Yes, We've Moved!

Hello dear friends! Finally I’m catching up with a quick dispatch, all about moving.

Pockets of Coziness

Before moving, we progressed daily in order and chaos, shuffling along the corridors created by piles of our things. Throughout the days I found small pockets of coziness to remind me of a usual life. When the move became more immanent, I was at sea with boxes floating all around me, and nowhere to stand for very long. Just as I settled in one spot, boxes grew into looming high towers, reducing the pathway to just enough space to walk, reminding me of the hoarder’s newspaper stacks in My Brother’s Keeper or Grey Gardens. I picked my way from the kitchen back over to the bedroom shelves, always with an eye for the spiky things made of metal just at ankle level. Pockets of coziness showed up in this maze, and were even more cozy than I could have imagined. With laptop and coffee, I sat in a nook overlooking the Vancouver street below.


The Big Guy Left Behind - I remember another move

What’s buried (badly) darkly, under Debbie Reynolds’ gazebo in the black and white garden? An empty garden swing moves back and forth. It is “day for night” out there - something about F-stops. Childhood nightmares that the plastic-wrapped body will be discovered by a friendly sniffing dog and a postman on his bicycle is alerted. But LOL, what is it really? Just a giant stuffed doll figure that I made for fun. A life-sized Big Guy. When we moved I had to leave the big guy behind. I was 12 or 14, and felt okay with it. Making him had been fun but there was nowhere for him to be. And he was BIG, like a person, sitting in the living room. He took up a lot of space. After I made him I lost interest and he was shuffled, carried and dragged around from room to room, finally ending up in the basement. Storage.

He was the second or third version of one of these guys. I stuffed my dad’s long underwear with old clothes, then dressed him, stuffed gloves and sewed them on by hand. Stuffed socks and sewed them on for feet. The head? It was always floppy. A stuffed t-shirt with a face painted on it, with mop hair, wig hair, or hat. All sewn onto the collar of the underwear. He could sit up, with crossed legs. His eyes open and bright like a Raggedy Ann. Smiling lips drawn on with lipstick, cheeks reddened the same way.

There was no room for him. I carried him out to the back. Sitting in a garbage can in the alley he looked out over the fence as we drove away.


Now we’re here! Awaiting Instructions

I thought we were moving from one place to another, but it’s much more than that. It has now dawned on me that James and I are changing our way of life. We were so focused on packing and moving that this last important bit of info had been shuffled out of frame for a time.

This new home is the place where it’s happening. Looking out through the trees I see the water of the Pacific. I’m amazed at the transition. We went from downtown Vancouver (high density and high tension, car traffic and drug traffic, with unhoused people sleeping on the sidewalk beneath the awning) to our new place on an island looking out to the sea. Wow.

Our new house used to be the office/workspace of Salt Spring architect Hank Schubart. Rain patters on his skylights as I write. He designed many of the West Coast Modern houses here, as well as the Salt Spring Fire Hall.

I pinch myself to prove this is all real. (It is.) Lots to learn, and in these Covid times there is more time to listen. There is more to unpack than boxes and storage. This place has its own being and requirements. I wait for instructions as we unbox, arrange, and settle in for the winter.


Here’s a link to an article that might come in handy sometime - A Copy Editor’s Education in Indigenous Style


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