We were moving across town and were selling our smaller place furnished with the large pieces, deciding we’d move the other things we were keeping ourselves. But as time wore on with all the packing, unpacking, loading the car, and making runs back and forth, I found our good intentions were heading south by the third day.
By the fourth day, I was donating, tossing, or leaving behind items I thought I would never part with. All that attachment, especially to the heavier pieces (not worth hiring a mover for) suddenly seemed not worth the effort. Did I really need this? Was it worth lugging several miles? Would it fit in our new place? What did I ever see in that piece in the first place? What was I thinking keeping it all these years?
I never thought I was capable of being so ruthless, but after several days and nights of sore muscles and lack of sleep, I was bordering on the edge. It was sort of like going through your closet and deciding on the keep and the donate piles. After several hours that emotional attachment started to wear pretty thin. All I kept envisioning was the time and effort involved in lugging all that stuff in and out of our SUV.
Normally I was a very easy-going individual, but several days into the big move, I was transformed into Sybil with multiple personalities. Happy, then depressed one minute and near hysteria the next. I wanted all this done. I wasn’t writing and was going toward the dark side from withdrawal. My schedule was no more. I was eating fast food from the drive-thru on the fly. Breakfast, lunch and dinner went by the wayside. Answering emails and twitter went down the toilet as well.
Where did I leave the normally pleasant, cheerful me? Was it in that keep or donate pile? Finally, on the last day of shutting the emotional door one last time on the old and embracing the new, I walked into our old bedroom and there squeezed into the corner sat my friend, my puzzle desk. It was the desk where I wrote my first mystery, The Puzzle.
(That mystery took place in Highlands, NC. Samantha’s log home really was mine, on the side of a mountain, the back porch elevated on telephone poles. And that ice storm, a frightening experience, really took place, our car covered in ice, the whole nice yards. I will never forget it. And yes, we used to wash our car under Bridal Veil Falls too. The Franklin auction held many memories, as well as inching along that curvy, dangerous road on the way from Franklin on many a foggy night, where we held our breath, as we drove, knowing that gorge was down there in the dark to our right. And Mirror Lake? Our favorite spot to feed the geese.)
So needless to say, that particular Puzzle desk held a special place in my heart as I drew upon memories that inspired me. It was an old desk with multiple secret compartments. After a while, I thought I’d found them all, but I always managed to find another when I swore there were no more to be discovered. Just like in my mystery, The Puzzle, another secret was revealed. It was where I sat hour after hour: happy, sad, frustrated, brain blocked, pounding out clues and dialogue. I stood there just staring at it, but then decided that since I had moved on to other mysteries in the series and embraced new horizons, that maybe my desk should too. Why not let someone else discover and unlock all those secrets just waiting to be revealed?
Besides, it was very, very heavy…
…It was day number eleven (It took us longer that we figured) of our big move and the last of what we were taking with us was finally at our new house. We were on our way back from the store, when we decided to stop at the old place for one last look. I walked in and stopped dead in my tracks. Staring at me was The Puzzle desk. I looked at my husband and sighed deeply…
He knew he was in trouble when I asked, “Can we make just one more trip?”
We found an additional surprise puzzle piece when we went to lift (lug) it into the back of our SUV. The desk magically slid apart and separated into two large pieces, which made it not the heavy piece we originally thought to be! What a surprise! We stood there gaping and then laughed. Another puzzle piece was discovered, which cemented the deal to take it with us. Every time I pass that desk to this day I smile, glad I brought my friend with me. Who knows there might be another surprise lurking somewhere in this old gal.
Chase your dreams. And remember, everyday is a blessing! Make the most of it!