Tuesday, October 30, 2012


The hurricane spread south of us here in central Vermont and I'm relieved to hear about the safety of things and people in NYC... now knee-deep in clean-up from my own brand of natural disaster here on the eve of another departure.

Part of adventuring of course means you uproot your roots and give up your home and-- have no place to put your stuff. So save a suitcase and odds and ends, I locked up the rest of my belongings in a storage space in July and ran off to the next thing. Yesterday my brother and I headed over to said space to put away some things and pull out my winter clothes and favorite boots...

You can imagine where this is going. Without delving in to the gory details, suffice to say that we found lots of water, mold, a dead mouse, most of my furniture destroyed by mold and water, many of my winter cloths and two favorite pairs of boots ruined... the good news is the books are safe. Photos, dishes, even the bed frame weathered the proverbial (or actual) storm. But here I am with many hundreds (thousands? I can't handle it) of dollars of destroyed furniture and clothes, mountains of laundry and dry-cleaning, lost items of nostalgia, and a totally new sense of vulnerability.

The vulnerability, honestly, is the hardest part in all of this. I love, I really absolutely love, that I am packing a suitcase and a backpack and heading to the New Mexico dessert in two days. I've never been there, I have a whole month to explore, and then on to the next months to explore. I love not knowing what comes next and waking up to a brand new city and the possibility in each change. But I also do love my cowboy boots and my antique dining room table and my books upon books upon books. I love my stuff and I want to know it's safe and to be able to unpack it one day when I settle in to the next place I call home. But who knows. Nothing is really safe from the elements and, in truth, you can't have it all. When you make the decision to move and then move and move again, stuff gets lost and broken and... moldy. Does the gypsy in me mean I need to give up the nesting instinct? Does the sense of adventure mean I have to let go of the sense of home? Or re-define it?

There are the details-- getting reimbursed, fighting with the storage space, finding a new place to put my stuff, doing all of this laundry, getting rid of what is ruined, all of this before climbing aboard yet another plane in 36 hours. I am beyond lucky to have my family here to help with this, but I'm not sure they can help me let go, find a way to get angry, negotiate, mourn the losses and move on-- that's all up to me.

And, did I mention the laundry...

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