The Moving Itch

Four years. I’ve lived in this house for almost four years. We have no plans to sell this one or buy another but the internal clock ticks away.

It’s time to move, it whispers.

Shh! is my response. I like it here.

But it’s time to move.

My internal “moving” clock is pesky. It was irrevocably set at three years during middle school by the superglue combination of attending seventh, eighth, and ninth grades in conjunction with living abroad. It’s a broken radio stuck on static. No matter how I spin the dial, after three years the whispering begins. Staying in place any longer than three years feels weird. It’s like being stuck in someone else’s skin. No matter how I tug, it doesn’t quite fit. And when I look around I see dingy paint and worn carpet. I long to pull up roots and try on some new vista with a different floorplan.

Perhaps this will explain it better: a list of all the places I’ve lived:

  • Seattle, WA – 15th Place NE
  • Seattle, WA – Corliss Avenue
  • Paris, France – suburb Ville D’Avray
  • Burke, Virginia
  • Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, VA – with long stays with my parents in: Paris, France – 15th Arrondisement, Rue d’Alleray and included pack outs from my dorm room into a rented storage space 3 times.
  • Rochester, MN for one summer
  • Raleigh, NC – Six Forks Road
  • Raleigh, NC – Duraleigh Road – one apartment
  • Raleigh, NC – Duraleigh Road – different apartment
  • Raleigh, NC – Duraleigh Road – good grief, 3rd apartment
  • Crawfordsville, IN
  • Sanford, NC – Abbott Drive
  • Sanford, NC – Beachwood Drive
  • and now Morrisville, NC

The funny thing is, while my list is of length, I think it’s about average for Generation X.

What may not be average are my mad moving skillz. None of my stuff gets broken during moves. You pack the wine in the boxes of books so you don’t have to declare it to customs. If you leave garbage in the garbage can when the movers come, it too will get wrapped and packed. (That’s always pleasant!) One of the worst things that can happen on an international move is to have your shipping container fall overboard from the cargo ship. You always, always, have renters or home insurance. If you pack into one of those self-pack pod containers and the contents will stay in it for more than a few days, don’t forget to let off a can or two of bug bomb before you seal it up. Moving boxes and pack paper from storage companies are your friends. They standardize size which makes them easy to stack. When moving locally, black garbage bags are you another good set of friends to have. Always tip the movers and offer lunch and drinks. When doing it yourself, the neighbor boys or coworkers’ teens will bust their butts for $25. Never underestimate the power of a babysitter. And last but not least, if you make a yearly habit of going through closets, the attic, and the garage to give away stuff you don’t use, there will be a lot less to move!

Perhaps now that I’ve written about moving, the internal clock will quiet. If not, one of my characters might find themselves surrounded by half-packed boxes!

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