Dirty Socks

John is already gone, but that’s how we do things.  For our first major move, over 5 years ago, we were able to go together and at the same time.  But at that time, I had just finished student teaching and just finished almost dying of pneumonia, so I didn’t really have a schedule to keep.  Ever since then, I’ve been working as a teacher, so I have maintained a pretty definite work season.  John, as a landscaper, has had a less defined, but certainly prime, work season.  When you apply the field of landscaping to the backdrop of Alaska, some definition starts to take shape. 

 All of that adds up to our moving ability being not quite aligned.  From Reno to San Diego, John left over three months ahead of me.  From San Diego to Yreka, he stayed behind to finish his season and I moved to start mine.  There was almost a two month gap.  For this move, he’ll have been soaking up 20+ hours of daylight for only six weeks before we make the final push to get our life northward.

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John’s advanced view.

Our lag time in starting our Alaskan life together presents some problems, because moving to Alaska presents some problems.  Primarily, John took three bags with him when he left in May, which leaves me to pack up the rest of the house.  I am not the person you want to leave behind to pack up the house.  Secondly, we have one shot to get what we need north.  There were several trips involved when we transitioned to Yreka.  To Anchorage, there will be one, and one only.  So prepping must be planned, pointed, and succinct.  I am also not particularly good at planned, pointed, and succinct.  

Fortunately, I recently heard a talk that gave me a very useful lens for viewing my current situation and task.  The speaker was talking about dirty socks.  Imagine that you somehow got it in your head that dirty socks, as in nasty, sweaty, stinky, post-workout socks, were extremely valuable.  More valuable than gold.  You would roam around collecting socks, in all their reeking putrescence, until you had a bag so large and cumbersome, you couldn’t hold anything else.  This would continue, until something caused you to enter a moment of clarity where you saw your treasure for what it really was: just dirty socks.  My goal now is to shed my dirty socks.  Old magazines?  Dirty socks.  Easily replaceable furniture?  Dirty socks.  Clothes I haven’t worn in years?  Dirty socks.  Cheap knick-knacks, chipped dishes, old bottle of face cream?  Dirty socks.

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Bad dirty socks.

Ultimately, it all must go.  Whether sold, given away, or trashed, we’ll be down to bare essentials.  I’ll admit, I already cheated a little.  I packed up a couple, well, several, boxes of books to store at my dad’s house.  Actually, it was nine boxes.  I suppose I haven’t completely given up my addiction to dirty socks.  Or maybe it’s just an imperfect analogy.  I realized that one thing that is not a dirty sock for me is…well…my dirty socks.  I do love my Injinjis.  They are all coming.

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Good dirty socks.

John sent me confirmation yesterday that he’ll be flying back to the lower 48 on July 1st.  That gives me a little over two weeks to purge over eight years of accumulation, then neatly assemble what remains.  At that point, we’ll begin our long caravan, with him towing our trailer, and me pulling our recently traded-for boat (which has been confirmed several times over as an essential item for AK).  The drive will not be brief, but it’s expected to be our most epic camping trip to date.  And, with my eye focused on our dirty socks, it should be a pretty light load.  

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