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How to Pack Up A House, by Wacky Mommy

October 21st, 2007

I think it’s because my Mom hates moving so much that my sister and I love moving so much. My Mom is a little shy and a bit of a homebody. So for her parents to have packed her up and moved her around on the average of every year for the first 14 years of her life was pretty shattering. After she married my Dad, they lived in a rental for the first two years they were married — it was a pretty little guest cottage behind a pretty house on a double (or triple?) lot in Northeast Portland.

Then they purchased a house in the Rose City neighborhood in 1966, when I was two. She has lived there ever since.

I have always liked to move. I’ve lived… lemme count ’em up real quick… rental house when I was a baby, Rose City childhood home, scuzzy apartment with housemate, awesome farmhouse in Vancouver, Wash., scummy little rental (then back home to Mommy. Such a baby — I think I’ve moved back home 5 times or so since “leaving” home when I was 18), loft on Grand Ave. in “transitional” neighborhood, INCREDIBLY AWESOME fourplex off SE Hawthorne and 14th, slightly-less-awesome apartment off SE Hawthorne and 23rd??? (I think).

Um. A church (turned into four rental apartments), in Ladd’s Addition (SE Portland, between Division and Hawthorne and oh, Internet, I cannot tell you how badly I wanted to buy that church and turn the baptismal into a hot tub. One of my friends gave me a lift home one night and yelled I partied here! When the owner was remodeling it! (I always miss the fun parties.)

I am getting the order all wrong, but I will press on. (Is this entry interesting to anyone but me? No. I do not care, I’m on a mission now.)

* New York City — lived on St. Mark’s Place for a month? A few weeks? I cannot remember. And on East 12th, between Avenues A & B, or B & C, who knows, for a couple months.

* Back to Portland. Cannot remember at all, but I think I was back to the SE Hawthorne and 23rd building for awhile, then lived in a heinous apartment (one of those ones they carve into a hillside where mud then pours down on it) in a swanky part of the West Hills, then… who knows. But I got an apartment on SE 18th, on Ash? Ankeny? for awhile, then over to SE 13th and Salmon (off Hawthorne, again) and guess who lived a block away? That’s right. Hockey God, my future husband. And he noticed me, and I noticed him, but he also noticed my boyfriend, and I also noticed his girlfriend and that, as they say, was that.

For the moment.

me, years later: “If I had known you were interested in me, I would have broken up with that loser in one second!”
him: “Sweet, how loyal you are.”
me: “Hello, you are Hockey God!”

Then… I bought my first house, which was about 20 blocks from my family home. Then I moved home again, under a witness protection-type of program wherein every time my psycho ex dropped by my mom locked me in the backyard or the other room and wouldn’t even let him in the house, much less speak to me.

Go, Mom. She’s petite, but the girl’s got a temper.

Then… I kind of started staying with Hockey God, a block from my former apartment, so that made me feel secure. Also, he’s bigger than my ex, and wilier, so that made me feel extra-loved and protected. We got a crappy little rental, a duplex, then a nicer place (a house), but still a rental, then we bought Old Grouchy Auntie House. If you would like to read about all her demands, and the Honey Bucket Brigade, click right here.

Hmm. So not counting moving back and forth, over to mom’s, back and forth to the place on 23rd (where I think I actually lived on three different occasions) I think that’s nineteen moves?

No wonder I want to get out of here — I’m restless. Also, the longer you stay at a place, the more junk you accumulate.

I just realized, I did not talk at all about how to pack up a house.

You don’t do it by avoiding it via blogging, that’s for sure.




  1. megs says

    I like your mom. She reminds me of myself. Short but feisty. Anyway, I was an army brat so I moved every 3 or 4 years as a kid. This set up a pattern of relationships…after four years…it was Bye Bye, baby, Bye Bye…and I moved alot in my early adult years until I had kids…then we parked it. Now it seems the roots are deep in North Portland…It’s good…15 or so years….A load of people…including kids I have watched grow up…and their parents…It’s good to stay put…but it also means loads of junk…that piles up and piles up…Enjoy the move. You can at least get rid of all that extra STUFF! And what is happening with your house? Any takers? Keep us posted.

    October 21st, 2007 | #

  2. Lindsay says

    Wow! And i though i had moved around a lot!! You make my move history look like a piece of cake :P
    Handy tip: when i moved last i used moveme.com to help me (its quite possibly the most useful site ive ever used!) – as i suspect you may just move again in the future…

    October 22nd, 2007 | #

  3. edj says

    We moved TONS when I was a kid. I swore I would not do that to my kids. Hello? How about 4 international moves in the last 6 years? So I’m obviously not very good at keeping my own personal promises.
    I hate moving. I really do.
    My longest living situation–in all my 40 or so years–is 5 years in one house.

    October 22nd, 2007 | #

  4. Daisy says

    You’ve taken a little of every home with you in your memory, if not more. Moving? You’ll get it done. Keep posting about it; we’ll read. :)

    October 24th, 2007 | #

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