Packing Is Such Sweet Sorrow; A Moving Story


So. I’ve been busy sorting and packing the things to take to Santa Fe. And thinking. I’ve never really moved except back to my college days when Streaker Jones and I rented a furnished house over near The University of Texas.

Precisely how do you decide what is important enough to move from one state to another—from one culture to one of a complete difference? What personal mementos are better placed in one home as the other?

How does a person divide their life’s possessions and histories into two separate piles?

Me—I have no fucking idea.

I have gone from thinking that I should move everything I own across state lines to giving everything away to the Salvation Army and starting over. I have keepsakes from three kids, ten marriages and six decades of life enjoyments and pains. I have a big house here to the ranch and every wall, nook and cranny is full and packed with my—and my family’s—shit.

I have an entire truckload of stuff from my own childhood. I have the cactus needles removed from from my body that time I fell into a mature prickly pear; I have the pair of old coveralls—rusty zipper still hanging from their crotch—from that time Mother zipped me up; I’ve even got the newspaper notice that appeared in the Metro Section from the first time I was ever arrested.

Which of those keepsakes is better kept in Santa Fe and which will age better in the higher humidity of Austin?

How does a man who loves to cook divide his kitchen gadgets into two separate yet equal allotments—one to stay in Texas and the second to travel to the Enchanted Land? Assuming that everything has some semblance of a soul, how do you decide which things get the same blessings as you yourself are to receive with your move, and which are to stay in the arch conservative political cesspool known as Texas? Will my favorite All Clad cookware have hurt feelings if I leave them behind and buy new there? Will the stockpot miss the saute’ pans if I separate them? Will they burn stuff on purpose if they are unhappy with my decisions?


When I asked my grandmother what she thinks, she told me, she said, “Oh who gives a shit, Mooner. Take what ya want and leave tha rest. Now git yer ass out to tha grillie and cook them ribbies.”

I love that crazy old broad. When I asked her if there was anything I could do for her before I leave this time, she said, “Ya can fix me some a yer ribbies—ya know, them ones with tha sticky sauce.”

Sticky sauce would be a fiery-hot honey glaze that I apply after the ribs are cooked. I slather the sauce on and then move the meat over the hot coals. Most of the glaze slides off into the fire, and the resulting flare-ups from sugar on glowing coals crisps the remaining sugars onto the meat. The results are tender and juicy pork meat with a super-thin spicy crust.

As my Gram likes to say, “Makes ya wanna slap yer own damned self.”

Anyway, I’m really too busy to screw with writing and I’m likewise way behind schedule with the packing. Movers will arrive Tuesday morning to load and I need to get ready. So this will be the last posting until Thursday or Friday, and then I’ll be writing as a New Mexican.

Squirt told me yesterday, she said, “Maybe we should change my name to “Chorra”. Chorro is Spanish for Squirt.”

When I reminded her that chorro can have a negative connotation she told me she’d think about it. Then she told me that since luna was Spanish for moon that maybe we should call me Lunatic. She then laughed herself breathless and almost broke her leg patting herself on the back.

Manana de la manana de la manana, y’all.

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2 Responses to “Packing Is Such Sweet Sorrow; A Moving Story”

  1. Squatlo says:

    Here’s what you do: Look around the house and imagine the place is on fire, about to be fully engulfed. You’ve got time to dash in and out with possessions about five times before the firemen hold you back and keep you from killing yourself over “stuff”.

    Take what you would take in such a situation. The rest can hang around Austin until you come back to dust it off.

    I don’t envy what you’re going through, but having a second residence sounds like something I could get used to with time…

    Take care, man. Just remember, don’t sweat the small shit. And it’s all small shit.

  2. mel says:

    I do not envy you having to pack all that shit even a little bit. When we move, we will have been here for 11 or 12 years, and I am not looking forward to packing this mess…I can’t even imagine! I like Squat’s plan. Do that. And good luck. And those ribs with that sauce sound amazing. I want the recipe.

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