The Leaving

We'll be back for the cherry blossoms

We’ll be back for the cherry blossoms…

We left Domehenge (or should it be called Dometon Abbey?) on February 1st, well after 9:00am. It wasn’t the most graceful of leavings. The car was having a hard time parting, and when it heard the beckoning of a snow-filled ditch it gracefully slid into it, ignoring the driver completely. Saved, it probably thought. Now they can’t move.

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…and the forsythia.

And for a good half hour we couldn’t. Back and forth I rocked it while Mark stood knee-deep in snow pushing as well. He finally took over the steering wheel and with a few more dramatic rocks he was back on the road. We were on our way.

Mark in the living room, before the movers came.

Mark in the living room, before the movers came.

This is, by the way, not a final move at all. That would have been too traumatic. I like to think of it as a transitional move – something fun and adventurous, and a step towards setting up a home closer to family. We plan to be back on the mountain when the forsythia and cherry blossoms are in bloom and will stay until the leaves have fallen, and hopefully before the first snowfall.

Decisions, decisions

Decisions, decisions

We knew, with the small apartment we were moving to, that we had to take the minimum amount of furniture. We had the apartment floor plan and dimensions, as well as the dimensions of our furniture. Together we walked through the house, measuring and selecting.

Green stickers marked things to go

Green stickers marked things to go

Mark had sheets of colored round stickers. He placed one on each piece that was going. Almost our entire living room had stickers on it. I got a lump in my throat visualizing it empty.  There’s hardly been a day that I haven’t walked in there and said to myself, “I love this room” – the furniture, the rug, the windows, the art works – the whole ambience. I call it my “Zen room”. But it’s time now to move on.

My art studio, before.

My art studio, before.

The dining table definitely wouldn’t fit in the apartment. We debated about just leaving it. It was so beautiful where it was, and the right size for family gatherings. However, the movers were coming and it seemed wise to take advantage of that and send the table off to the Wallace household. We placed a sticker on it and on each of the chairs. A sticker went on the china cabinet and another on my mother’s table – the one we would use in the apartment.

My art studio, after.

My art studio, after.

The old yellow kitchen table now stood alone. (The tables will be another blog.) There were very few pieces of furniture we were taking from the downstairs rooms – two dressers, two desks, a bookcase, and a chair. A new bed had already been assembled and set up by Megan, Bill, Aidan and Ben in the apartment along with the bedside tables.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThose were the easy decisions. But what household items would go – what clothing, art supplies, kitchen utensils, office supplies, business files, ham radio equipment, knick knacks, pots and pans, casserole dishes and so forth?

We wanted to divide them between both households. We collected cartons, selected the items, packed them in the cartons, and labeled each as to which room it would go. We piled them on the guest bed. Mark put a pole across the shower for a hanging rod, and we chose the clothes that would go to Rockville with us and hung them across it. (I wish I had taken more!) Books and artwork remain and will go to the apartment in the fall when we leave the mountain again and return to Rockville.

Movers making the turn into the driveway

Movers making the turn into the driveway

Our neighbor Jason, who does everything for us on the mountain (all our construction, house painting, repairing, plowing, mowing, small jobs and big jobs), prepared the road for the moving van. He made sure it was well plowed, put extra cinders down on the steep hills, widened the turn into the driveway, and cleared enough space for the truck to turn around.

Time to load up!

Time to load up!

The movers arrived promptly on Friday morning, January 31st and backed into the driveway. Stan and Karen, who own and operate Sojourn Movers, and Bill and Buddy their helpers, packed us up quickly and efficiently, with good humor to go along with it.

Pondering the gear table

Pondering the gear table

The “gear table” was their biggest challenge, or at least the heaviest, but down the stairs they took it and into the moving van it went. They put the dining table and chairs in last, along with our two 30-plus year old gardenia plants to drop off at Megan and Bill’s before going to the apartment.

Even the gardenias have to go

Even the gardenias have to go

They even moved our TV furniture to the living room, and brought the heavy futon couch from my studio up in front of the TV. Off they went, leaving us in a much emptier home. We spent the rest of the day cleaning it up and getting ready to leave the next morning.

“I want to leave by 7:30,” I said to Mark. “We need to stop by the dump and then get the car washed but that should still give us time to get to Rockville about the same time as the movers.”

Off to Rockville!

Off to Rockville!

We left at 9:00am, and after our visit into the ditch, a very much later leaving than I’d hoped. We dropped our trash off at the dump and headed to the car wash at Sheetz. Everyone in town apparently had the same plan – the line there was way too long. We drove by. Another frustration, but we decided we’d stop in Cumberland to get it done.

Mark in the living room, after the movers left.

Mark in the living room, after the movers left.

I wanted to call the kids and let them know where we were and that we were running late. The cell phone was dead. I could have sworn I had charged it up. I hunted in the glove compartment for the battery charger. It wasn’t there. My patience was running thin. We made a stop at US Cellular and fortunately they had a charger for a Tracfone. I called Megan and that made me feel better. She, Bill, Alison and Bob were at the apartment, as were the movers. All was well. All was in good hands.

As I said, it was not the most graceful of leavings. But we drove on. Yes, we were on our way. We headed to Rockville to start a new life in a new apartment and in a new community.

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Comments

Yay – off to Rockville you went! I had no idea Santa came to help you move!

Denny dear, this is so moving to me. You’ve written about the process of disengaging (even part-time) in such a beautiful way. All the decisions, what to let go of, where to put it,, save it, or take with you? The struggle with and in the ditch, at the car wash, with the phone, all of it vivid and very real. I had a lump in my throat as I read about the several pieces of furniture so precious to you and to the whole family. Thank you, thank you for this beautiful piece.

The photographs bring it even more to life: we’ve never seen the cherry blossoms at the dome, or the forsythia – how gorgeous! And Mark in his chair and after the move – how exquisitely his body expresses the reality of those two moments. With so much love and gratitude,

Anne

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