I always used to have dreams where I was packing for a big family move or a trip of some sort. I still do sometimes. Sometimes I’m reenacting my last move, other times there’s some natural disaster about to happen and I’m trying to pack up as much as I can.
When I was little, we moved into a handful of different places. One of them my Dad couldn’t live in due to some overgrown bush out back that gave him bad hives—eyes swelled shut kind of hives—but otherwise it was a nice house. Mom used the attic for a sewing room, but I know if we’d been able to stay there I would’ve tried to convince her to let me use it for my bedroom.
Another place we suspect was haunted. Both parents saw the same shadow of a man with a hat a few times and I was the obligatory baby that woke up and freaked out. The landlord later disclosed that a man had died there and it had taken some time for anyone to notice. I don’t remember any of this because I was too young, but I’ve been given accounts from both parents.
The last house I lived in before moving closer to Toronto was next door to another girl my age. The yard was a nice size with a big tree and a hill, and if you went through the back gate you were in the parking lot of a grocery store. It didn’t have an actual garage, just an overhang with a wall of patterned cinder blocks.
After that, we lived in the same house for 15 years. A part of me thought moving around was fun and I drew a lot of plans and diagrams for what my next place would look like. Now that I’ve been living in this apartment for so long, I kind of miss having a deck and a basement. Maybe wishing so much was a mistake. Sometimes I feel like I jinxed what we had all because I wanted the adventure of exploring a new living space for the first time.
Which brings me to last night’s dream: I was back at the house again, but every so often while packing it’s like I skipped back in time a bit and found more things to pack—things I thought I’d lost and was happy to see again—but there was always another box to fill and I knew some things would get left behind. The last time we moved we did leave a lot behind. We left things we wouldn’t be able to take with us because there was no room, it was water-damaged from a recent basement flood, or we didn’t have time to pack and sell it. Our landlady told us not to worry about it and had some people come in afterwards to clean anything up that was left.
Mom even had retail fixtures left over from a place she used to work that closed—which are very handy if you need cabinets and hear of a store closing soon. My local Zellers was selling shelving and displays for under $500 in some cases when they closed. Anyway, she left behind a big drawer that used to hold sewing patterns but was repurposed as a TV stand because it held a lot of movies. Nearly every VHS we owned fit in it with room to spare—all out of sight unless opened. I hope whoever eventually got it found a use for it. Maybe they painted it. It was still varnished but the colours were pretty dated; think orange and brown.
I think there was another shelf she used in the laundry room that was huge enough to hold stacks of fabric. That was another thing we had to get rid of, most of Mom’s old fabric. She got thousands of dollars worth from one of her fabric store jobs because she’d be asked to put together a piece for a display and whatever was left she’d get to keep. She could’ve opened her own fabric store easily. Other than that there was a hole in the wall we pushed it in front of. When we first checked out the house before moving in years ago I remember there being a dog belonging to the owner who had puppies. Imagine a basement wall and puppies keep jumping through it as people are trying to have a conversation. Obviously none of them or their mother stayed with us but the hole was just there and yeah. Out of sight, out of mind.
Before I woke up we were loading things into the minivan to take over to the new place, and Dad started acting funny, like he was thinking of taking some of my stuff. He then turned into a woman who I chased out to the car. I don’t know who she was, or why that dream came about, but it’s sort of a left field scenario for me.
It would be nice to find a place that’s roomier than here but I don’t think that will happen. I’d need to have a really good-paying job and that’s a story that could take up an entire blog post.
Until next time,