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I'll be home for Christmas
jessica brown column
Jessica Taylor.

Moving into a new house is rough, especially when it’s your first time living on your own. There are so many things to pack and sort then transport to your new location. The big empty house becomes a fortress guarded by cardboard boxes. It’s a big ole Jenga game disaster waiting to happen. Let’s just hope we didn’t set the dishes on top.

Wait, did we even pack the dishes? No, no we did not.

Moving in means there are weeks of opening boxes and seeing things you don’t remember ever buying.

Why did I buy that top hat? More importantly, why did I pack it?

Being out on your own in the scary big world for the first time is both exhilarating and terrifying as the list of responsibilities pile up. And during the holidays on top of it all. Is it too early to spike the eggnog?

As my significant other and I gathered our belongings, Mother Nature threw a wrench in our moving plans.

Snow.

And lots of it.

Driving down Highway 53 in below freezing temperatures with a caravan of cars towing my possessions, heavy snow began falling. With nowhere to pull over, I continued driving at a snail’s pace – and praying my poor windshield wipers wouldn’t fail me.

My phone rings. It must be the appliance store about the fridge delivery. I answer only to find out they can’t find my address.

“I’ll send you directions once I get to the house. I’m driving in snow and can’t see the road,” I said.

After everyone arrives at the house safely, we worked fast as lightning to get everything unloaded before dark. With no furniture until Saturday, we had to find shelter from the snowfall before the cold, dark night hit with full force.

I receive a call back. Due to the weather, the fridge can’t be delivered until Tuesday.

“You mean we are going to be up here for a few days with no fridge?”

But honestly, what could I do? Strap the fridge to my little car and install it myself? I suppose we just have to be patient and wait. At least we can get the cabinet pulls installed and get the furniture in place Saturday.

*Ring Ring*

Okay, so no furniture until Monday because of the weather. Well, at least we can get the cabinet pulls install---

Oh, the email says the delivery has been delayed because of the fires in California and the snow in Georgia.

I guess everything will show up at some point?

Time for that eggnog.

I wonder how my parents are doing. Was moving always this stressful on them? I’ve only moved when I was a little girl so I don’t remember all the frustration of boxes of clothes falling apart on the living room floor nor the rushed trips to the store to grab light bulbs and a paper shredder.

We forgot the shredder.

It’s hard to get the house in order before the holidays. As we trip over boxes and discover more useless wires and cords that don’t go to anything we own, it’s hard to be in the Christmas spirit. With no internet installed yet, we can’t pull up a holiday movie. With no fridge, we can’t really store eggnog or milk. With no kitchen table yet, we can’t host a holiday meal with our family.

No one should be moving out during Christmas. I should be home with my parents, drinking hot chocolate by the fire while we watch A Christmas Story for the millionth time. If moving is this hard for me, I can’t imagine how my parents feel about their only child moving away.

But, we have a tree. It’s a simple little tree with colorful lights and quirky ornaments we’ve collected over the years. We took a break from our frantic unpacking to decorate the living room for Christmas.

Yes, that spot over there by the staircase is the perfect spot.

And suddenly, things began falling into place. The stacks of boxes slowly faded away. Rooms began filling up and feeling cozy. All the setbacks and obstacles it took to get here don’t seem so monumental now. We’ll get all our ducks in a row and get the house looking spiffy by Christmas so we can stop worrying about getting command hooks and trash cans and celebrate with our family.

There’s still much work to be done, but now it’s more than a house. It’s home.  

Jessica Brown is the education and features reporter for the Dawson County News. Her columns will appear periodically.