Well, I decided to go with PODS. It was way cheaper than United, and about the same price as Victory. I chose PODS because a) I can take all my stuff and not worry about how heavy or big it is, and b) I feel like I will have a little more control over my stuff, at least for the next two weeks. With a professional mover, I'd be saying goodbye to everything on Sunday and wouldn't see it until after we arrived in NC. If you know me, you know that relinquishing control is not something I do easily.
So now I'm packing. It is going slower than I expected, I think because I'm used to moving across town with just me and my friends and family to do the labor, so I've never really packed things all that securely. Knowing a box of fragile items is going from my bedroom, to my car, to my new bedroom, in trusted hands the entire time, I'm a little lax with the cushion. But now I have no idea how much jostling and bumping and bouncing all my stuff is going to endure, so I'm packing it as if it will be both dropped and stomped on. Which means lots--and lots--of bubble wrap. That stuff's not cheap! But if it protects my precious knick knacks from unspeakable abuse, it's worth it. Can I tell you how many times I wrote "knick knacks" today? Yeah, like eight. Twice on each box. For crying out loud, I have four boxes of knick knacks?! I need help.
I was thinking today that I enjoy my stuff the most when I'm packing and unpacking it. Case in point: I was wrapping up a Venetian glass bowl I acquired in Italy a year and a half ago, and it occurred to me that I had not truly appreciated it--in the sense of contemplating its beauty, remembering how I acquired it, etc.--since the last time I packed and unpacked it. But at least it's on display, unlike a lot of my stuff, which is hidden away in boxes because I don't have room to display it.
It also occurred to me that the poor victims of Katrina don't even have "stuff" anymore. It would be heartbreaking to lose all the souvenirs and collectibles and mementos that I have gathered and saved over the years. Of course it's not the things themselves that are so valuable, but rather the memories they evoke. I'm not even 30 but I am already disturbed by how much my mind is like a sieve. Without these things to jolt my memories, what would be left? It's sad to think that we recall our lives by way of materialistic goods, but it's true. The only way around that is to write down everything you experience, everything you think about, all your feelings and opinions. Which is why, I think, blogs are so popular. It's like a journal, but better, because you'll never lose it. (Unless Blogger goes under, of course--don't even go there!)
I've got precious little time left...tomorrow I'm out of commission, going to Santa Barbara, and Saturday I'm going to a play (the tickets were bought a long time ago). So that leaves Thursday and Friday to get everything ready. And Thursday I'm going out to lunch and dinner (gotta get all the goodbyes taken care of!). Sleep? What's that?