Moving from 2100 square feet to just a little over 1200 requires lots of purging. Most of what has been unloaded through either donations or selling online have been items that needed to find new homes: old dressers, dented pots and pans, outdoor furniture, flowered Corning ware, and appliances that have gathered dust over the years. The buyers have been all types, from young couples setting up their first homes to people buying furniture for a visiting aunt or a pregnant daughter. Everyone has a story.
I am grateful I’m able to help them out, so I just pocket the cash and assist as they load their car or truck. I have had no emotional attachment to most of the items that have left our house. I know we will not have room for such things in our new home. I’ve been brutal and almost cold as I extricate things we will no longer need.
Except the wicker. Ah, the wicker. Thirty years ago when I was living the single life down in Dallas, Texas, I purchased a wicker love seat and chair at Pier 1. These two pieces have traveled with me to three Chicago apartments, a rental home in Palatine, the duplex down the street from my parents, the first home I bought on my own, and this house we purchased as a married couple. They have graced living spaces, master bedrooms, and sunrooms. Samantha, one of my first kitties, often snuggled in this wicker furniture as my boys played around her. My old tortoise shell cat Molly snoozed every night on the love seat at the top of the stairs, watching over all who slept near her. Lately, the chair has been in a corner of my office, and as I pounded out words, either Finn or Zooey settled in to keep me company.
Yesterday afternoon a cute young couple pulled in our driveway to haul away my wicker. My heart lurched a bit as they loaded it in the back of their red SUV. I said, “I hope you’re not allergic to cats,” and they replied, “Oh no! We have four!” I knew then my old wicker would be in loving hands.
This morning the corner is empty, with only a carpet indentation left as a reminder. Both cats seem lost. The black one keeps disappearing upstairs while the big furry one snores underneath my writing chair. Their little world is in an upheaval, and all I can do is try to comfort them.
“I know, baby kittens. Your things keep disappearing and I know you’re confused, but we’ll be okay. I promise. Our new place has big windows that let in lots of light for sunbathing and fresh perches for you to enjoy. You will help make this house a home.”
“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” - Jean Cocteau
A job offer has presented us with a new opportunity for adventure. We will soon move our stuff from our hometown to a bigger city filled with rivers, arches, and Cardinals. It is both exciting and terrifying, but we welcome the journey. I hope to chronicle this odyssey as we stumble toward the future. Stay tuned.