The Act of Leaving

Leaving D.C. in 1984, when we moved ourselves, and called friends for help.

Leaving D.C. in 1984, when we moved ourselves, and called friends for help.

It’s boxes again for us. Fortunately we have kept the good ones from past moves, which provides an interesting guessing game as to their first use.

“Was this from our original move to Minneapolis?” I ask Jacques, wondering how that could even be possible. That would make this particular box that I’m re-taping a 25-year-old box.

And then I find myself wondering if there’s a market for vintage moving boxes.

It’s a conditioned response from a year of scouring online vintage sites trying to understand what it is about the stuff of life that retains value from generation to generation. Why is one silver doodad more valuable than another?

I still don’t quite understand the vintage market, but I do know what I will be packing for this move.

We are packing the unusually unique, the meaningful, the art – and the kitchen - to take back with us. We are closing the book on this chapter of adventure in Pasadena and moving to Minnesota, a place with four distinct seasons, albeit one that lasts a tad too long for this woman.

It’s time to go home, however. I’ve learned that there’s a remarkable pull that comes from the place that helped us raise our children – our village, in many ways. We miss our synagogue community, the lakes, the Mississippi River, and the culture of the North Coast. I even miss the sweetly reticent kindness of our Scandinavian neighbors.

Now we’re focused on the leaving and that’s turning out to be harder than we thought it would be. We’ve grown close to a number of dear, creative, and engaging people in Southern California. It will be hard to wake in the morning with no mountains on the horizon. I will miss the predictable light from the sunshine. I will miss the LA Opera, the Hollywood Bowl, and the beaches.

Jacques likes to point out that we will be back. And he’s right. We will make a point of coming to this part of the country when the wind starts its 3-month-long howl out of Northern Siberia. We know we can return to meals with friends, explorations of canyons, and performances on Bunker Hill’s music-mecca.

I suppose in that sense it’s less of a leaving, and more of a change in our relationship with LA. We’ll become long distance friends of this part of the country rather than residents. We’ll be long-term visitors and drop-ins when projects arise. And we’ll maintain our recent friendships virtually – which we’ve learned is remarkably easy. It’s how we know what’s still going on in Minneapolis three years after leaving.

Back to the boxes…