We left the house yesterday. In a certain way, it felt like we were checking out of a vacation home, looking through all the rooms for leftover objects, not thinking about what went on in the rooms hardly at all, but focused on the job at hand. But have you ever had an experience when you have been on vacation and figured out the middle point, and from there, the end point? And that last section, when you want to stretch out the ability to remember what you are doing, is always one of sustained bittersweetness, so that you don’t accentuate the activities but the emotions involved…
Of course, we had help for this check-out. And wouldn’t you know, they found things that the movers didn’t take or that I didn’t find afterwards, either. A whole drawer full of aluminum foil and personalized napkins. Yes, I had a big kitchen.
But the helpers did more than that. They helped us remember the bittersweetness of moving, that it wasn’t just a vacation.
The drive following continued to make us focus on what experiences we were leaving behind, along with the people and the place. As we drove away towards Manhattan to visit family, we passed by many places we had been over the forty years together here in America. And each place we passed opened up with memories of what we did there; the 3-kid school I taught in in an outpost of New Haven; the times our car[s] broke down along the Merritt Parkway; the people we knew in various communities. I was reminded of the book of Devarim, how Moses tells the people of the various stops their parents took leaving Egypt, but doesn’t go into detail always about what happened there. The mention of the place seems to be enough to trigger collective memories.
We are in an oasis right now, having left our place, on our way to be on our way. So I have a chance to reflect on this journey just a bit. I started this post when the Amazon truck pulled up last week on what would be our last delivery.
I certainly don’t remember the first. I will now probably look it up because my curiosity is piqued. But that’s just for Amazon. We’ve been in this house now for 36 years. The first delivery would have been through the Post Office or perhaps UPS. I am not going to research that now.
Oh, this is delicious. The very first order we placed with Amazon was a gift for someone. It was on March 7, 1998, for a book (which was, of course, what Amazon started out as) called Thank you for Being Such a Pain: Spiritual Guidance for Dealing with Difficult People. How grateful we were for that book!
So the last delivery would be a second second skin. How fitting that is!
Oh, the puns that are engendered here!
More information– the second skin is a covering for a Macbook for Hebrew; it fits like a second skin. See what I mean about how fitting, in every way? After all, taking on another language is like a second skin, with the hopes of flexibility and usefulness being included for our real experience in Israel.
But don’t think that that was our last Amazon delivery; just to our old house. After all, our order for a Hario Ceramic coffee grinder was delivered on Sunday to our daughter’s house. After all, we’re going to need to be awake to deal with our second skins’ bittersweet experiences ahead.