Chez Soi

Adventures of a Year Abroad


Save. Ship. Shed.

Cardboard boxes. White Labels. 978 decisions a day. Moving is exhausting. Clarifying too.

Finding the memorabilia was fun. For example, I kept the very first drawing pencils that kiddo used. Silly in some ways — he’ll never need them in the future, and he probably won’t remember them. But I always loved watching him draw with these 20 or so 4-inch pencils that fit into a circle box.

Some things need to be shipped to France, via a small crate that will be shipped over the seas. Champagne glasses. A handmade quilt.  Kiddo chose a really soft blanket. We also packed some art, to help us feel like it is home.

There is the stuff we’ll need when we get home. Beds. Hangers. That goes to storage.

And then we shed the things we no longer need. Lipsticks from 2010. Prada perfume bottle that Curt gave and I said was for ‘his other girlfriend’ since I don’t wear perfume.

In the unearthing of old papers, I found the original design of my desk back, custom created in 2003. One side of the desk has a pull out bread-board — a way for a guest to write. Kiddo used this space to do his first homework, his first drawings.

Desk design

Every time I look at it, I think of him there. Him so little and small compared to this desk which was huge, and heavy. I’ve yet to find a good home for the desk, and I hope it finds a great new owner. Two books have been written on it, and countless interesting conversations had near it. But what I’ll always remember about this desk is kiddo climbing into a chair, and then sitting on his knees while he worked alongside me.