Poetry Friday: Travelers Beware!

h1 July 27th, 2007 by eisha

*** This week’s roundup is hosted by MsMac at Check It Out. So, um… check it out.***

I wouldn’t trust that little one, if I were you…(Sorry for the overly-large pic, but I couldn’t resist. It’s so spooky.)

So, hello there. Long time no blog. I was supposed to be covering for Jules’s blog vacation this week, but as you may have heard, I moved last week and things didn’t exactly go according to plan. Here’s a few highlights:

* The U-Haul truck we rented was too small, and we had to take it back. Of course, there weren’t any larger ones available on such short notice.

* The movers we hired to help us load said U-Haul graciously worked out a deal to move us in one of their trucks, complete with unloading at the end. Money we didn’t expect to spend, but at this point it seemed like the answer to a prayer. And it even gave us an extra day to finish packing, which we needed.

* Then… they got lost on the way to Ithaca, and because we’d forgotten to exchange cell phone numbers with the mover-guys the husband and I spent a couple of hours sitting in our empty new apartment wondering if, say, the truck blew up, or they’d driven off a mountain…

* Right after they did finally pull up (yay!), a thunderstorm started (crap!).

* We went back to Cambridge the next day, to get the rest of our stuff and clean up the apartment, to find that “the rest of our stuff” didn’t even fit in our two cars. We decided to scrap anything that we didn’t absolutely need and called 1-800-Got-Junk for the rest. More money we didn’t expect to spend.

* The day after we arrived in Ithaca for good, my husband’s truck finally, irrevocably died. And since Ithaca has a law about not leaving a car parked in the same place on the street more than 48 hours, and since B. had to leave for Barrington in 36 hours for the show he’s designing and didn’t have time to think about selling it, we had to find somewhere to store it, fast. Which we did, but – say it along with me, now – that was more money we didn’t expect to spend.

So, yeah, it’s been kind of an adventure. But like any good adventure, for every unforseen obstacle that leapt unbidden into our path, a heretofore unconsidered solution presented itself. I mean, did you even know there are places that store cars for you? I didn’t. And I think it was good for us to get rid of so much stuff. And the day-long-delay meant we got to sell a couple more pieces of furniture on craigslist. And we met some incredibly nice and helpful people. And at least B.’s car made it to Ithaca, and now we can stop wondering how much longer it will last and get on with looking for a new one.

Kinda like with Harry Potter. I finally got to read Book 7 – after the dust settled I basically sat down with it on the couch and refused to unpack anything until I’d finished. I felt I deserved it. Anyway, thinking about HP’s entire journey over the years kind of reinforced the idea for me. The moral: There are always obstacles on every journey, and in finding solutions sometimes you end up in places you never expected, but would have been sorry to miss. You end up feeling alternately cursed and charmed. And if nothing else, you always get one or two good stories out of it.

So I’m reminded of Neil Gaiman’s poem, “Instructions,” which gives helpful advice for anyone who happens to wander into a fairy tale. You can find the entire text here, or in his recent collection Fragile Things (reviewed here in November), or you can watch this video:

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14 comments to “Poetry Friday: Travelers Beware!”

  1. I always threaten to become a monk with one robe after each move. You become so aware of how much time and effort each little bit of STUFF requires. But somehow, I never make it into the monastery (probably because I’m a girl) and the whole thing starts again. At least you got a great story to tell friends over beers out of the whole ordeal! And I’m so glad you just sat there and read…


  2. 1. That creepy children photo is so awful I can’t look at it or it will give me nightmares. Where did you find that?

    2. What an ordeal that move was! But, like Sara, I’m so happy you sat yourself down and read HP. You totally deserved it.

    3. “I always threaten to become a monk with one robe after each move.” Come on, that’s funny stuff.

    4. You’re in Ithaca now! They’re going to love you!


  3. Sorry, Robin, I didn’t mean to creep you out. I just thought it fit with the Gaiman poem – they look like some sort of creatures-in-disguise-as-children out of a fairy tale, don’t they? If you click on the photo, you’ll find the blog I borrowed it from.

    Sara, I’m totally with you. Most of our misfortunes had to do with having too much stuff, and underestimating just how much stuff we have. It’s ridiculous, we’re only two people, but we ultimately needed the size truck they recommend for a 4-bedroom house. Yeah, it’s partly books, but still… I’m resolving here and now to seriously downsize as I unpack.


  4. Hooray for taking time out to read harry Potter. My niece stayed up until 3 Am while she was here to finish it. I love the creepy picture.


  5. That video clip (aside from being lovely and all) makes Mr G. look like he’s been working out. Or maybe I just imagine him as flabbier and pastier. Hard to say, really.


  6. I do love this — and blessings on your new home. May everything sail along smoothly to make up for the rapids you’ve been shooting this past week.


  7. Adrienne – I kind of thought the same thing. But we only see him from the shoulders up…

    TadMack, I truly hope your move goes smoother than mine. But if not, imagine the stories you’ll have to share in those Scottish pubs.

    Jone, I salute your niece. And I’m glad the pic didn’t creep you out like it did for Robin.


  8. For these exact reasons, and many others, I have vowed NEVER to move again UNTIL we can afford to hire people to handle every aspect of the move. I want to leave my place one day, spend some hours out and about, and return to my new place with it all taken care of.

    Dreaming? I can dream.

    The last move I did was from CA to MA and with an ordeal that included five days where the cross-country movers (we flew in advance) were lost and wouldn’t report into their dispatch their exact location. We then had to unload in two hours a trailer it took a day and a half to load. Among other things.

    I so feel your pain, Eisha, and I know that sit-down with HP must have been delicious. It’s done, and now may you enjoy the peace of resettling.


  9. I like the sound of that, David. To be able to afford to make all of this stuff entirely someone else’s problem – that would be true luxury.


  10. Luxury indeed, I may never move again as a result!


  11. Your moving experience sounds so horrendous. I love that you can maintain your humour and hopefulness.

    Get yourself over to Taughannock Falls Park and get some much needed relaxation.


  12. Oh my goodness! Ordeals aplenty for you. I’m sorry. I hope the clouds part soon and the sun smiles upon you and yours.

    Bookmarking Instructions for later reading. I adore Gaiman’s novels. I have yet to read Fragile Things. I hope the Stardust film is well-done.


  13. Me too, Little Willow. It has a good cast, at least, which gives me hope.

    Vivian, that’s a great idea. I may just do that.


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