I’ve moved a lot. I was born in Dayton, then moved to Columbus, Austin, Edmonton, Des Moines, Akron, Columbus (II), Cleveland, Columbus (III), Los Angeles, San Francisco, and then back to Los Angeles (II). My brother John, who remembers everything, claims we also lived in Iceland in the summer of 1968 and Indonesia during the monsoon season in 1975.
My dad was an executive in public television. You might have seen public television if you are flipping though the channels and see brief glimpses of grasshoppers mating or English actors drinking tea on a lawn.
My dad always moved us just as we had acquired the local dialect. It wasn’t long after we moved to Austin, Texas that I was talking like a six year old John Wayne. My brothers and I would be killing each other and I’d say to my mom, “Howdy, little lady! Whaddya say y’all rustle up some baloney sandwiches while Mike and them kick each other in the head?”
Once settled in Austin, we did the next logical thing. We moved. To Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Neighbor kids would ring the doorbell:
1st neighbor kid: Say ‘you guys’.
2nd neighbor kid: See, I told you! They’re cowboys!
I slowly transformed into a Canadian, playing hockey and throwing snowballs at cars every day. Despite some lingering Texan (Y’all pass the puck!), I learned to speak Canadian: “Mum, make some baloney sandwiches while Mike and me kick each other in the head,
We fell in love with Canada. Which meant it was time to move. We moved back to the US- Des Moines, Iowa. Neighbor kids would ring the doorbell:
1st neighbor kid: Say ‘out and about’.
Me: Oot and aboot.
2nd neighbor kid: See, I told you! They’re British!
The worst part of moving is leaving friends behind. I’m so used to it, every three years I leave my friends even if I’m not moving:
“Listen, it’s been great. I’ll write all the time”.
“But you aren’t moving. You still have the same job and you live in the same apartment”, they say.
“Hey, don’t make it harder than it is!” I yell, sobbing.
When you pack and unpack several hundred times, you learn to adapt. My mom built a kitchen cabinet out of cardboard. When it was time to move, she pushed a button and it broke down into 25 packed boxes with labels on the outside that said “KITCHEN”.
My brothers and I put rollers on every single piece of furniture. It was easier to move stuff in and out of the moving van. Plus, it kept us from punching my mom when she made us move our two-ton couch 317 times.
“Let me see it opposite the fireplace, again. You boys aren’t tired are you?”, she said.
No, mom. I love lifting a couch with a bed in it.
How about some baloney sandwiches?