Thursday, April 10, 2008

Moving, moving, moving Friday Five

No, I'm not...Mother Laura is. She writes:
We are right in the middle of a move--only twenty minutes away, but we're still a mix of busy, excited, nervous and surprisingly full of grief about what we're leaving, for me at least. So this week's Friday Five asks about your experience of the marvels and madness of moving...

1. How many times have you moved? When was the last time?
As a pastor, I'm in my 4th appointment. Prior to that I moved every two years or so until jr. high school. I did live in the same house for all the way through high school. I think that's the longest I've ever lived anywhere.

2. What do you love and hate about moving?
Packing and unpacking. There's something very liberating about throwing stuff out, but it's depressing to see how it accumulates between moves. I'm having to learn to be brutal about books. Hate it.

3. Do you do it yourself or hire movers?
Prefer to hire movers to do the actual moving, but I always pack up myself. I don't want to have to be angry at anyone else for accidents, and also it lets me purge and also pack in ways they wouldn't: I wrap the crystal in blankets and pad the lamp for my bedroom with pillows. I always have 3 boxes and a suitcase that go with me: 1 box each kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom, and clothes for a few days. My second move as a pastor, the movers decided that they couldn't load and unload in the same day, and so we had to wait for the truck...I learned from that move!

4. Advice for surviving and thriving during a move?
Give the dog Valium. Consider taking some myself (j/k, I think). Have the invisible fence installed professionally before I get there so the WonderMutt can be outside while all the action is inside. Sequester the cat. Pack wisely, and load the necessities in my own car. Including the important 4th box I forgot about: pet bowls, food, beds, and cat box. Remember that we can only do as much as we can do, and there's a chance some emergency will radically change our plans.
Learned that one in the first move, when someone died about the time we got the truck unloaded. No unpacking. Working. Also when I learned to include dress clothes in the suitcase.

5. Are you in the middle of any inner moves, if not outer ones?
I am not having an outer move this year (so says the DS, and I believe him. No one wants me to move, especially me!) but I am having an inner move. Shifting back towards exercising creativity in tangible ways. So I write bad poetry now and then for the Poetry Party, and blog, and I'm think seriously about scrapbooking and collages and also maybe going back to sewing. I only sew straight lines, but I enjoyed making handbags and totes for a while, and I'd like to try my hand at banners again. Where I'll find the time, I don't know, but when class is out this summer, I want to do some 'me' things that aren't school related. Oh yeah, and write. Ben and I are planning to work on a Bible study based on To Kill a Mockingbird. Perhaps during the summer creativity fest I can squeeze that in.

Bonus: Share a piece of music/poetry/film/book that expresses something about what moving means to you.
In a pretty silly way, There's a Monster at the End of This Book. It's been a favorite forever, and speaks to me both of my own occasional monstrousness (I do have a temper) and also about fear of the unknown. No matter how much I anticipate a move, there's always a great deal of fear. In a lot of ways, I feel like all those times I went to a new school: will they like me? will I fit in? will my clothes/hair/accent/whatever be right? how long until I figure out how things are done here? This is usually when I have the good old anxiety dreams, too: time to take a final for a class I forgot to drop, being in school naked (hate that one), oversleeping and missing church on Sunday...


  1. Love the monster book! And all the inner moves toward creativity--may they be abundantly blessed.

    Thanks also for your prayers, which are much appreciated.

  2. That's the second time I've heard of "there's a monster..." I'm getting curious!

    great play!

  3. That book speaks to me differently are you sure you are reading correctly.

  4. I love the advice to pack dress clothes. I will absolutely incorporate it in my next move!

  5. great post!

    thanks for sharing your moving lessons. you've certainly had some crazy moving experiences!

    glad you get to stay and blessings so that you get the time you need for creativity.

  6. Valium for the dog I love it!

    As for the chance to purge, I am with you there... it is so hard with books though!

  7. I don't know, having to pack dress clothes makes me think we're expecting a little too much of ourselves. Maybe I'm getting grouchy with age (entirely possible) but aren't we allowed to be our very own personally-messed up selves, especially when we're moving? You sound ultra-organized and professional, and set a high bar.

  8. Great packing advice. I definitely agree with all of those things.

  9. Oh Ruth, I'm sorry I gave that impression. I prefer to move in crappy clothes but in the event of an emergency, like a death on moving day, I do like to be able to "knock the stink off" and look halfway decent. I was embarrassed that first day, when I had to go comfort a family in dirty jeans and a sweatstained t-shirt, and I don't want to do that again.

  10. This is the THIRD reference to the monster book I've seen!

  11. mmm yes mochajava & his luggage usually go in the vehicle with me...

    good for you in recharging yourself creatively! go for it!

  12. Revanne -- no need to apologize -- I'm just over-sensitive to the expectations that get heaped on clergywomen. Who else would even have to think about being able to look professional at the drop of a hat? (drop of a body? ooh, that's tasteless) But really, maybe it's good for people to see us being so imperfect, even dirty and stinky, and still bearing God's grace in dark times. Just a thought. Like I said, I'm sensitive about this stuff. Thanks for letting me express myself.

  13. Good advice about the dog! I haven't done a real long-distance move with an animal and hope not to, but just in case.... Good answers all around.

  14. Oooh. A funeral before you unpack. Yeah, that would change your priorities, wouldn't it??

    The Monster book is a fave!


  15. RevAnne, I loved your post!

    I am very much into scrapbooking myself and have just started reading a book about using scrapbooking to discover yourself spiritually. It's really more like SB journaling, I guess, but I love the idea because of the possibility of exploration and self-expression sort of married together.

    Let me know if you think you'd be interested in reading it, too. I can't remember the title offhand but would love to discuss it as I read and reflect.


  16. I forgot to add that I am a member of a UMC church and I absolutely love it there. Love the people, love the pastor!

    I co-facilitate a Sunday school class there and I love how different it is from past Sunday school experiences.

  17. Hey RevAnne!

    The name of the scrapbooking book is the Scrapbooking Journey: a Hands-On Guide to Spiritual Discovery. I've only read the first chapter, so far, but it was good.

    It poses a series of questions for SB journaling.

    The first one has to do with what your focus/mission is and she offers possibilities or prompts to get you thinking. One of them, that of emotional connection, really resonated with me. I think that might be mine.

    Anyway, I think it's a great book, but I haven't decided to what degree I will scrap my answers.

  18. Hey RevAnne!

    You know, that's a good idea!!

    I actually have a scrapbooking blog I could use. And then, the journaling part would be done and if I decided to do the SB, too, I could do that later.

    Let me know if you do decide to read it and blog. It would be easy to share our thoughts via the blog world.

  19. I love the idea of collage. I did them and am now considering doing them on a scanner! Thanks for the advice on spiritual life.


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