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September 03, 2011

Home Again, Home Again

By Cornelia Read

So with any luck, while you are reading this I will be driving a U-Haul truck from Exeter, New Hampshire, to Park Slope, Brooklyn.


That would be if New York can avoid tsunamis, tornadoes, typhoons, monsoons, and any other kind of natural/manmade disaster to which geography is heir for the rest of this week. (and yes, I KNOW that Route 66 doesn't go through New York. But still, it's such a great road-trip song...)


I will be returning to the city of my birth, the closest thing I have to a hometown. And I am feeling pretty fucking awesome about that.

I've only got temporary digs, at the moment--a rental in a brownstone that's been sold already, super cheap until the actual closing (through October, anyway.) Here's a pic of what will be my new block:


Pretty damn great, right? Small but with a garden...

At the moment, it is Thursday, and I am supposed to be packing. More than I have already packed. I pick up the U-Haul tomorrow afternoon,


and have to book the guy to help me load it, and have the post office forward my mail, and remember to turn off the electricity and cable before I hit the road. And all that other grownup stuff I so totally suck at.


I have actually made a list of all the shit I have to do between now and Saturday. It's a Word file. It scares me. I prefer not to open it. This is part of the reason I suck at being a grownup.

But... I have moved before (NYC to Long Island


to Hawaii


to Long Island


to Carmel


to Dobbs Ferry


to Long Island


to NYC


to Rhinebeck


to Bronxville


to NYC-for-the-summer-of-sophomore-year-in-college


to Dublin


to NYC-for-the-summer-of-junior-year


to Long Island

Old Westbury Graderns

to Williamstown


to Syracuse


to around-the-world-for-a-year-with-a-backpack


to Syracuse


to Pittsfield


to NYC


to Boulder


(cover art forthcoming, if I can get this damn third draft finished after I unpack in Brooklyn...)

to Cambridge


to Berkeley


to Exeter


to... NYC again.)

It will happen. I will get off my bed and put on some REALLY LOUD MUSIC and actually start putting dishes in a box and throwing out more of my clothes (okay, not throwing out, carrying down to the garage in my current building to pile on top of the donations box, but still: DUMPING.)

And then... then I will be on the road again.


Please wish me luck, and forgive me for not checking in on comments... I'm trying not to drive off the BQE right now...



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Worse than packing----to my way of thinking--is the unpacking. I still have unpacked boxes that we moved into this house 10 years ago. I know I have way too much stuff. My mother fusses at me for having too much stuff--BUT LARGE PORTIONS OF IT IS STUFF SHE HAS GIVEN ME EVERYTIME SHE DOWNSIZES, so I don't feel I can just send it to the Goodwill. (If she couldn't do that, doesn't that mean it's sentimental and she wants me to keep it? ARgh!) Best of luck, Cornelia!

Cool new digs. Good moving luck, Cornelia!

I've only moved house 1 1/2 times so I don't know much about the process. The 1/2 time was the two months prior to my marriage when we gradually moved furniture and other items into our new apartment in the Brookline section of Pittsburgh. Six months later a u haul truck was more than enough for our pitiful accumulation of furniture, wedding gifts and clothing for our move back to my small home town and the house where we currently live. I'd hate to have to pack up now. Too much crap. I do try to prune every so often, but things have a way of accumulating.

Good luck with your move.

Ah, Nancy M--my still-unpacked boxes are in storage in California. And now I also have storage in New Hampshire... and... well... CRAP. And now I'm driving the U-Haul down on Sunday instead, since I'm hoping to get a check fedexed to me today in Exeter. Never a dull moment!

NancyP, thank you!!

Although I have not lived in as many different zip codes as you have, Cornelia, my family moved from neighborhood to neighborhood a lot when I was a kid. Then as an adult I had a hard time settling into one spot, until Steve and I got married. We lived in the house he bought as a bachelor for a couple of years, until one day I saw a brand spankin' new "For Sale" sign on a house I'd never even noticed before, right down the street. I yearned for this house, which was perfect for us, and ended up putting a bid on it while Steve was out of town for several weeks. That bid fell through, but a couple months later, we were able to make a much lower bid, which we got.

We moved in 26 years ago today, and I don't see us leaving here unless it's feet first. Like Peach, I've pruned, but we still have mountains of stuff for our kids to someday deal with.

Cornelia, I wish you much happiness in this move. I know how much you love the city; it will love you back, I hope!

