As I mentioned in an earlier post, we are selling our house in Virginia, buying one in southern California. Today was our last day in the Virginia house: a sad day, because selling a house is not quite like selling or giving away a bit of furniture. A house is in a sense just a thing, an object that one can buy and sell, and religion tells us not to grow too attached to things. Christianity teaches that our home is in heaven, not here on earth; Buddhism would teach that attachment to objects ties us to this world, dooms us to reincarnation. But I am not a monk, and I will admit that I choked up a bit a couple of times today, thinking about how the children grew up in that Virginia home, how we hosted friends and family there, how many friends we leave behind in DC.
It was hard to get too emotional after eight o’clock this morning, however, because the movers were there and it was chaotic. Boxes being packed, furniture and boxes moved, pushing the vacuum, calming the dog, opening cupboard after cupboard and finding a few last lost items. At around two the moving truck slowly slowly pulled out, and we pulled out after it.
“We” is myself, my sixteen-year-old daughter Lydia, and our dog Sunny. We are driving from Virginia to California, in part because we have the time, and in part so that the dog can join us easily. The dog once flew to California, but it was stressful, for both us and the dog. Dogs cannot fly when it is too hot, and it is almost always too hot in Washington in the summer, so no canine aviation.
We have stopped for the evening in Lexington, Virginia. If you look on the map, we have barely started: we have covered 180 miles of the more than 2600 mile drive. But in cultural terms, we have left the Northeast and we are in the South. At dinner this evening, in a “family restaurant,” we were greeted with “how y’all doing.” The menu included items such as fried catfish and pork chops and lima beans: not choices you see often in the DC area. Far better, there was homemade pie for dessert: I had cherry, not perhaps the best, and Lydia tried chocolate meringue, a fine pie.