When I say we’ve moved a lot, you might think, “Yeah, me, too. I moved a few times.”

Okay, maybe you have. But we’ve moved a lot.

I just did a formal count using the handy calculator I carry around with me called fingers, and I totaled up 16 moves since Jenni and I were married almost 32 years ago.

No, we are not in the Witness Protection Program — which I guess should be obvious if you’re reading this. We are not in the CIA (again, obvious). I left the military in 1994. So it’s just been circumstantial and personally motivated moving. Many apartments, a few homes, a condo. Germany, New York City, Phoenix, Washington, D.C., Portland, Los Angeles, and some of those places twice. We’re not on the run from bounty hunters or the Cosa Nostra, either. But it’s starting to sound like we bombed a nuclear research facility and we’re evading the feds. If we were running from the law, I think we could do with a lot less furniture.

And now it’s time to move again. Hopefully this is the last big move we ever make. I’m getting really tired of taking down those IKEA bookshelves and putting them back up again (last count, 7 times).

You might think we would have this down to a science by now. Nope. It’s been 12 years since our last move and I think we’re a little out of practice. We also have a lot more stuff. Stuff! So much… stuff. We once moved apartments in Germany long ago, and everything we owned fit in a small van — with room for hitchhikers. Now we need a 23-foot trailer.

Purge. Pack. Purge. Pack.

Bins of computer stuff

Apparently I have a lot of computers. My home lab is growing even as we pack bins and boxes. Ridiculous.

In the middle of all the back-and-forth “Do we keep this or get rid of this?” there’s the prospect that we are leaving our oldest behind in Los Angeles. It’s the first time we’ll be living in different states since he was born. We’re sort of doing a reverse of the traditional, because usually the kids go off to college or just move away because of, well, life. So it feels a little bit like we’re abandoning him. He’s 28, but all I can picture is little 8-year old him waving goodbye like we dropped him off at an orphanage.

The stomach drops.

Aside from the child abandonment, it’s stressful, sad, and nerve-racking. Will our stuff get there? Will we make friends? Is it colder than we remember?

Is it also exciting? Of course it is. It’s a bit of a roller coaster at the moment. It’s hard to focus on work, because of both sides of the emotional see-saw.

In less than two weeks, if all goes according to plan, our youngest and I will be on the road, waving goodbye to California. Yipe!

February calendar page with dates marked off.


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