I have a vivid memory of my bedroom when I was nine years old – my walls were plastered with Harry Potter memorabilia (as well as my bed, sporting a twin-size comforter printed with the cover art from the first book of the foremost formative series of my youth), an early Macintosh hummed as it processed the practice html I wrote for an informational (yet entertaining) website on Smoky the Bear (never published – an apocryphal work of mine), a white-enameled canopy bed frame – but the most important things in the room were contained by something quite plain: a copy-paper box held my most prized possessions.

Now, anything that constitutes worth in the eyes of a nine-year-old likely has no monetary value, but the loss of such sentimental items would surely send the stock market into a suicide spiral had they a financial equivalency. And all these things that meant the most were kept in a cardboard box.

We’ve just returned to our flat in Milwaukee after moving the majority of our belongings out of the city. Most everything we own is in cardboard boxes, and the precious items we will carry with us on our adventure are spread across the entirety of the living room – soon to be carried for many miles. And while most of these things are functional items meant for life in the woods, I will carry some sentimental and unconventional things with me – a patch from summer camp, a bluetooth keyboard for the blog. Milam has a Washburn Rover travel guitar and his DSLR camera.

Miscellaneous items pepper the house – a crate, a poster, books and clothes to be returned to friends, papers and trinkets long-lost under the dresser now moved, enough change to feed a meter for a day. These things that fill our lives.

As Milam and I have been transitioning out of a house and away from the things that fill it, we think of those things we will miss.

Milam will miss his drums. We will both miss the bathtub, though neither of us will miss the shower curtain, so easily torn and tarnished with mildew. Maybe we will miss showers? I will miss cold-brewed tea. We will miss our bikes! They will be so lonely with no one to ride them! Our cast iron pan will be hungry for a meal while we’re away. We’ll miss the Riverwest Co-op, and the ease in planning meals and grabbing snacks in its proximity.

Tonight we’ll camp out in our bedroom as the mattress has already been moved. We’ll miss the bed. And music – our stereo and turntable are missing from the house as well, our stacks of vinyl being borrowed by my little bro. We’ll miss seeing our families.

I think my memories of this house will be full of the preparations for this trip. We will not miss our silly back door, which has a challenging lock and must be barged every time we want to enter. We are looking forward to not having doors or locks, merely some poles to pitch and a zipper to zip.

Milam is setting up the tent as we speak, so I must end this post for fear of being tickled.
And that sleeping pad won’t inflate itself… or will it?

[for more on our adventures, click the menu icon at the top right of this post]


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