Monday, July 20, 2015

Life among the Boxes

We move a week from tomorrow. Our Pods arrive today. (One is already here, in fact--I had to move the car to the street because it's pretty much blocking the driveway.)

I'm almost wishing that I felt more ambivalent about leaving Field Town, but frankly I'm impatient. We've already had our going-away party, and then on Saturday I went to a (former) colleague's going-away party, and it's all starting to feel redundant. We've been doing the "Oh-I'm-sure-I'll-see-you-again" thing, knowing that in most cases, we won't; this helps to soften the blow, but by now, I more or less just want to disappear. Good-byes should only be so long.

But Field has been so important in my life: my first faculty position, meeting my husband, my child's hometown. Eight years! I was only in graduate school for seven.

And will I ever come back? We say yes, but we know (and say among ourselves) that it's unlikely. The town is two and a half hours from the nearest big city, and the possibility of even visiting said city is pretty remote--most of the people that we know there have moved away by now. And, at least until there's a change in administration, we both want very little to do with Field College proper from here on out. That's not a good feeling, by the way. I hate it that our relationship with our former employer has soured, due to--well--meanness. Quite simply.

Anyway. So much to look forward to! The three-week gap between closing on our Field house and closing on our New house is going to be a bit unwieldy, but we'll spend a few days with friends, a few days at the (Midwestern) beach, and time with both of our families. And then: Moving in! Our great new house! My great new job!

Seriously. When I can see through all the mini-crises and the stress (our [current] house appraised at less than the sale price! the seller of our [new] house was refusing to sign the contract! Bonaventure hasn't had some obscure screening that's required for his new nursery school! etc!), I marvel at my good fortune. I hit the freaking jackpot.*

*I may be speaking too soon, of course; who knows what politics and weirdness await? All jobs have politics and weirdness, after all. HOWEVER: 65% salary increase + 50% teaching reduction = awesomeness no matter how you slice it. Not to mention reducing the distance between me and my family from 15 hours of driving to 2.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Survivor: Moving Edition

We got our moving estimate today, and it was a little over twice what NewU will contribute. (More money might be available, but it also might not, so I'm not going to count on it.) I was pretty floored. We live modestly, I think, in a 1300 sf two-bedroom house; we're getting rid of our dining room set; we have only one pretty lightweight couch and no entertainment stuff (TV, "entertainment center," etc.); and so on. Now, we do have a Vespa and a small (50 lb.) boat, so those add a little weight--but still. How on earth do we have an estimated 12,000 pounds of stuff?

So we're looking a little bit at other moving companies, but without a great deal of hope. And we're figuring out how to lighten our load.

One of our strategies will be to fill our little car with all the small-but-heavy items: cast-iron skillets, the marble top of a small table, the blender and food processor bases, TM's collection of antique weights for his scale (purchased in Paris, no less. OK, maybe I can start to see how we live heavily...).

The second strategy is to ditch as much of our stuff as we can.

We've already had a yard sale and, between that and a carload to the thrift store and a hefty clothing donation to the foster-care organization a friend works for, we've gotten rid of nearly all of Bonaventure's baby stuff (my pangs of ambivalence about this went away entirely when I learned how much the move will cost), an absurdly heavy and pretty ugly coffee table ($2!), a superfluous desk, a file cabinet, our spare iron, and four boxes of books. But the purging must continue.

I'm working on getting rid of more books; I have old translations of Russian novels that are probably more readable in more recent translations (and they're in dingy paperback form, so there's no real reason to be attached to these copies except that I read them once), and I'm working on getting rid of novels that I probably won't read again and could get at any public library if I decide that I must. So that's a start.

But what about:
  1. sweaters that I don't really wear much, or at all, but that I knit myself?
  2. art books that don't much interest me but were gifts and probably expensive? and that I might be interested in one day? (yeah right)
  3. our second copies of Wheelock's Latin textbook and the JACT Reading Greek series? Isn't it true that TM and I vitally need our own copies of each?
  4. the second pizza paddle, which is a little too small for a proper pizza but might hypothetically come in handy? (and that weighs about 3 ounces?)
  5. all the CDs that I bought in high school? (I got rid of the cases several moves ago.)
  6. the five Harry Potter books that I own, three of them in hardback?
  7. VHS tapes?
  8. audio cassettes?
  9. a speaker set and subwoofer when one of the speakers seems to be broken, and we don't know whether it's fixable? (It's not even our main speaker set.)
  10. leftover fancy paper used to print the final copy of our dissertations (in, let's recall, 2007)?
And this is just what occurs to me right now.  Discuss and vote, please.

In all of this, of course, I am at once inspired and horrified by Notorious Ph.D.'s recent, drastic purging of everything. (Horrified not by her actions, but rather by the thought of doing the same myself. And also inspired by the same thought. It's a dangerous temptation.)