When I was 19, I transferred from a large, cash-strapped Canadian university to an Ivy League university with a lot more money to spend. The first week I was there, I did not unpack. It wasn't because I was loathe to settle in--although I was--or because I didn't really want to be there--although I didn't. It was because I literally did not have a moment. I had something scheduled every minute of the day, from math placement classes to course exchange to whatever else. I made my bed, I dug clean clothes out of my backpack, but the boxes of stuff I'd brought with me pretty much just sat there for most of the first week. It was the first time I'd ever been that busy, with every moment of my time spoken for by someone or something. It never happened again, until last week.
Two weeks ago, about 30 minutes after Shabbos ended, Mordechai and I got in a cab to Ben Gurion airport en route to the US and the city where we used to live. Goal: pack six months' worth of meetings into four days, while also shopping for, packing and loading our lift. The movers did the actual packing, but I had to go through our basement storage space, decide what we were and weren't taking, do all the pre-aliya shopping we didn't do the first time around, organize everything and do it right because there wasn't going to be a next time. I also had to get everything I ever wanted to see again out of our apartment, because it's in foreclosure now and while it's supposed to get restructured and all be fine, I'll believe it when it happens. I did all of this, plus work, with Mordechai in tow. Mordechai hit four months this past week and still refuses to put anything silicone (like, say, the nipple of a bottle) in his mouth.
It was a challenge. I did have help: the amazing Kory did my Ikea shopping for me and showed up with a van packed to the gills with all the stuff she'd taken care of for the last two years (like my wheel!) plus a bunch of new acquisitions. I stayed with Yehudis, who took me to Target and Trader Joe's and provided me with a helpful ten-year-old who ran errands for me. And Kory's daughters hung out with Mordechai during my meetings, so I didn't have to stress about that, and they even delivered him to me every three hours so I could feed him between meetings. So I got up at dawn or before, packed and hauled and shlepped and organized, fed the baby, went to work, had meetings all day, came back to my apartment, packed and hauled some more, and then went back to Yehudis's after they were all in bed and started writing speeches. Then Kory came with her girls and we had a day of all moving, with the packers there going through all of our stuff and filling the basement with amorphous blobs of paper-wrapped furniture. Then Kory left and on Friday came the loaders and they packed that 20' container to the gills. We had space at the end for everyone who said "can I just send one or two boxes" and even for the ones who had more than that. One of them saw how much space was left and offered one last Target run; I accepted and asked him to get the boys bikes, which he did. And I went to the grocery store and bought ten parve brownie mixes, which are going to be fun to find when we unload.
I'm sure I must have eaten and slept, although all I can actually remember eating is Chinese food in the backyard and hamburgers on Thursday night with Kory. Oh and some Triscuits. I'm sure there was other stuff though. There must have been.
Anyway, it's done. It wasn't perfect; there are things I wish I'd gotten that I didn't get and I'm sure I'll unpack some of those boxes wondering why in the world I decided to ship that. But it's done, and we got home on Tuesday, and Mordechai did pretty well overall the whole trip and Mr. Bigfoot managed OK at home, so all's well, etc. And in four to eight weeks, I'll have matching dishes, and a 220 blender, and new sheets, and a desk, and Marika will have the world's cutest toy kitchen from Ikea, complete with soft stuffed fruit and vegetables. It'll be great. Although the thought of unpacking all of that makes me feel a little... queasy. But we'll get through it.
Local news: I am supposedly going out to the yishuv to sign a contract on a house tomorrow. Rental, not purchase. It's a nice house: 140 meters (about 1400 square feet), four bedrooms (three small, one big), two full bathrooms, a nice big living/dining room and a kitchen that nearly made me weep with joy. And a backyard with fruit trees. If it happens, I'll post pictures.
All is well. Just tiring. Don't give up on me; I'm still here, just otherwise engaged.