Thanks for all of the GREAT pack-out advice over the last few weeks. There is nothing like getting real advice from people who have done this many times. We have all of our stuff (all - taking up about two little nooks in my Mother's home) separated into two piles: UAB -Unaccompanied Air Baggage that they will bring straight to our apartment in D.C. in a couple of weeks and the HHE - House Hold Effects that will be stored in Virginia until we are shipped overseas to our first post. Our piles are in two separate rooms, as per the great advice, and someone is coming to eyeball our stuff on Thursday to see how long they will need to plan for packing and how many boxes/men they will bring.
"So, where's the rest of your stuff?"
"..ummm, this is it."
"...You can pretty much carry this on your back, you know"
We have been staying with Max's parents for a few days now and this puts us at 21 different places of residence since last July (including various hostel situations - some of which were indeed hostile). 21. I have to say we've gotten pretty good at moving from place to place. I once had a college roommate whose collegiate recipe for a good day was simply "Toothbrush, Eye drops, Bra". She's not too far off. I usually need my camera and/or computer, but after that a toothbrush and a bra will about do it.
I've been thinking a lot about what makes a home. Surprisingly I haven't really felt any sense of displacement or homelessness, when in fact, I am in a most homeless of states. Perhaps the reality that Max has been my only "home" constant for that past few years has set me free of conventional conceptions of home. If I'm with Max, I'm home. Even though I'm crap at them, I think family routines also help make a house a home also. We have tried to eat sit down meals with our family a bit here to normalize our transition. Eating is one routine Max and I are both pretty good at:) There was a time in Jerusalem when I was working from 4-7 four days a week and even though I was only working 12 hours a week, missing mealtime, what I've come to think of as a sacred time of the day for restoration and communion, I felt out of control and all around crazy. So meals have become "homey" to me - it's something that can be the same in Farmington, Utah or Maputo, Mozambique.
Not to get too after school special, but I wonder what things have made your house a home for you as you have moved away, some of you to college or after you get married and others who have made a life of moving from one place to another?
* I just told Max we'd lived in 21 different places this year and he said "Oh. That's Why I'm So Tired." And it is.