I am slowly packing up my apartment, taking it piece by piece over to Jeff's house...slightly embarassed by the amount of stuff that I've managed to accumulate in two years. Most of it is books, and, surprisingly, fabric. (A few weeks ago one of the ladies at work was tasked to clean house, and all the garbage bags of fabric scraps she was tasked to throw away instead went into my collection.)
Some of the things are tossed into boxes with barely an aside: the table cloth I bought to cover up an ugly table, to cover yet another ugly table, bath salts (bought with hopes that I would have time to give myself pedicures and as yet, unopened), the copper-bottomed pots I fished out of the dumpster the first week I lived in this apartment. And there are some things I wrap carefully. The salt and pepper shaker that I bought in Paris and nearly left on the train, a price sticker still affixed to the bottom. My Nelsoniana collection, rum bottle, figurines and watch, which has long since stopped. Pictures of my friends and family still adorn the walls, they'll be the last to come down and the first to go back up. I'm proud to say I have a big pile of things to give away or donate...not nearly big enough, but good for me. And my giant suitcase, pressed into service only because it is an empty thing I can stuff my stuff into. It's too big now to to carry on a plane. I can remember dragging it up the steps at Victoria Station, piggybacked by my smaller Samsonite, a stranger pausing to help me carry it up the stairs.
I am nervous about moving to Jeff's house. Not about the house itself--a glorious home nestled on the James River, newly renovated (still in the midst of renovations, to be honest) a box made out of light, with appropriate spaces for things. No longer will my jug of windshield washer fluid sit cheek-by-jowl with my Pussar's rum. Now I will have room to set up not only my sewing machine, but also my computer, my printer, I will have the silence to think, the space to pace, and a fridge where all the distracting snacks are mine. What I am nervous about is living in a small town. Williamsburg is small--but with its transient, wealthy tourist population, there is still something that passes for nightlife, there are places where one can get sushi and see art-house cinema (not that I've done much of either lately). Smithfield (yes, as in ham) is a tiny community, slowly moving out of the farm-town phase, into the romantic B&B phase, the antique-store phase, the tea-shop and art gallery phase. I do love a touristy town, but even Smithfield might be too small for me.
And then again there's the fact that I will know no one...except for Jeff. I've already told him we must make it a priority to get involved in this community, either volunteering, going to church or starting a Friday-night banjo group. Whatever. It's a strange move this time, still having the same job, keeping the same friends but yet moving to a new place. I miss my old friends more than ever now...it seems like its been a long time since I've had people in my life I could call on twenty minutes notice and go out for a beer with...or better yet, walk in the front door and assume the people standing in the kitchen were waiting for me so they could go out.
Still, I'm more excited than anything. The prospect of getting out of this dank, dark apartment, away from toddlers and shouting footy fans is more exhilarating than the thought of once again being in a place where I don't know anyone. I will be living near my favourite element and watching the osprey chicks grow up as we finishing the painting and get the pictures hung up once more. And I can finally throw the laundry in the wash and work on that masterpiece while I'm waiting for it to finish before hanging it on a line outside to dry.
So I guess I better get back to packing...in addition to moving sometime next week, Jeff and I are also invading Williamsburg this weekend as part of the British Army...I have to wash up some petticoats and get out my beanpot. I won't be cooking, but I might have to "raid" the farmer's market this Saturday...