by Gay Spencer 10. June 2012 14:02

In the summer of 1998, I had to come up with a miracle, or else. I felt trapped and captive in a situation in Columbus, Ohio for almost a decade by that point, and I was desperate to make things change. Then, allofasudden, a window opened. It wasn't exactly the picture window view I had dreamed of, but it seemed the only way to go forward.

The catch was that everything had to happen very fast, and I had no money. Dolly (whose name has been changed to protect the guilty) was in a different bind. She was in the early stages of extracting herself from a marriage and was in a state of psychological disarray. She needed to think. She said she'd help me pack while she sorted things out. This meant that she would often be found crying on the porch or wouldn't know what she had or hadn't packed when asked.

That was 14 years ago. Since that move, I have moved about 8 more times, never just "across town," but usually over 1000 miles each time. Some of the moves have been just about as nuts, but that one when Dolly packed things while in an altered state of consciousness probably takes the cake for craziness all around. While I was doing all that moving over a decade and a half, a number of the boxes she packed got put into storage and never got unpacked.

Just now, finally, I'm getting those boxes under my roof and opening them up. Today I opened one that said, "Vase's Breakable Please Be Careful!" The vases were all full of paper shreds. It's true, not a single thing on the inside of the vases was harmed. They were all wrapped in packing paper (ample protection) and in a sea of packing peanuts besides. Of the ones pictured, the most expensive one is probably worth a buck-fifty. Perhaps the picture is somehow of value. The memory and learning from the last 14 years must be of value. Perhaps I need to think some about how when moving through life we spend more effort on protecting our outsides rather than our insides... which is probably more important.

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