Moving day is the worst. It’s heavy, tiresome, expensive, and frustrating. The result is a bad back and a strained bank account, neither of which recover quickly and require at least a few days of rest.
But no rest for you! Oh no! Those boxes must be unpacked. Walls must be painted. Nails must be secured and pictures hung for all guests – because you want to show off your dazzling new place as soon as possible – to admire.
It’s tough work. No question about it. Yet it’s probably the part of moving we all actually enjoy. With each box emptied and broken down a small piece of your life comes back into order. A shelf organized brings calm. Clothes hung in the closet means you aren’t hunting for underwear out of stray boxes like some real estate blessed vagabond. The TV unloaded means movies and background noise when you unpack everything else. Let’s not forget the reconnection to society when the cable guy, a veritable angel walking amongst humanity, comes to hook up the Internet. And, of course, what home cook doesn’t love invoking order upon a spice cabinet?
Each little task brings you closer to evolving your house to a home. New adventures, memories, etc., and the fervent hope that things in this space will go well. It’s that time when you can make statements like, “This is where I will be happy forever and nothing bad will happen,” and you can almost believe them.
Though who knows?
As it stands the house is transforming into what Fiancee’ and I want it to be. The living room is inviting with therapeutic bamboo green walls and personal bits of decor that range from framed post-it notes with cryptic dime store philosophy and homemade rorschach prints to the antique Remington Rand I wrote my college applications on. (Oh god, I just dated myself).
The furniture has all been smartly arranged though there is still that corner we’re not sure what to do with. The bedroom is tight; not in square footage but in how eloquently it has been arranged for functionality. Our bathroom is glittering white, almost sterile – which is something I prefer in a bathroom – with hints of azure blue here and there.
Some things are still standing issues. The pilot light still needs to be lit, and, dear landlord, please hurry on that as the air is beginning to chill. A door jam needs to be added in the front room before someone (i.e., me) accidentally pops a doorknob through the drywall like a small wrecking ball. We need another smoke detector because Jesus Christ I will not be almost burned to death in my sleep again.
The hunt for a used washer and dryer is a new experience – I know nothing about what to look for. “Does it clean clothes right? Is it gas powered? Where do I put the quarters in?” are all questions I ask that reveal this fact about me. Indeed, I feel like a kid in class who can’t answer teacher’s questions when I talk to people about lint catchers.
The kitchen is a particularly unique problem. It’s huge. I mean, bigger than some apartments I’ve lived in huge. Gas range and plenty of storage are boss, but there is such a thing as too much space.
There is an echo in my kitchen that is almost as deafening as the dead quiet that hovers about the place when you stand there silently. My adorable aluminum and teak five piece dining set – one I bought for $20 off of craigslist years ago and still consider one of the best finds I’ve ever made – is smaller than the light fixture it cowers beneath. It’s horribly sad looking.
The bare white walls are jarring. I’ve never had so much blank canvas to fill up. I rather want to frame a “Keep Calm and Carry On” print and pop it up somewhere but that’ll only put a small spot of color in the intimidating chalk-white landscape.
Still, all these things shall pass. Eventually, I won’t have to bother my in-laws to use their laundry machines. Proper art that reflects my taste will adorn the walls in the kitchen. A mahogany table may soon be finding a new home here.
Until then cooking is taking a small back seat. This has been a week of simple meals. Recipes for the cookbook, of course, but also salads and steamed veggies because that’s just so darn easy. We’ve been going through scores of pomegranates. Chopping and plucking arils from their tight little butter-colored apartments. We pile them into deep bowls and eat them with spoons.
Tart. Crunchy. Delightful.
It’s as zen as stacking your pots and pans and deciding which cupboard to place the dishes. If you don’t know how to de-seed a pomegranate, though, it can be a straining and staining exercise. The trick is simple. Water. The seeds sink, the skins float, and the juice does not spray like the severed jugular of some second cast starlet in a teen horror flick.
If you’re in the middle of some project like unpacking – well, this is a nice other project to distract and feed you for a bit.
How to Cut and De-Seed a Pomegranate
Fill a large pot with lukewarm water. Cut the pomegranate into quarters lengthwise. Carefully break apart the pomegranate under in the water of the pot. Use your thumb and fingers to delicately, but firmly, push the arils (the seeds) out of their little beds. The water will prevent any juice from splattering. Furthermore, the seeds will sink while the inedible white bits float to the top. Strain the seeds from the water and place in a bowl and eat.