I’m an avid reader, but not much for magazines. We have four subscriptions: National Geographic, Highlights, Poets & Writers and Mother Earth News. I’ve had a MEN subscription since my mom got it for me almost a decade ago. I usually sit down with the magazine and devour it over two days after its bimonthly arrival.
It’s been a high point for me.
My new issue arrived yesterday. “40 Tips to Maximize Garden Harvests. Easy DIY Shed Plans. Backyard Chicken Basics. How to Avoid Killer Compost.”
Now that is all irrelevant.
We’re really in the mess of the move now. Livestock’s gone, but for a handful of chickens who scratch in the thawed spots of the yard and provide us half a dozen eggs each day. A lot of our stuff is just gone–sold at rummage sales or on Craigslist ads. My days revolve around gathering paperwork, scanning, emailing, posting, wire transfers. The latest drama involves collecting payment for repairs on a shared well from the neighbor (he now gets 20 days to pay or be shut off). We also have a couple more repairs to make on the house.
And then there’s the question of packing, shipping and receiving in Dubai. We don’t have a home address there yet, so it’s a challenge to figure out exactly how to deal with the 1,000 pounds of goods we’re allowed to ship–the bed linens and towels and bicycles and cooking pots and toys.
There are medical records requests to deliver. Physical exams to schedule, to ensure all’s well and we’re appropriately inoculated. There are crooked teeth that are still not entirely straightened. Accounts to close. Memberships to cancel. Schoolwork to finish. Software to download.
The parties are over and most of the farewells have been said, but the next reality hasn’t materialized yet. So I know I don’t need to be reading the chicken article. Or the shed-building plan. I’d like to think I might get creative and grow something, somehow, at least in winter in Dubai, and if I can compost, all the better.
I’ve handed off the pile of back issues of MEN, and I suppose we’ll arrange to receive National Geographic in Dubai. Add that to the to-do list. But the extended winter seems to have put us into a holding pattern, making the end of April seem much further off than it really is. Feels like it’s holding me back, and I’m a little afraid of how that will play out once the snow has thawed and we’re holding travel itineraries and have nothing left but suitcases. Will we be wild-eyed and hurried, or will I be able to conjure the calm to shepherd my two children through departures and arrivals as we lose a day in transit?
It remains to be seen. But the photos of the baby chicks and laying hens happily pecking in backyards still draw me in and hold my gaze. I suspect they’ll always have that power.