Monday, August 15, 2022

Moving Day

We spent most of today moving Lauren into her new apartment. It’s a nice place that she’ll share with her bestie for the upcoming school year.

She’s been on campus this summer rather than moving back home after the semester ended. A job with the university let her have housing in the dorm for cheap, and she ended up taking a couple of classes as well. She’s definitely wringing the place dry, and that’s what you should do in college – get everything you can out of it, and then take that experience with you when you leave. I try to tell my own students to do that, though I’m never sure if they take me seriously when I do. But it’s good to see Lauren following that path.

She came home for a bit last week, mostly to hang out with us and get caught up on cat time. There were also a few assignments she had to take care of for her classes, most notably her public speaking course which required her to give two presentations to a minimum audience of five people each. A cavalcade of her friends came over to listen to each of them, and it was good to see them. She has nice friends. We fed them snacks.

Lauren also spent some of that time packing up things she’ll need for her apartment, and by last night the kitchen was an unwalkable pile of bags and boxes. She’d gone back to her dorm room by then, however, to pack that up, and we all convened at the apartment this afternoon.

Kim, Oliver, and I drove up, met Lauren, Aleksia, and their friend Luke, and we all unloaded the stuff from home – including a bed and some furniture. Fortunately the place has an elevator, which as someone who is on the downslope of middle-aged I very much appreciated.  Afterward Lauren and I went over to her dorm room where she learned the Great Truth of Moving: "you have more stuff than you think you do." But eventually it got loaded up, carted over, and loaded out.

She and I also made a grocery run, because you can’t just leave someone with an empty fridge like that. We had a grand time of it, wandering around and picking out food. Food is love, after all.

I remember my first apartment, the summer after my junior year of college – a sublet that backed onto Sansom Street near 36th in West Philadelphia. It was a fourth-floor walk-up with a flat black-tar roof in a hot summer that saw Philadelphia reach 108F/42C more than once. I shared it with my friends Terence and Amy. Terence eventually bought a small air conditioner that we set in the window over the kitchen table. At full power it kept the table cool. At some point he gave up entirely and booked a trip to Hudson Bay, Canada, which is something you can do when you have more money than you know what to do with and you want to be somewhere that's cold. Amy found a boyfriend who had an air-conditioned apartment, though he’d come over sometimes with Sri Lankan or Indian food that was spiced at “Sterilize” levels which I appreciated. The bedrooms were small and it had a galley kitchen, and you could set a chair on the fire escape to watch the city parade by below and catch the evening breeze. It was exciting and I loved it, for all the heat and grime of the place.

I never did move back home after that. Not for more than a visit.

Lauren seems happy with her new place, and I’m sure she and Aleksia will have their share of adventures there.

I wish you well, my daughter, and I’m proud of you.


LucyInDisguise said...


My brain refused to see that word. I read that sentence seven or eight times, and I still could not see that word.

"... and you could set a chair on fire ..." and escape to watch the city parade by below ... that has to be what he means. Wait. What? That doesn't make any sense, either.

Don't mind me ... it is not necessarily the memory that is the first to go.

Congrats on the new digs, Lauren! (And, no - you may not borrow my pickup.)😁


David said...

Well, it was a rough neighborhood. Things caught fire. What can I say?


Fortunately the worst that we experienced that summer was some miscreant who got into the fire escape and shit on the stairs. But the neighbors did get broken into at least once. Fun times.

I did like to sit out on that fire escape with a book in the evenings, though.

Thanks! We managed okay with the minivan.