Sunday, September 7, 2008

One last box

In a 6 month period, we have lived in 3 different houses, in 3 different counties. In December, I carefully started packing up all those things that people own, but don't need on a daily basis. Or at all really. But we like them, and keep them, and apparently are willing to lug them to different houses in different counties if need be. In the beginning, box 1 of 2ooo that is, I was careful in labeling what was in each box, and to what room it belonged. By box 1,894 I wasn't so careful.

The first move went along like a well oiled clock. In fact, we even left on time. The next house was so small though, that we had to take the beds apart just to get them in the rooms. Needless to say not all the boxes were emptied. About 8 got the honours. (well probably more than that if you count digging through the ones I didn't label looking for stuff) The idea in my mind, which I now see was a total fantasy, was to only open the boxes we needed and very easily pack them back as they were when it was time to move again. (I think my fantasy may have even included elves to come during the night and do all this for me.)

For some reason, we couldn't get our stuff to fit back in during round two. Like trying to get toothpaste back in the tube. It all got here in those boxes, but it wasn't leaving that way. So we end up in our new spacious house, with truck loads of what looks like crap, because we just hate even the site of those damn boxes at this point. Our huge empty basement was quickly filled with them. The labels I took such care in writing, didn't mean jack, because of course there were no elves to come pack for me. Apparently, someone had decided the boxes that were rummaged through, did count, and every last thing we owned was mixed up.

Two months later, and not 2 months of I'm too lazy to sort this out, 2 months of I'm sick of sorting this out later, I dig out a very special box. This particular special box was packed 6 years ago and it has moved with us to 5 different houses. And had never been unpacked.
This afternoon, I carefully open this box. I pull out the most uncomfortable shoes I have ever, in my whole life, ever put on my feet. But they still make me smile, and I squish my toes into them just because. I walked down the isle in these shoes, and chose the jagged edges of gravel over them at the end of the night. In one hand hung these shoes, in the other, was the hand of my new husband.
Next out of the box is the little head piece I made from little flowers I bought at the dollar store. I still like it more than any I could buy. On my head it goes, on my face a smile and a giggle. Wrapped up in a blue bag, and blue tissue, to keep it from yellowing, is my veil. Just long enough to touch my finger tips. Simple little white flowers spaced out along the bottom. Just how I had wanted. Still perfect. Butterflies greeted me when I put it on my head. They did the last time too. Martin is still cleaning, but watching. A smile lights his face when he sees it. The same smile. The smile that makes me laugh and cry all at the same time.
Then all that's left is the dress. I hadn't even peeked at this box in 6 years for fear it would never fit again. But out it comes. My aunt made me this dress. Lace decorates the top with the same little white flowers. Empire waist, and the softest satin. Matching lace borders the bottom of the chapel train.
I put it on. Don't be foolish, of course I can't zip it all the way up. But most of the way, and Martin is here this time to help so its ok. Memories flood back that I didn't realize I'd forgotten. Running my hands down the front feeling how soft it was, my disbelief I was getting married, and giggling when I thought of who would be waiting for me at the other end of the isle.
I look at Martin with my wedding dress half zipped, standing on our bed so not to get it dirty, looking less like a bride and more like Cinderella after a day of baking and cleaning, and he's standing there, smiling. Just like he was that day.

We pack it all back into it's protective blue cocoon. Close up the box and put it out of the way. We have no daughters, and even if we did, I doubt they'd wear it, but in that box my dress will stay. And even if we move 5 more times it will come too. Even if its just to giggle, and make Martin smile when we take it out again.

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