The past couple of weeks have been something of a blur around here. Last Tuesday, we picked up the truck.

I have to say it’s grown a bit since we moved from Boston 8 years ago.

But then, come to think of it, so have we, so I suppose it’s appropriate.

We left Boston as a couple of just-past teenagers, newly graduated from college with a dorm room’s worth of stuff in a 10-foot truck. This time, we’re coming back as a senior engineer and a professor, lots of life lessons and a few hobbies later, and it’s a 24-foot truck this time around.

It turns out we overestimated the space we’d need by at least 4 (and probably 6) ft of length, but better too much than too little, and it was nice not having to worry about packing everything in the absolutely most efficient way possible.

Loading the truck took almost no time at all. We had a treadmill in the basement that I didn’t want to risk moving ourselves, so we hired movers to come carry it up the 7 stairs it would take to get it out of the house. It turned out that they had a 2-hr minimum time, so we ended up with help carrying things out after all. We worked on it for a couple of hours in the morning before they came, getting all the important and fragile things in first. Then they showed up, moved the treadmill in 5 minutes flat, and then proceeded to empty the rest of the house in under an hour. Not bad, all things considered.

That gave us time to clean the house and do a walk-through with the landlords, and meant that we could get on the road a half a day earlier than we’d planned. Next morning, we packed the cats into their custom travelling arrangement, and set off.

People always ask how the cats do with traveling. The simple answer is: just fine. They hate being confined to their carriers, but our car is a hatch back, and Branden built a divider out of PVC pipe, some connectors and window screen. For long trips we set up the cat beds, a litter box, food and water and let them out in the back of the car. There’s a carrier in there in case they want it, but they never do. We let them in and out through the back seat (which flips down), so that they can’t escape in the process. With this configuration, they’re only mildly put out at the idea of traveling.

Here’s Artemis surveying her new domain, waiting for us to get on the road.

Once the car is in motion, she pops down and doesn’t come up again much until we stop, but she’ll occasionally perch for a while and watch the world go by when we’re driving through parking lots. I get a bit of a chorus from the back seat for the first few hours of the drive, but then they settle down and go to sleep.

Hotel rooms are the most exciting thing ever. They must be investigated in detail, and immediately upon arrival.

Artemis is usually the more thorough explorer.

It’s actually hard to catch a picture of them, because they’re always in motion. But then, eventually they settle down.

The only thing that they seem to mind much is getting into their carriers to go back and forth to the car. The rest is all a great adventure, as far as they’re concerned. (And they get dry food on the road, which is just the best thing ever. Oh, to be a cat.)

A little over a thousand miles and two days later, we arrived in Salem. My sister helped us unpack the truck, and since then we’ve been unpacking, and carrying boxes up the stairs. This house has three levels, and of course our offices are on the third floor. That doesn’t seem like a big deal, until you realize that the majority of that 24-foot truck belongs in our offices.

It’s an interesting  expression of where our priorities lay, that’s for sure. The living room has a couch, a rug, the piano, and now the treadmill in it. We decided to leave the bookcases down there, too, rather than carrying 25 cubic feet of books up three flights of stairs. The bedroom is pretty much a bed, a dresser, and a closet full of clothes. The rest of it belongs either in the kitchen or in our offices.

So, we’ve been schlepping things up and down the stairs, unpacking, arranging, running out to get all the little things that we need, and then arranging again. It’s getting there, but it’s not done yet. It’s all those little details that take forever. The move itself was fast and easy, and most of the unpacking is done. Now it’s just those little odds and ends that need to be tied up, and it seems like they’ll never end.

I’ve also been tying up the details on the spiral shawl pattern this week. It’s also almost there; one more thorough proofreading, and I think it’s set to go, so look for it soon. If only my office were so close to done!