Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Great Shuffle: An Unnecessarily Long Description of One Aspect of Resettling

I packed up my house all into my attic in the fall of 2007. But I was around for a few months before I left for Kenya so I was in and out of my attic a few times. Then I was home starting in the fall of 2008 for another 8 months and I was up there again often enough to know exactly where certain things I wanted to get at were. Just before I left in 2009 I had a small influx of items from my sister’s house in Washington because she had passed away and we had shipped several boxes of photos to her when Mom had passed away in 2005. Plus my attic gained some of her artwork and eventually some pottery. I was here again briefly in the fall of 2010 and grabbed a couple of items from the attic. For the most part, my carefully packed attic was only lightly touched and mostly memorized until this point.

But when I finally landed in the Twin Cities at the start of last winter -- I was in my attic often enough to start shuffling items around. I needed some things for living. I was moving in with some dear friends who provided a bed and dresser, but I needed a winter coat and some wall decor -- you get the picture. This is when the shuffle really started.

At the beginning of June I moved back into my own home! I was elated and didn’t waste a moment of unpacking all my furniture from the attic. I nearly filled up the house. How had I managed to contain all that is my little attic? I then arranged one corner of the attic with a bed and night stand. It’s very cosy there. But I left the attic for sleeping only and set about on a million little details around the house. The details are so minute I can’t even think now -- but they managed to drain my time over the last two months. I wanted to get everything just so for sharing the house with strangers.

All this is to say I have neglected my attic until now. As I was unpacking in June I noticed that I kept some things that were very odd -- telephones and cassette tapes -- I dubbed my attic a time capsule. Finally I have to deal with the time capsule because I need a place that doesn’t take up the dining table to work. I have school to do. I looked around the other day and I couldn’t see a single surface in the attic. I have two small work tables, a large wooden desk and a laptop table but nowhere I could safely set my little Mac.

This won't be easy. I call it the great shuffle because I will likely spend the entire winter shuffling piles around trying to figure out what to keep, what to chuck, where to store things and so on. There’s a whole wall of footlockers and boxes; more in the closet and crawl space that all need to be dealt with. There are 2 boxes under the desk and several works of art under one of the tables. Maybe in the spring I can have a big sale. Eventually I will have a room back, but in the meantime, I’ll just shuffle.

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