Our master bedroom looks like the inside of Mel Gibson’s brain: unconnected piles of crap that somehow synergize into a vastly unattractive view.
Despite the disarray of our most intimate room, we’re actually feeling pretty on top of things…relative to our timeline of leaving Duluth on July 31st and flying to Turkey on August 3rd, after spending a few days at my in-laws’ house. Yes, there are heaps everywhere, but, two weeks out from our depature, their very heapishness shows that we’ve sorted through things and made some decisions. Plus, most of our furniture, save the mattresses and one big desk, are stored in the basement already; we need only to fill in the cracks with boxes and bags, finish packing up the kitchen, and then drag down the last-days things right before we leave. Oh yea, and bake a ham and tap a keg when we throw ourselves a going away party next weekend for 83 of our closest friends.
There remains, of course, the actual packing. For months, we’ve tossed all sorts of “wouldn’t this be nice to have during a year away?” paraphernalia into my closet. The other day, we dragged all of those goods out and added them to the intended clothing and, well, you’ve just seen the result. Yesterday, I had a little time to start packing some of the kids’ clothes and fleece jackets into compression sacks. That was the first time I’ve enjoyed myself during the process of Getting Ready, for compression sacks (into which one can cram a fairly good amount of stuff and then tighten down the straps until something the size of a ciabatta weighs 8.5 pounds) bring up for me Memories of Good Travels Past. I can remember stuffing in and tightening down all my clothes before catching an early-morning train out of Dublin. I can remember sitting on and condensing a month’s worth of clothes before getting onto a ferry in Iceland. I can remember strong-arming my tshirts and shorts into submission on my last day in Warsaw, trying to make room in my backpack for the meatsticks I was determined to bring home.
Compression sacks create a sense memory that signals Jocelyn, Buckle Up. You’re Going Somewhere.
Some things, like shoes, don’t compress, though. As a result, they are drummed into a different kind of service:
Feminine hygiene product receptacle seems a worthy job for the Privos and Borns of the world.
Indeed, I know we’re coming out the other side of stress when I find infinite delight in this still life:
Clog with Bouquet of Tampons.