Pack Up by Dayle Lynne

Topic: Boxes

I used to look forward to moving. I did it so frequently as a child that I learned to embrace it. Every move was a chance to start over, a chance to make new friends, a chance to discover new things.

My mom-mom’s house in East Falls had a backyard full of “gold rocks”, crab apples, and chestnuts. Royersford had Alan’s, the candy store on Main Street. Audubon had a cool playground. Well, until they leveled it to expand the parking lot. Eagleville had the wooded area with the poison ivy where my friends and I set up our “club house”.

Lawrenceville had the video store with the vast selection of indie flicks and the gorgeous clerk who would recommend them to me. Princeton had over-priced, but outstanding delis. Riverside had Scott Street with the hippie shop and independent bookstore. Wissahickon had the playground that was immersed in tree cover – making my daylight-hating-self more apt to take my daughter out.

Every move has presented a new opportunity to find some hidden gem. Until now. As I think about the boxes and totes stacked in my basement, the ones I haven’t bothered to unpack in the two years since I’ve lived here, I dread the thought of doing this all over again. I’m tired.

32 years old and my next move will make it an even 20. I think about packing again and unpacking again. I think about the yard sales and more trash bags than I can count. I think about deciding, once again, what trinkets from my life don’t hold enough meaning to cart over to a new house.

I’ll go to supermarkets and 7-11s to ask for boxes. I’ll go to Walmart and buy more totes. I’ll ask my friend whose brother-in-law works for Dunkin Donuts if she can get me boxes again. Everyone will tell me that I have too much stuff. Everyone will tell me that I need to throw more things away. I’ll overreact and cry about how these are my memories and I can’t just throw away my memories. They’ll get exasperated and throw their hands up and tell me I’m overreacting. I’ll give them an evil stare.

If this was a year and a half ago, I’d walk outside and smoke a cigarette. Now, I’ll probably go pour a glass of wine from the box in the refrigerator.

I am tired of packing and unpacking my life. I’m tired of opening up the same boxes over and over and over again. Newspapers and bubble wrap to protect the fragile stuff. Packing tape and Sharpies to seal and label.

We need someone to drive the moving van. Or maybe we can save up enough to hire movers. And then we’ll load everything in, set up the furniture, bring the boxes to the proper rooms, and start the organization process. And the whole time I’ll be thinking, “If I don’t unpack everything and keep things organized in totes, it will make it easier for the next time I move.”

I’m tired.

It’s not exciting anymore. And at the risk of sounding cliché, I’m too old for this shit.

But I’ll do it. Because I have to. Because I keep hoping that my next move will be the move home.

10 Responses to “Pack Up by Dayle Lynne”
  1. Jen Hurowitz says:

    “Audubon had a cool playground. Well, until they leveled it to expand the parking lot.” I think I know which one you mean, and I didn’t know they leveled it. Ah, Jersey.

    “Because I keep hoping that my next move will be the move home.” I can relate so much to this line. When I left Jersey 6 years ago and moved to Maryland, I truly didn’t feel “home” until my husband and I moved into our townhouse 2 years ago. I cried with a sense of relief, that finally it had happened. And I realized that even in NJ, for a long time I didn’t feel like I was home. I hope this next move gets you closer to that feeling, because every person should have it. Good luck and hugs!

    • Dayle Lynne says:

      Thank you so much, Jen! I realized recently that it’s been a very long time since I’ve felt “home” and I am so ready to get that back!!

      I’m so happy you were able to find your home! 🙂

      My Audubon was in PA – maybe it has something to do with the name! 😛 The funniest part was that cars never parked there, but I did see several women use the spaces as sunbathing spots!

  2. Denise says:

    I will drive the truck! I will get you boxes, I will pack, unpack, label and seal. I will try to talk you into getting rid of “stuff” that is just “stuff”. I will laugh and cry with you. I will turn you off when you start babbling about how special your “stuff” is and I will do it all with a smile because you are my friend and I love you. Just say when and you know I’ll be there. xoxo

    • Dayle Lynne says:

      Number 1 – I love you whole bunches!
      Number 2 – Some of my “stuff” isn’t just “stuff” so :P::: (which, by the way, is a raspberry).
      Number 3 – I wives you!!

  3. Richard Wiseman says:

    Yeah with you on the next move being the one home. I want the next one to be a move home too. Thanks for validating my feelings. Funny really I wrote a poem for Jared to post up on this ‘project’ and it’s practically the same subject; I don’t know why I wrote a poem. I’m glad I did as I couldn’t have written about the ‘moving house thing’ in prose as well as you have.

    • Dayle Lynne says:

      Thank you, Richard!

      I really did use to enjoy it. I thought for a long time I had inherited my mom’s gift for the “get up and go” but it’s just gone . . . then again, as much as she moved, by my age she had found her “home”, so maybe she would have lost the “get up and go” thing too!

      I’m looking forward to reading your poem!!

  4. I hope this move is the one home for you, too!
    I do the same thing when we have moved – gotten boxes from stores. Boxes are ridiculously expensive if you try to buy them!
    I don’t ever mind the packing – it’s the unpacking I hate just because it never gets done as fast as I want it to!
    Right now I’m at the point where I need to pretend I’m moving so I can get rid of a bunch of stuff – because I’m just like you – there’s way too much stuff that is too meaningful to me. Good luck this time – I hope it goes as smoothly as possible…and that you don’t have to do it again anytime soon!

    • Dayle Lynne says:

      Thank you, Anne 🙂

      I always said number 20 would be my last one, but the next move is pretty much just a “we need to get the hell out of this house” thing, so I don’t think this will be it. But my birthday is the 21st, so maybe 21 will be my lucky number 😛

      Boxes *are* ridiculously priced. The one benefit I had when I worked at Rite Aid was that I had access to all the boxes I needed!

      I love the whole pretend to move to get rid of stuff thing! We won’t be moving for several months, but we’re starting that process now!

  5. talleygilly says:

    Dayle – I can so relate to this! Loved this line — “Every move has presented a new opportunity to find some hidden gem.” For many years after college, I moved like clockwork every few years, and I loved the fresh start of it. I used it as a technique to discard so many things–both material and emotional. It became a coping mechanism. Now I have to (and actually want to) stay in one place, but I still feel pulls of longing to go somewhere else . . .Good luck with the move and I hope it does feel like home. -A P.S. So glad to see more of your recent writing, I’ve missed you!!

    • Dayle Lynne says:

      Thank you, Alexandra!

      Ideally, I would have a nice, permanent home, but I’d take a lot of vacations! Now, I just need to win the lottery so I can make it happen :p

      I still love the feel of some place new. Walking down a street for the first time, checking out new local shops and restaurants, surrounded completely by new people . . . . but I want to be able to explore while still knowing I have someplace comfortable to return to!

      I’m trying to write more . . . and read more! Progress not perfection ::Smile::

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