The Sound of Moving


The way people move is as individual as people themselves, but when nine children under the age of ten are involved–let’s just say things can get interesting.

And loud.  Very, very loud.

Sister One had planned to move almost a year ago, but that house and several subsequent houses all fell through (if I wrote the full story it would make War and Peace look as short as a comic book).  Since, the move hadn’t gone through when they’d planned, many items had been thrown in unlabeled  boxes that went on an eleven month detour to a storage unit where the contents had been forgotten.  With nine people in her family, there were enough boxes, bags, and furniture to keep everyone busy.  And each new box carried with it the anticipation of the grab bags I used to buy at the mall when I was a child.

Sister Two has two children and therefore less stuff.  Each individual box had been carefully labeled, and weighed somewhere in the vicinity of 952 lbs.  There were no surprises as to what was in the boxes–except wondering how on earth “Miscellaneous from the Living Room” could have roughly the same weight as a crate of bricks.

I can contrast my sisters’ moves so skillfully since they decided to move on back to back weeks.  I have come up with some possible reasons for this…

  1. They happened to close on their houses a week apart.
  2. They want the family to get more strength training in.
  3. They’re insane.
  4. We’re insane for helping them.

I think number three is the strongest possibility, but don’t tell them I said so.

I suppose I can only be grateful that as crazy as two moves that close together is, neither one approached the level of our Brazilian cross-country move.

We moved from the south (Sao Paulo) to the north (Para).  We loaded everything into the back of an ancient Toyota and a Volkswagen van.  Two of my sisters rode with my dad in the truck along with our miniature pincer dog.  I rode in the van with my oldest sister, Mom, and my cat.

It was during this trip I discovered my cat’s secret life as an operatic soprano.  Also, a contralto, tenor, and bass.  Although, no human would be able to sing all parts of an opera, my cat found no difficulty at all.  She yowled high, growled low, and carried each note as long as possible.  Unfortunately, she was without her music and her composing skills are not nearly as advanced as her singing abilities.  After about an hour, she exhausted herself and retired to sleep on the shoe bag until her performance the next morning.

With my sisters’ moves we didn’t have a cat along, but their children took on the roles of singers.  To the uninitiated, it may have sounded more like screaming and crying, but I recognized the tune as that my cat sang so many year ago.

The Sound of Moving.



By Another Name

romeo-2498582_640                                              “It is the East and Peg is the Sun.”

According to Shakespeare, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.  So in his opinion a name didn’t matter.

Far be it from me to disagree with such an authority, but let’s be serious here.  Can you imagine Juliet’s famous speech if Romeo had another name? “O, Fred, Fred,  wherefore art thou, Fred?”

Lest any Freds, Toms, or Joes get angry, let me assure you that in other circumstances their names are far more sensible.  Reimagine Mark Twain’s classic with Romeo Sawyer as the name.  It loses a bit of its oomph.  One cannot picture Romeo Sawyer cheating his friends into paying him for the privilege of doing his chores.  No, I’m afraid Romeo Sawyer sounds like a bit of a stuck up dude.

As an author, the names I bestow on characters are important.  Because you judge a person (or at least a character) by their name.  Charles Dickens had a great gift for naming his characters.  However, if one takes his character names and puts them into the works of Jane Austen, the results are hilarious.  Just picture her romantic, arrogant Mr. Darcy having the slightly ridiculous name of Mr. Pumblechook.

Equally ridiculous would be the toadish Uriah Heep being known as Captain Frederick Wentworth.  And how different would the character of Anne Shirley have been if she had gotten her wish and been named Cordelia?  Cordelia of Green Gables just isn’t the same.  Or brooding Heathcliffe  being called Barkis.

So next time you go to name something–be it a child, a character in a novel, a pet, or even a plant (yes, I have been known to name plants) think long and hard about the moniker you bestow.

What’s the funniest name swap you can think of from literature?