Moving and Not Moving

Moving_Big Wheel Dolly

This beast of burden is our big wheel dolly, a mainstay of the moving business that my husband and I ran together for many years. It continues to be invaluable in our many house refurbishings and rearrangements. It’s made by the Yeats Appliance Dolly Mfg. Company in Fullerton, California, where, coincidentally, I used to live. It may not be the prettiest picture I’ve ever put at the top of a post, but to me it is beautiful for its functionality. The empty garage you see behind it is the result of a massive clearing effort of decades’ worth of stuff, to make room for some proper storage.

We are kind of moving house, which we have not done in 40 or 50 years, depending on which householder you talk to here. If you never move, you never clear out your stuff. That is what I have been doing with a will for the last six months. It has been a massive undertaking and I have often called on my mantra from the old days, KEEP MOVING DON’T STOP.

My studio and office will be in a smaller space as I make room for changes in my family, and in our lives as we age and use our time differently than we used to. I’ve gone through all of my Prose and Letters files: old practice pages, my beloved library, all of my artwork, the many jobs I fulfilled on commission, every piece of correspondence I ever saved. I have been  continually astonished and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of what I made and did over the forty years since I founded my calligraphy business, the same year I married. Bins and boxes full of things I no longer need have gone out of here, some to people who can use them in the calligraphy and book arts guilds, some to the recycler, and some to who knows where, as donations to the thrift store. I have kept a basic kit of pens and nibs and art media, mindful of wanting to return to this longtime love of mine. But now I am feeling lighter, as everyone told me I would, as I have sorted and purged.

To that end, Prose and Letters will be closed for some weeks after the Fourth of July. I have never taken a vacation from my storefront in the 21 years I have had it online, or the 19 years I built it up the old way before that. Since summer is generally a bit slower time for customers, I will be shuttering my shop for a while. I plan to be back online around the middle of August, if not before. I will take orders over the next few days but after that I’m going to have to pack up.

During the clearing, I also came across many pieces of original artwork that might like to find new homes. I will be photographing and listing the pieces from that collection in the fall and winter of this year if all goes as planned. People have been seeking me out to buy some of my original artwork, which is a very nice feeling indeed.

Change is the only constant. Never fear, I’m not going away. I’ll be back!

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Jane Brenner 07/02/2021, 10:55 am

    Your words certainly resonated with me, Cari! I have been sifting and sorting since I moved to Oakland. Yesterday I looked in a box of old photos of work from forty years ago, much of which I’d totally forgotten. There may be “growth” in that process.

    • Cari 07/02/2021, 11:09 am

      There is, Jane. Seeing work I had completely forgotten about was a delight and I let myself have a deep satisfaction in the scope and depth of the work I did all these years. And I am glad to be sorting it myself and keeping what I know is important rather than leaving the mess for my kids. it’s always good to hear from you, Sister Sifter.

  • Michele 07/06/2021, 3:43 pm

    Feeling lighter is a beautiful thing — may this new phase of your life bring you joy and contentment, in whatever form best suits you 🙂

    • Cari 07/07/2021, 12:54 pm

      It’s always good to hear from you, Michele. It’s been a while, and I miss keeping my blog up to date. I hope to be able to share more of the other writing I’ve been doing soon, but first, the dust has to settle!

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