Two days later, and progress has slowly been made. Or at least that’s what Gabe tells me, although as usual all I can see is the mountainous pile of boxes that remains to be unpacked.

On Thursday, we recruited various large and burly members of my family to help unload the container box, which resulted in a much emptier box and a much, much fuller house. We had originally planned to go a lot slower than that, unpacking the box as we went along, but as usual, our best laid plans were eclipsed by the fog of moving, and there we were.

The actual unpacking of boxes didn’t begin until yesterday afternoon, after a quick trip over the hill to buy some desks we’d seen advertised at a great price. It felt silly buying more things when we quite literally didn’t know what to do with everything we already had, but hey, sometimes you can’t pass up a good deal.

As I dove into the boxes marked “Kitchen”, my first thought was: Wow, I did a really good job of organizing and packing these! After that, all I could think of was how happy I was to see all our stuff. It was like Christmas, digging through boxes of old magazine pages to find the next carefully wrapped object, then extracting it from its cocoon to find… a jar of spices! The coffee mug from my favorite cafe at college! A gorgeous ceramic platter made by my mother-in-law!

The excitement went on and on (and on…!), occasionally interspersed by the odd, “Now why did we keep that again??” Most of those went back into a separate box, to be given away after all is said and done. But for the most part, I was delighted to see every once and future denizen of our kitchen shelves.

After a year without stuff, I thought myself above the temptation of object affection, free from material attachments. But each mug and plate that came out of that box was like an old friend, greeted with affection, wiped down thoroughly and placed carefully back on the shelf. It was humbling to feel so attached to these things, as if I were unearthing a piece of myself from underneath the piles of crumpled paper.

Perhaps in the end that’s exactly what I was doing: uncovering the sedentary part of myself, the part that owns plates and mugs and vases and utensils, and putting away my suitcases for another year’s adventuring.

Once again — say it with me now — it feels good to be home.

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Pictures from our first excursion into the house — notice the new paint! And the new linoleum! No pictures of the new patio paint outside… couldn’t bring myself to do it.

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And from our first day of unpacking yesterday, including some of our new desks, Gabe purchasing said desks with the online coupon while sitting in the store, our new contact paper (ooh! pretty!), and the growing pile of empty boxes:

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