Passport to Poconos – Living Between Boxes


Dear friend,

 Thank you for telling me that after moving six months ago, you still haven’t unpacked all your boxes. And you say it with a smile that gives me hope.



When we first moved to the Poconos I started unpacking the boxes corresponding to the kitchen. I needed at least one room that was completed and would give me a sense of order and belonging. Many other boxes went into the basement for future unpacking. Over five years we never quite got to the basement, making forays down there when we needed something, searching through endless boxes until we found it or declared it lost. That’s the danger of having too much storage space.


When we began moving to our new house last fall, I realized it didn´t have a basement, and I panicked. Where would we put everything?  My husband´s theory of a no-basement house was that it would force us to get rid of everything we didn´t use and didn´t need. This was a good theory but tough to stick with.


We started moving in November, went away for the holidays in December, and came back with January 31 as the ultimate outside date. Still, things progressed at a snails pace. We kept procrastinating until we had only four days left. Our neighbor Hillary took pity on us and came over to take charge. Hillary was like a master sergeant of moving.


“I want to keep this and this,” I kept saying while she stared at me with a scornful look. “Why do you want to keep this? Did you use it in the last two years?”


Finally, my husband rented a truck and Hillary and I loaded bag after bag bound for the Salvation Army. Have you ever been to the Salvation Army loading dock in East Stroudsburg? Everything from baby car seats to video games to toasters is piled up waiting for someone to sort through it all. They don´t take clothes on the dock. You throw those in the ¨donation¨ dumpsters. What happened to the clothes? I don´t want to think about it.


We also emptied two storage units we had been renting, so we ended up living in a house without a basement, surrounded by endless boxes and disassembled furniture.


Only my cats are happy. They hop from one mountain of boxes to another. It must feel like Disneyland to them.  I wonder if we are now living in our own storage unit.


My husband insists that it will take us six months to unpack, “Why rush?” he asks as he waves me goodbye to go skiing for a couple of hours. I think he can’t deal with looking through all of those years of his past.


But getting rid of the past means leaving space for a new start. I’m looking forward to that and to having a house warming party for my new and old neighbors. When it will that happen is anyone’s guess.



Christina´s radio show with a Latin flavor is every Sunday morning at 8:00 AM on Pocono 96.7. Tu Voz con Christina. Email:

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