Petrified Socks

Packout is in three days. So, we’re getting down and dirty here.

Today, I tackled my teenage son’s closet. Three-quarters of the shoes in there filled a trash bag. I am a big recycler/donater. So, if these shoes went straight into the trash, you know they were in bad shape.

There was one single shoe. The matching one was nowhere to be found. So, on which night did he come home with one shoe? And how long ago was that? It’s a mystery!

Now I know why so many single socks are piled up in my laundry room. Several of my son’s shoes had petrified socks in them. Like, could stand up by themselves. The last time we packed out, I found a mummified chipmunk under a bookcase. This was a comparable experience on the scale, of, I don’t know, things I would rather not think about?

So, what happens if you don’t move? How long do the socks, deceased rodents, etc. stay there? This particular packout seems to have dragged on forever. But when I consider the alternative–a forest of petrified socks?–maybe this is not so bad.

Here we are: one of us within spitting distance of 50 and the other just the other side of it. And we can actually up and move house. OK, it isn’t easy. But we are really good at this by now. We can let things go. We can minimize. We are used to this, for better or for worse. We have a system.

We can work as a team. We may get on each other’s nerves now and then, but there is nothing going on here that hasn’t gone on before. And we know that we will get through it just fine. It’s not the end of the world–it’s just another packout. (Our 14th or 15th, depending on how you count them.)

We spent the day sorting and tossing, enjoying our digital (portable) music collection. And, as I fixed a simple pasta dinner in our now-bare kitchen, over the worst bit, I felt kind of portable myself. Untethered. We’ve been forced to decide exactly which 500 pounds of stuff we really need for the next year and we actually did it. How many people could do that at our age? It’s kind of like being a college student–except with money. (Which makes a big difference, trust me. Better pasta, better wine to go with it.)

In a week’s time, approximately 90 percent of our worldly crap will be on the way to storage in Elso for a year. And we’ll be in a rental car on our way to Italy for my birthday. Sans petrified socks.

I can’t do this for the rest of my life. At some point, I will just have to the draw the line. Probably after Warsaw. But, tonight, I am surprised to find that I am really OK with it. For now.


Resting up for his fourth move.
Resting up for his fourth move.

One comment

  1. I find the strangest things in my son’s room when deep cleaning and he is not quite 13. I suppose I should steel myself for the next big moves? Hopefully no petrified rodents though – blech! Wishing you safe travels and a great birthday celebration in Italy!


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