Aw, Peach! I love the idea of only one-and-a-half moves in a lifetime--SO SMART!! Maybe in my next incarnation, I'll do it that way... no such luck this time around, obviously. And thank you for the good wishes!

Karen in O, I think the zip codes don't really matter, it's the damn packing and unpacking--distance you drive the truck (or have it driven, when you're flush) is kind of the fun part. I mean, at least you get to SIT DOWN, right? Without hauling boxes. Thank you for your happiness wishes--this is a two-month move, but I'm hoping the end-of-October zipcode is at the very least adjacent to the Brooklyn one. I just walked up the road to drive the truck back to my current building's parking lot, and Exeter is gorgeous this morning, and everyone on the sidewalk said hello and smiled... some things I'm really going to miss about this place! Also, the no-sales-tax and no-state-income tax parts of "Live Free or Die" TOTALLY don't suck (which reminds me... better make a pit-stop at the State Liquor Store on my way out of Dodge tomorrow)... but I'm still feeling a constant thrill in the pit of my stomach looking forward to being in the thick of the city again, near so many friends I love so dearly--even though it means being away from OTHER friends I love just as much. That's the hell of the diaspora lifestyle. Oddly enough Facebook helps hugely with that. AND blogging. I feel as though I get to carry all my beloveds with me these days, even if I'm just checking email on my iPhone in a rest-stop, while taking a quick pee-and-refueling break from driving place to place to place to place.

What a kickass neighborhood! Fall in NYC is fantastic.

I am tired just thinking about all the times you've packed and moved.

Lots of luck, Cornelia. Remember, any unpacked boxes after three months automatically become furniture. Cardboard hassocks and endtables are the ultimate green decorating.

Hurray hurray hurray..adventure, and you bring tears to my eyes.

Stop by in Boston on the way...or we'll find you in NYC! (My wonderful and you would love them step-kids live in Park Slope--good for borrowing butter or gin.)

Love and xooo..and happy travels..

I love moving because I always use it as an opportunity to throw a bunch of crap away I didn't really want anyway. I love doing this even when I'm not moving.

Can't wait to check out the new place. It looks lovely.

While I haven't moved the distances you have, I have moved lots. A few moves ago I decided that I was making enough money so I now do the packing/unpacking but I hire a truck and guys to do ALL the lifting moving, getting my crap to fit in the truck. It hurts to shell out the dough but not as much as it would hurt my body to try to lift my upholstered day bed . . . My last move was 5 years ago, I only moved 2 blocks!

I hope you move goes smoothly and nothing that you really love gets broken. May you have clear skies, a strong back and maybe pizza and beer at the end of the day.

My biggest move was from Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, to the big city of Vancouver. That was 25 years ago and thankfully I had friends who were willing to drive the U-haul, I was unpacked the same day we carried the stuff in. The anxiety about moving to the city on my own gifted me with a ton of nervous energy. I still get unpacked pretty quickly, mostly because I have gotten rid of a lot of crap in the last 25 years.

Have a good move, and enjoy your beautiful neighborhood. Do you have to move again in October? I can see you not unpacking so that you can work on your book. What memories you must have.

Oh Cornelia, you've pulled at my heart with that photo of Weeks Bridge. Step And I walked across on our 25th anniversary. Today is our 42nd. Have a good move back home. I am so jealous! xo

Happy anniversary, Reine & Step!

Happy, safe moving -- love the photos!
Happy anniversary Reine and Step -- I am always amazed at the long-standing marriages, years of togetherness!

You'll love Brooklyn in the Fall.

I agree, the packing and unpacking are the worst. Driving the truck was an almost a meditative experience for me on my last move. It was too slow to pass anything so you just go with the flow.

Happy anniversary Reine and Step and many more to come!

Exhausted just reading about all the moves, but the photos are fab, and you're on the move again. Safe trip. Hope you find more permanent digs soon.

All the best for a lovely transition to your temporary place and thence to the next right place, Cornelia.

My history of moving is a) frequent, b) complex, and c) involves also moving cross-country from south to north and back again 1.5 times, then the other cross country from east to west. Now, I tell myself to behave as if I'm moving, in order to help keep the Load of Accumulated Stuff to a minimum, but myself doesn't believe it unless I'm hyperventilating because the truck will be here tomorrow.

In the absence of Truck Will Be Here Tomorrow, I'm not all that rigorous, even when I intend to be.

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