St Joseph and the Cherry Pitter

 I’ve been packing boxes these past few weeks, two or three at a time, it feels like I have been packing boxes all my life. There seems to be an endless parade of cardboard, bubble wrap, brown paper and tape, lots of tape. Tape on top of tape, as some of the still-packed boxes left from our move from New Jersey to Florida last August need reinforcing.

Move #1 was extremely organized, which is amazing considering I worked my full-time job up until four days before driving out of New Jersey. Every box was assigned a number that corresponded to the number on a spreadsheet on my iPad. Since boxes were different shapes and sizes, the items they contained were rarely consolidated by type, so as each box was loaded with stuff, I would type the number and record what the box contained in detail. Pictures were loaded with muffin tins, a favorite vase could be nestled in a box of scarves. On the outside of the box, I wrote the main content as well as which room each box should be placed in upon arrival: pots-kitchen, lamps-bedroom, home decor-living room. If I wanted any particular item, all I had to do was scan the spreadhseet to locate it, so if there was a sudden need to bake an apple pie, I could go directly to Box #81 and pull it out. It took extra time and effort but I kept control over our stuff. I patted myself on my aching back for this nugget of organizational brilliance. 

As I prepare to haul our stuff from Florida to Vermont; however, my packing habits have changed. While there aren’t as many boxes to prepare as before (several were left unpacked from the original move) there are still the items we have around to make living in our rental home comfortable and cozy. As I pulled the first empty box onto the table to prepare to load and assign it a number, all I could do was stare out it, like an overfilled plate of food.

Then that little voice spoke, you know that little voice we all have in our heads, that wonderful, wise spiritual guide who leads us out of our darkest corners. The little voice said, “Screw this. To hell with being so damned organized! Take your packing hints from the US Post Office, “If it fits, it ships!” 

So now, opening the boxes in our new home in Vermont will be like having Christmas in July! Except for a scribbled note on the side of the box, we won’t know what other wonderful things are squirreled in there! Look, here’s the cherry pitter with the garden tools! Yay! And check this out, the rolling pin is tucked in with the wall mirror, how cute is that! And oh yeah, I remember tucking the statue of St Joseph in the soup pot! I don’t care what goes in a box, as long as it can slide, wedge, squeeze or otherwise jam itself in there enough to tape it all closed and be stacked, DONE. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise; you CAN put more than two things in the same place at the same time!

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