May 3, 2007

From Broadhurst to Epworth

It's amazing to me how moving can itself be a very communal experience. My wife and I moved this past weekend, our third time in the last four months. While it was "only" a move around the corner, I've been dreading it since we moved the last time. Asbury gladly accepted us into graduate housing, but discovered that they had no room in the married with children housing. They offered us temporary accomodations in their married without children dormitory (a sort of dungeonish place filled with the most amazing people you could ever meet) called "Broadhurst." To put it in perspective, when I told a professor that I was living in Broadhurst with my expectant wife, he said "yeah, everybody's gotta do time in Broadhurst once."

The first time we moved, in this last streak, was our move home from Australia. In itself it was definitely communal, although I didn't think much of it at the time. I'd been living among family of the spiritual flavor - mimos had become my church home and it seemed only natural when Beck and Kev, Sarah and Jonno, Annette and Pete, and all the other families chipped in to help us out getting our place cleaned up and our collected belongings (of which there were many) to the airport. At the time, I was so focused on the dreaded 15 hours of plane time, the heat transition (110 degrees in Melbourne to 15 degrees in Rochester), and my lack of sleep that I wasn't really thinking much about it. But looking back, a family was brought together helping us move.

Our move to Kentucky was sort of like that, although this time it was actual biological family that helped. We caravaned down from New York with my parents and Liz's parents, and again it felt somewhat natural (if a bit odd, having spent 10 months away from them) to have the help. But what I didn't expect was the influx of people that came out of the doors in the apartment complex to help me and Liz move into our tiny one-bedroom hovel. I met some of my current friends during that move - Jason and Dani, Brandon, Dan and Joanna.

It was upon our last move - this past one - that I discovered that this is truly a part of the culture of the Broadhurst apartment block. I knew that it was said to be, but I'd only seen it happen the once. We spent the better part of a day with Dan and Joanna, and Kelly and Shannon working to move our stuff from the one place to the other. Along the way various people came to try and help (namely Jason, who emptied our storage shelves into Kelly's Blazer), but eventually I had to - amazingly - turn people away because I didn't have anything for them to do! Think of it: "no, sorry, I'd love to make you break your back for free, but it turns out I just don't have anything to make you do." Yeah. They're amazing.

We were a family that day. Having Dan and Kelly help me put together a wardrobe was probably the best part of that day, which on first blush makes me think "why?" But I know why - it's because they're becoming my friends, and they helped me carry the burden of moving again so gracefully. I started the day in sour spirits, but Dan and Joanna walked into our living room and said "alright, what first?" and I just started to smile.

So to everybody who helped us move, thank you. We're making you fondue when we get a spot cleared for you to sit down in our new place.


Sal said...

I helped you move from Melbourne too! Remember? I came and ate your peanut butter and Nuttela so you didn't have to get rid of it. :) I am looking forward to that fondue! Sal.

Chris said...

Of course :) I'm not sure why you're not first on that list ... maybe you're just sort of a given in our life in Australia ... Chris, Liz, Sally, and Wisdom are "us" usually ...