Monday, September 23, 2013

Going Up Country

As of August 15th, 2013:
Hudson Falls, NY

My furniture, part of which I made myself —
and the rest cost me nothing
of which I have not rendered an account —
consisted of
a bed,
a table,
a desk,
three chairs,
a looking-glass three inches in diameter,
a pair of tongs and andirons,
a kettle, a skillet, and a frying-pan,
a dipper, a wash-bowl,
two knives and forks,
three plates,
one cup,
one spoon,
a jug for oil,
a jug for molasses,
and a japanned lamp. …
What man but a philosopher
would not be ashamed to see his furniture packed in a cart
and going up country exposed to the light of heaven
and the eyes of men,
a beggarly account of empty boxes? …
Indeed, the more you have of such things
the poorer you are.
Each load looks as if it contained
the contents of a dozen shanties;
and if one shanty is poor,
this is a dozen times as poor. 
Pray, for what do we move ever
but to get rid of our furniture…?
HDT,Walden “Economy” 1854

I suppose that Thoreau would have had a merry laugh indeed, to see how I spent the better part of an entire month preparing to move -- and as much again to get settled afterwards.
Indeed, it took many “carts” – not just one – to do the task.
Who knew that books about "lightening-up" could be so heavy?

My days seemed filled with endless to-do lists. 
It was more than just a positive move, to a better apartment.
It was also a chance to simplify.
As Henry noted, moving is a good opportunity to look at possessions with a critical eye; to decide what to get rid of, and what to keep.
That part of it was actually fun.
Then there was a flurry of packing at the last minute – and a month later, I am still searching for certain items. Guess that means I still have too much stuff !

Our new place is just a few miles away in the next town. It’s a brand-new apartment building that sits right along the Old Feeder Canal. 

Nine miles of the old towpath has been converted to a trail now.
This was made possible by the volunteer efforts of the Feeder Canal Alliance.

From our window, I can see Mom walk by on her morning stroll.

 I had but three chairs in my house; 
one for solitude,
two for friendship;
three for society.
HDT Walden, ”Visitors”  1854

Though it was not a long-distance move,
and there was a lot more to move than "three chairs,"
I could not have done it without the help of many friends.

Mom, Marie and Claire on the Day Before Moving-Day

People helped in so many different ways – lugging boxes, drilling holes for a curtain rod, or distracting me by getting me out for a much-needed walk or talk  -- I thank you all!