Unpacking The Easy Way
The boxes arrived, all five hundred and twenty of them, over 18,000 lbs. I stood on my front porch watching as the truck pulled up, the flatbed carrying a dozen wooden crates—containers that had sailed halfway around the world from Sweden to California, via train to Salt Lake and finally to St. George. Inside were all our worldly possessions: family mementos, photos, Maggie’s favorite stuffies, our piano, books that felt more like friends.
Before this day arrived I’d pictured myself feeling overwhelmed, watching movers hoist boxes onto dollies, sweat on my brow, checking boxes off lists while simultaneously directing movers where to put what. In my imagined scenario I needed at least three of me, but that would mean a sequel to Multiplicity and no one needs that.
Unpacking is exponentially more difficult than packing. The mind gets boggled sifting through years of nostalgia while the rational brain tries to organize what feels like a 10,000 piece puzzle that’s been dumped onto the carpet (with one piece missing). It’s like playing Sudoku in the dark on a hayride with a hand tied behind your back—not impossible, but almost.
And yet, my sci-fi nightmare did not come to pass. No, I wasn’t alone. Thanks be to God for good neighbors. The retired couple who lives across the street came over when they saw my predicament and together they checked off boxes, removed bubble wrap from my furniture and unpacked, freeing me to direct the movers and get things organized.
After hours of work I figured they’d have other things to do, go home, get lunch, tell me to call if I needed anything else–that would have been reasonable. But they stayed the entire day and came back the next TWO days until all the boxes were delivered and most of them empty and hauled away! Not only that, but another neighbor had us all over for dinner that first night—the best enchiladas I’ve ever tasted. And the next night another neighbor, brought dinner to us, one of those comfort dishes that reminds you of your childhood. And still a friend from down the street, who moved from PA and settled in just before we arrived, dropped off frozen yogurt one evening for the kids and I.
Here I’d been ready to stress out and feel overwhelmed. I’d braced myself for the worst, but the worst never came. Thanks to neighbors and kindnesses too numerous to count, unpacking became, dare I say, enjoyable. My house was put together in record time and a week later, with my art hung mind you, I was hosting a bridal shower for 40 people. If you would’ve told me I never would have believed you, but it did happen—a true story of angels and friends.
But wait…there’s more…during that same week my in-laws came and grandpa built shelves in the garage with my boys while grandma spent the day entertaining Miss Maggie. That same day my sister-in-law dropped off a crock-pot of chili, which fed us for two days. And when shelves arrived via Fed Ex from Wayfair (love their stuff), my brother-in-law came over and helped Micah put them together.
The move in was like one of those Amish barn raisings, minus the barn. Helping hands doing what each could do…we went from living in St. George to being “home.” It was miraculous, biblical, Red Sea kind of parting stuff. They say how one person can make a difference and it sounds coined and trite, but NO REALLY, one person can make a difference. They can change the world! They changed my world. It was a week of grace and blessings and it came right in the nick of time. (Click here if you want to read a guest blog post I wrote for more about what happened BEFORE the move.) The only problem is, with neighbors this good, I never want to move again. Here’s to being “home at last” and to being the kind of neighbor we all want to have. Maybe we can’t solve the world’s problems but we can help a neighbor. If we each do what we can do, we might see a different kind of world.