Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Two if by sea (but maybe not the two we were expecting)

Our belongings arrived at long last yesterday, just over six weeks after they left our New Jersey home for a slow boat journey across the Atlantic. We've all been eagerly awaiting this shipment, each for our own reasons. I've been dreaming of stir frying in my big Calphalon pan, sleeping on my own pillows, weighing myself on a scale that measures pounds rather than stones and placing those nice antibacterial Bath and Body Works hand soaps in each of our bathrooms. (I can't explain this last one, but it's felt very important for some odd reason.) As the weather's turned increasingly chilly, Paul's become more and more anxious to receive his coats, which he unfortunately neglected to pull out of a closet and stick in his suitcase before the closet's contents were packed for shipment. Julia and Evan have been looking forward to riding their bicycles, assembling their train set and rediscovering countless other toys and games. Most of all, I think we were just hoping that with the arrival of our belongings, this place would really start to feel like home.

A day of frantic unpacking and reorganizing later, this place does indeed feel a little more like ours, and we've each been happily engrossed in rediscovering our own belongings. And yet, there have been a few unexpected surprises as well. One of the benefits of moving on a corporate relocation package is that you don't have to pack up your own home; the nice men come in and do it for you. One of the drawbacks of having strangers -- however nice -- pack your belongings, I'm now realizing, is that some of your careful ship/store instructions may get a bit lost in translation.

I will be learning to assess my weight in stones, I'm afraid. That digital scale I'd been looking forward to receiving has either been packed neatly in our storage container back in the States or sacrificed to the Moving Gods. Ditto that great artwork of Julia's that I'd just paid $150 to have professionally framed. The pots and pans I've been dreaming of are here, but somewhat hard to handle without the pot holders that I'd also been expecting. I happily rested my head on my own familiar pillows last night, but Paul probably didn't sleep as well, since his pillows appear not to have made the journey.

But never fear! There were no major omissions from our shipment, thank goodness, and the handful of items that were left behind were replaced by quite a few inexplicable additions. We may not have pillows or pot holders, but we have every note that was passed to me in seventh grade and we have the tiny hooded towels that my children used as infants. Paul has no sneakers here, but we have one of the Robeez puppy shoes that Evan wore religiously before he could walk. It's a shame that we don't have that framed artwork of Julia's, but maybe we could hang my old Girl Scout sash on her bedroom wall instead. No muffin tins made the journey overseas, but we have the tracks to a slot car set (though not the actual car that runs on them), several dozen empty wire hangers and some unidentified audio tapes, all of which are bound to come in handy for... something. We have not been inundated with stuffed animals, having carefully stored the majority of our kids' collections, but my childhood pal Dolly was apparently unwilling to be left behind, because she showed up in a box yesterday, cheerfully winking one broken plastic eye at me.

In addition to (most of) our belongings, our movers shipped us a good laugh, which is never a bad thing. Of the things that are missing, well, we'll replace what we need and live without the rest -- no harm, no foul. Discovering some of the things that arrived in their stead was almost worth the inconvenience, particularly the last page (and only the last page) of a long forgotten copy of Pat The Bunny. Goodbye, New Jersey! Goodbye, belts and books and knick knacks and memories! Paul and Judy are waving bye-bye to YOU.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely an interesting combination of things! I hope that the things which were expected are not lost.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having grown up in a military family, with many moves under my belt, I can certainly relate to the "what made it over intact" queries. To THIS DAY I'm still searching for my secret stash of stickers that I *swear* should have been in box 39.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Oh, but the Girl Scout sash made it! Hooray!

And the adventure continues... :)

8:46 PM  
Blogger Awesomer Mom said...

One time when we moved with movers we found our trash can with trash lovingly packed in a box. Movers do pack some odd things.

I have always wondered this, how many pounds in a stone?

3:26 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

When I was a kid, our family experienced a few corporate moves and I have seen those packers/movers in action. Something else!

You've got me remembering with nostalgia some of our moving experiences while smiling at yours. Thanks.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Rosemary said...

Sounds almost like Christmas, maybe even a bit more exciting.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Awesomer Mom, a stone is 14 pounds. I'm sure I'm just missing some essential fact which makes this number actually make some sense, but for now, cannot think of a more arbitrary -- or useless -- form of measurement. Alas, stones (or a good calculator!) are my future!

6:51 PM  

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