I went over to the cupboard in my kitchen this morning and stood looking through the glass doors at all that it held inside—so much more than just dishes was there peeking back out at me.
Memories were there. Christmas dinners from the past were there. My grandchildren’s crooked pottery bowls, even wedding gifts from my first marriage were there.
What do I pack? What do I take with me? Are we leaving forever or are we leaving for a little while?
“I don’t really know how to respond to this move,” I told my husband. “I’m feeling sad and happy at the same time. I’m torn.”
I have lived in Tucson for 47 years, my husband has lived here for 20.
We are in our 70’s and we are relocating for business reasons. My husband, “The King of I’ll Never Retire,” has found new horizons in California––what could arguably be referred to as the Land of New Horizons—and so we had a conversation several months ago
It was a conversation in which he had just come back from his third trip in ten days from San Diego and in which it had occurred even to me that maybe we should consider actually moving to San Diego rather than him flying there over and over again.
“Honey,” he said at dinner one night, “Let’s talk about San Diego.”
It was so right and just made so much sense that it took about ten minutes, maybe twenty for us to decide.
All was good.
Soon after I found myself standing in front of my kitchen cupboard not thinking about the adventure, the opportunity or even of the plain fun of it, but thought instead about the history and the stories in each and every dish in my cupboard.
That was when I started to cry.
“What should I do?” I asked my husband tearfully. “What should I pack?”
We will be moving into a tiny little furnished cottage in San Diego and renting out our house in Tucson—with all its furniture—while we are gone. We have found tenants for our house already, which is the good news. The bad news is that I have to pack away all of our personal belongings
Like I said. “I’m torn.”
Then my husband told me a story.
It’s a story about him and about his collection of 500 LP’s and about how when he moved here from Canada with his late wife he had to pack his LP’s all up in boxes and ship them here. When the boxes arrived there was not enough room to unpack them and they stayed unopened for years and years.
“When I was finally was able to open those boxes,” he said. “It was like seeing old friends for the first time in a long time.” I got to say hello again.
“I got to say hello again.”
What a great way of putting it.
I realized that I could pack everything from my cupboard and not even think about what I should or should not take, what would fit or would not fit, what I would pine over or not pine over. I could say goodbye to it all now towards the day that I would say hello to it all again.
“If we stay in San Diego,” my husband said, “We’ll call a mover and have them pick up everything you packed away and bring it to San Diego….”
….”and I can say hello to it again.”
“…and you can do the same thing if we move back to Tucson.”
“Everything will seem all brand new by then.”
Isn’t that what all of life is about really? Being able to say goodbye to this while saying hello to that? Whether it’s 500 LP’s, a cupboard full of dishes, or 47 years in Tucson. Now it is time to move and make the decisions. Whatever comes with us will be invaluable and appreciated. Whatever remains behind will be an old friend and reminder of fond memories and experiences from past events. Until we meet again…
California, here we come.
Author: Carmelene Melanie Siani