Christmas in October

I have waited four LONG months for my shipping container to arrive. Back when I first found out about the details of my move abroad, I was a bit distressed to find out that I was only allowed five bags on the airplane…no exceptions. It may be vain or superficial, but five bags is simply not sufficient for moving half way around the world. So I went into battle shipping my items.

So here was the issue…it started off as a few boxes. Then I found out that I had to purchase 100 cubic feet anyway so the few boxes turned into more and more. Then as the boxes continued to get delayed, my parents started adding items to the boxes – spices, Brita filters, and more towels – basically anything that I said that I missed or needed. Then friends wanted some items shipped so those got added to the boxes. By the time it was all said and done, we were up to 26 boxes and thousands of dollars in for shipping. Still, I was optimistic.

Mom even found ways to pack gum for me.

Then came the hurricanes. Because most of the freight planes were being used for hurricane relief (oh, and Houston was under water), my boxes remained stagnant in The United States. Week after week. Month after month I started to really regret the process. Did I really need stuff that I had been living without for the past four months? I missed my bike and certain decorous items, but it wasn’t life or death. What was getting to be a little tedious was my lack of spring and summer clothing. I only had the winter clothing with me and it was inching up into toasty.

Nacho party?

Baby spices to go!

Then Thursday, October 26th rolled around. The day was finally here. My boxes were out of customs jail and ready for delivery. And let me tell you….the emotions were overwhelming. One by one, box after box my world started to come back together again. I opened the first box and my summer clothes smiled at me. I was overjoyed to see color pop. I was starting to feel like I was going to a funeral everyday. The second box was filled to the brim with spices that my parents graciously packed for me.

Spices for days!!

It was slightly shocking to recognize how much things mean to me. I did a massive purge before moving but still have items in my life that make me a little more complete.

  • The mugs that I use every morning for my coffee from  all of the places I have lived.
  • My brother and best friend’s art that hang on my walls.
  • My turtle collection from every country I have been to.
  • My classroom books and toys that line my desk.
  • My picture quilt my mother made for me for my college graduation.
  • The pillow that was my grandmothers.

These items make my house a home. Each box I unpacked brought a new level of emotion. Tears smeared down my face as the memories soared around me. My grandmother’s pillow really got to me. I remembered seeing it on her rocking chair every time I went to her house. It even still smelled like my grandparents’ house.

My sweet mommy

As I slowly unpacked every item, putting it in it’s new place in it’s new home, I realized that there are times when you just need your things to feel whole again.

Art by Michael Coyle

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