Saturday Stories: Moving Again


I am getting my household ready to move again this summer, so I have moving on my mind. When I was little and my dad got “orders” to a new military base, we didn’t usually worry about how much stuff we had. Mom was and still is an avid antique lover. Each time we moved she scoured the countryside for antique shops. If you were to go through her house today, she could tell you where she found all of her “finds.” She had a table with two drawers that didn’t have any knobs. She found a beautiful sandwich glass pull at a shop and purchased it. She found two more identical ones through the years in other places. That table still has only 3 knobs because she never found the fourth.

In Ohio, she found what we refer to as “the red cupboard.” It is about 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide. The top is about a foot deep with two doors. The bottom part is thicker with two drawers next to each other and then two doors at the very bottom. When Mom found it, the owner had cut a hole in one bottom door for his cats. Mom had it repaired and then refinished it. It has been in the family kitchen ever since.

The only move my parents had to do on their own was into their present home. All of the others were done professionally and paid for by the military. I remember the Mayflower trucks, the Atlas trucks and the United trucks pulling up. The packers would come the day before and in a whirlwind of activity get everything into boxes. The next day the Big truck would show up early and the loading would begin. Mom hovered over some of the more delicate antiques. In every move, we would either lose something or something would break. Our worst move was between Missouri and Michigan. We lost only certain valuable items than should have been randomly packed in boxes. It was suspicious, as if the packers had cased the stuff. Sometimes we still sit around the table talking and reminisce about items we miss…”remember that old yellow glass bottle? or my little red table?”

When we would arrive at our new home, we’d try to get all of the moving stickers off, but it seemed like we were always finding some we missed. I have that same problem in my home now. As I have been getting things in order, I am finding moving stickers from our last move. I think it’s funny that no matter how hard we try, there is always one illusive sticker on the bottom of some piece of furniture or box.

If I hadn’t been shuffled all around the country as a kid, it would probably be a lot harder to move today. My kids, who have only moved twice in their lives, fear moving a lot more. For me, it’s just part of life. In our homes in Washington, I would rearrange the furniture every two or three years (or more often) because I had the itch to move. It’s crazy how things like that stay with you. I would be nomadic all of my life if I could. I love to travel, I love to be in new (to me) homes. However, I hate to pack and I really hate deciding what can stay and what has to go.

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