Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Inspector's call

We are using the same moving agency that we used nine years ago when we moved to California. Even the inspector is the same, the one who came to survey the house and take notes of everything that had to be moved. But last time we were only going away for a year, and we were coming back. We didn’t take plates, pots and pans, bed linen, curtains and carpets. We just took clothes, books – too many books – and some dear things to make it feel like home.

Now we are moving for ever. Everything that we leave behind will be gone, we cannot save it until later, we cannot change our minds. My initial idea was to travel light. Shake off the old life, begin anew. There is nothing that cannot be replaced. But the inspector – bless him – made me think it over. Every piece of furniture I pointed at saying that it was not going with us he would examine carefully explaining to me that my possessions were unique and had probably been in the family for centuries (which is true), and that his company could easily handle grandfather clocks and mirrored cupboards. He made me realize how much I loved the awkward dining table and how much I would miss it. He made me realize that it actually cost less to move a sofa than to buy a new one. He assured me that crystal glasses and ancient plates would be delivered safely.

Suddenly I felt that the situation was not as dramatic as I had thought. We didn’t have to leave everything behind and flee like refugees with our clothes tied in a bundle. We were simply changing residence.

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