Shelley Widhalm

Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

A “Moving” Experience

In Moving, My house, Not an easy task, What's important on October 31, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Two weeks ago, I moved out of my mother and brother’s house, where I’ve been renting a room the past two years, to an apartment in a small city to the south. I haven’t been blogging lately, because the only thing on my mind is unpacking. I can’t seem to function if my life is in boxes.

I approached unpacking like a system, this after moving a dozen times since college. I unpacked each room first and as I did so, planned ahead where I would put categories of items. To describe this process would be too much of a how-to article and make me sound a bit nerdy. I don’t want anyone to know the truth about how I like everything to be in its place.

That’s why these two weeks, I’ve been late, saying the wrong words and stopping mid-sentence and wondering, “What am I thinking about?”

Then there was the whole sentimental part of unpacking. I found items I forgot I had, as well as items that brought up memories. I did a little dance when I found this journal I thought I had lost during my last move. I paused over my photo albums, flipping through periods of my life, hastily to get on to more unpacking.

And then I got mad. The glass inserts for my coffee and end tables were totally shattered. The moving company I hired for my cross-country move two years ago was lousy, to say the least. I had most of my stuff in storage and have just discovered many problems with the movers I hired. They scratched several pieces of furniture, stained my white couch, cut my ottoman and smashed down boxes, but luckily the things inside were unharmed.

My emotional landscape from the move went from elation – I am living in a vaulted ceiling, many-windowed, all-new apartment with a view of downtown – to reminiscing to anger, but as my mother said, this, too, shall pass.


What I’ll Miss

In Moving, Packing, Reuniting with Zoey on October 10, 2010 at 9:10 pm

My dachshund Zoey moved in with my dad on Oct. 16, 2009. Ironically enough, she’ll be moving in with me this Saturday on Oct. 16. Zoey lived with me for a few months, but my mom, who I had been living with for a year by then, no longer wanted to dog sit while I went to work.

I have lived with my mom and brother for two years, but it’s probably time for me to move out. I want to have my own kitchen, plus I’ll feel more grownup being in my own place. I moved home twice right after college while I was between jobs, but this time was for a longer haul given the uncertainty of possible layoffs where I worked.

Yesterday, I started packing, and I felt sentimental.

I’m going to miss my basement bedroom that feels totally closed off from the rest of the world with only a small window with two pillows on the ledge to block out the sunlight. I’m going to miss the time I had with my mother, spending time together on the weekends doing errands, getting dinner and going out to coffee. I will miss her hugs and just talking with her about my life and hers, as well as religion and politics, topics off limits at work and during most casual encounters.

I’m going to miss the house where I grew up and the neighborhood with the memories I find when I go on walks. I’m going to miss home-cooked food and sitting on the back porch when my dad does a barbecue during his visits.

As I begin to miss this place that I lived most of my years, I can pack up my memories with everything I’m putting into boxes and take this period of time with my family to my new place, my heart stronger knowing that I come from a home, not a house, a place, an address. I can have home in my heart wherever I go.

Zoey’s Allegiances

In Dad's house, Leaving Zoey, My house, Separations, Sleeping companions on October 4, 2010 at 3:45 am

Zoey is no longer a one-person dog. She is Dad’s when she is with him, and mine when she is with me. My mom and brother both said she would be happiest if we, Dad and I, lived at his house, where she has a big backyard and access to both of us.

 But she switches allegiances. She belongs to whoever she is with until the other one of us visits.

Zoey sleeps with me on the futon when I stay with my father, usually over a long weekend. She follows me around, making sure I won’t escape. She wants to play and be petted, mostly with me and second best is with Dad. She is excited until Sunday, when I start packing up hers and my things. Then she puts her head on her paws, warily watching me with her sad, brown eyes. She wants to stay, or she wants to go, depending on her allegiances for the week.

When Dad spends the weekend at my brother’s house, where I’m living until October, Zoey sleeps with Dad. She follows him around. She wants to play with him. She wants him to give her belly rubs.

The first time Zoey decided to sleep with Dad, I took her to bed with me. She went to the edge and sat there, whimpering. I put her on the floor. She went to the door and scratched. “No, Zoey,” I said. But she wouldn’t stop. I took her upstairs to the room where my Dad was staying. “She wants to say goodnight,” I said. He gave her kisses.

I tried two more times to get her to settle down for sleep. She wouldn’t have any of that. She wanted Dad. I guess that’s what happens when you share. You really do have to share. At least I get to have Zoey’s awe when I visit my dad. And he gets it when he comes my way.