Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ruban de caution

The movers come Friday morning. They'll spend Friday and Monday packing us--the blessings of working for a multinational company--and then, Tuesday, the truck will take it all away. Even though we're not packing ourselves, I've spent the last week and more sorting and arranging and discarding. I tell whomever asks (or doesn't) that the more organized the household is when it is packed up, the easier it will be to unpack on the other side, but that's only part of the reason for my activity. The rest of the reason is that it distracts me. If I can control the towels, I can control the world.

We've got a combination of stuff in the house: ours, friends', Jules'. When M. Morin, the responsable commercial of the moving company, came to discuss our move, he suggested that we would need to separate those things for the ocean shipment from those for the air shipment from those which will go in our suitcases--and then, of course, all that from things which will not go with the movers at all. I've been puzzling out how to do that without putting the household it total disarray since his visit more than a month ago.

The solution came to me in the wee hours on Monday. Later in the day, I paid a visit to our local Briconautes and bought a role of red and white striped caution tape. I've tied pieces of it around everything that the movers aren't to bother with: the lamps, Jules' chairs, the pulls of the kitchen drawers that still have groceries in them. Since we'll stay in the house for nearly two weeks after the truck departs loaded with our ocean-going shipment, we're leaving our clothes in the closets, and those closet doors all have red and white ribbon tape on their knobs.

I had thought that all the ribbons lent the place an incongruously festive air, but when G came home this afternoon she pointed out that it looked like nothing so much as a fractured relay race. Like the participants were supposed to race from the chair to the table to the lamp to the bed to the closet to the kitchen, not touching anything but the tape. It's like living inside a race course, she said.

And, now that she mentions it, I see her point. The race starts Friday morning. I'll be on duty with the movers all day, explaining about my ruban de caution and assuring them that no matter how ferociously they bark, Alice and Wendy won't bite. You may not here from me til Monday or even next Wednesday: but I'm not gone yet. Check back.


  1. Absolutely fantastic idea and a wonderful metaphor for the move! Good luck et bonne route as things unfold on the return to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!

    We are currently ensconced in a La Quinta Inn in Shawnee, OK on our way to install the tombstone in Seminole, OK. We'll be around...

  2. Do hope you'll carry on blogging when you arrive at the other side,