Noelle and I have now packed 61 boxes and counting, and I could not, would not, have been an upright, sane, fully functioning human being without her help.  I am still suffering from overwhelm and a tiredness beyond belief, but I can see the end now.

One small corner of one room!

With each box there always seems to be a little pocket or a long side gap left over so that you have to run around the house looking for an object “just that dimension” in order not to waste a precious inch.  And as you get down towards this “getting to the end” it gets harder and harder to come up with proper stuffing material.  At first I tried to be very systematic and logical and had only “often used vases” in one and “back-up homeopathic remedies” in another.  Something like that.  But of course life’s possessions don’t catagorize themselves neatly into 12” by 12” by 16” dimensions.

So now I’ll have to be somewhat of a detective once we get to Mt. Faith, and if my favorite Fargo t-shirt is stuffed into the gap with the parts to the Kitchen Aid mixer, and the rolling pin is in a box marked “Journals 1976-1990” – oh well.  It will all be a surprise.

And as the eventual recipient, Noelle was able to be tough about weeding out the dross and giving her stamp of approval to an occasional heave-ho.  And we were able to laugh at the old memories and appreciate better than anyone the history we were packing.

The greatest delight was coming across Grandma Marie’s white silk scarf, the one she always wore just under the collar of her grey wool coat.  Noelle picked it up with great sentimentality and instinctively held it up to her face and took a deep breath and, wonder of wonders,  discovered the lovely scent of her powder,  the one in the small round flower-covered box with the small puff, the one we can see like it was yesterday but not remember the name.  Grandma died at the age of 91 in 1972 and after all this time, almost 40 years, it was as if she was  there in the room with us. And maybe she was.

The scarf will be going home with Noelle.

I just wish Noelle would be “going home” with me. I’m going to keep reminding her of good memories we shared so that she comes to visit as often as possible.

Noelle and I - Johnson Family Reunion, North Dakota 2008

Caught in the Storm Hayride!

Even the babies are getting drenched!

Johnson Family Fun and Hi-Jinx!

Robert (with chair) happy to give up the Hi-Jinx!

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