and good times spent in that yard, and it's wonderful.  It's right outside my back door, and later that day I sat down on the back deck to rest and looked at the crook and feeder and the tree it was next to and spent some time just "being" in my gratitude for God and my family and friends' care for me.  (I believe the tree was like that when a & u moved in; I enjoy it as a reminder that it's good to be silly sometimes.)

My room here reminds me in many ways of my room on my 2008 retreat: one room with bed, desk, and chair (plus a bunch of other junk now), attached bathroom, living with others, (although there's the itty-bitty difference now of a man also living on the premises - oops, I mean a great big difference), etc.  I even have my tree outside my window, except instead of reminding me of protection and blessing, this tree reminds me to be happy and that all is well.

The last couple of days at my old house my cat friend Ozzy came by several times.  He was a welcome and comforting animal friend since the dogs were gone.  On the last day, he'd visited earlier but was gone as I made the final trips to the car.  When I was ready to go, I shut the door and as I was walking to my car Ozzy darted in front of me, seemingly out of nowhere.  As I drove away, I saw him sitting up straight in the driveway, as if he was seeing me off and wishing me well.  Happy mouse-hunting to you, my friend.

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