the things we carried


A butter dish. A gorgeous white soup tureen that was an incredibly well-chosen Christmas gift. A package full of paper samples from our wedding invitations.*

These are the pieces of home, Des Moines, that came with us to home, Menlo Park, that don’t really belong.  Into boxes they went along with a deep swallow of sentimentality (My dad picked this gorgeous tureen out for me himself and I will need it in California), a little bit of wishing (Maybe we’ll host a Friendsgiving some year and need the butter dish), and whole lot of irrational thinking (I couldn’t BEAR to be without this random paper).

While I put our possessions in boxes last spring, I thought a lot about how they said something about the life we were creating for ourselves out here. I imagined becoming intentional hosts to our new friends, having fun living a little MacGyver-style with a lot less than we had before, and even becoming outdoorsy. (My snow boots. I brought my heavy-duty snow boots to California.)

And now we’ve packed up those things again and put them into boxes again with more dreams. Maybe this will be the last time we move while Brad’s sick. This will be the small closet that forces me to get rid of all the clothes from high school I still wear.

Even better, I stopped for a moment during our move to a new apartment back in April and realized some things we wished for when we first moved to California had come true. We had an army of friends hauling box after box of heavy magazines and books into our new place. Other friends couldn’t be there but loaned us all the rubber bins and boxes we needed to move. I realized we have a community here now. For a girl who spent the first six months here feeling so desperately lonely, this is a gift. And not for nothing, for a girl who has a hard time accepting help, getting so much help moving was humbling and instructive and relieving. Thank God for that blessing and that lesson.

Now I have to tell you about our fireplace. It isn’t a working fireplace, but it’s still awesome. Except for the paint colors. Behold:



(A horrible photo, but I promise an in-focus photo would not do this fireplace any favors. The only thing that would is paint, preferably white.)

I asked our landlord if I could paint it and he gave me this look like I asked him if he liked ketchup on his cherry pie. Then I realized: HE LIKES these colors. My. Word.

So I’m still working on him.


*Plus two boxes of toothpicks and not a single match. An umbrella stand we didn’t use in Des Moines and don’t use here. Contacts with an outdated prescription–that was outdated before we moved. Four bottles of molasses.



1 Comment

  1. Tim

    Molasses! That is all I have to say…

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