All posts by Emily Kerr

Walking in a winter wonderlAAAAAAAAAAA

So, I may have left you guys with the impression that I was still in the car three days later. Oops.

But fear not. I made it to Ohio! Now you can imagine me perpetually shivering in the frigid cold instead!

When I was a young Texan, snow was a magical, beautiful thing. A snow day meant playing outside, watching the snow blanket everything, molding it in glove-clad hands into tools of expression and entertainment, and getting in touch with the simple pleasures of life.

Ohio snow is not like that. Not even remotely. It will find weak spots in your warm winter clothes, no matter how far and few between, and when it does, it will mess you up. No amount of bundling will save you. And hopefully you don’t plan on touching anything or walking while you’re out there, because it will penetrate solid surfaces just to get to you, soaking through your boots and gloves.

And the cold isn’t the rosy-cheeked, laugh-about-it-and-have-hot-chocolate, totally-worth-it kind of cold you get from playing in the snow in Texas.  It literally burns. I wasn’t misusing literally there. It actually feels like burning. If there’s one thing you think you’ll be safe from while out in the snow, you would think it would be burning. But apparently not.

And, despite the intense cold rarely found in places that don’t end with “pole”, the snow is remarkably thin. Too thin, in fact, to do anything entertaining with it.  It’s not much thicker than it was in Texas. There’s not enough to throw snowballs or make snowmen, and you can’t make snow angels if you ever want the screaming to stop. This ruthless ninja of a temperature has no interest in fun and games.

And then there’s clothing. In Texas, getting dressed was a team effort between Fashion, Comfort and Convenience. In Ohio, it’s a fistfight. I didn’t have much cold-weather clothes to begin with (and almost no air-itself-trying-to-kill-you gear), and we still haven’t finished unpacking all of them yet. Sometimes I would get dressed nicely and feel good about myself…until, of course, I had to get out of the car/building. Other times, I would be wearing whatever outfit I could scrounge together, but that didn’t matter because it was obscured by whichever winter clothes I was reasonably certain were in the house. Mismatched sweaters borrowed from my Granny? Sure! Tacked-on, baggy brown coat? Totally! Every coat in the house, wrapped around my body like a dress? Not quite there yet, but any day now!

In a few days, we’ll be experiencing something called a polar vortex. I don’t know too much about the concept, but at this point, I think curling up under a blanket and screaming is the best option.

(I should mention that, aside from all of that, I like Ohio a lot. The places are cool, the food is good, and adjusting to a new house has been difficult, but I like the basement.)

The fine line between optimal travel time and suboptimal time travel

I know it’s a 16 hour drive from Texas to Ohio. I’ve been on it several times before, and every time it’s taken 16 hours. Nothing, short of changing our minds and getting on an airplane instead, will make it significantly less than a 16 hour drive. And yet, when I ask where we are less than 4 hours into the trip, I somehow expect an answer that won’t make me sad.

We’re leaving together, but still it’s farewell.

9:06 PM, 10 hours until move. Still packing. Everything moves in slow-motion as “Final Countdown” plays in the background.

9:50 PM, 9 hours 10 minutes until move. The relatives we recruited for help (and their panicky  chihuahua) are gone. It’s all up to me and my granny. Let’s DO this. *sob*

10:36 PM, 8 1/2 hours until move. The Honda Accord is not a U-Haul, or a truck, or even an SUV. It’s a regular-sized, four-door car. And yet here we are, loading a good chunk of our possessions into it, with intention to get into it ourselves and drive from Texas to Ohio. On one hand, it feels like a tremendous victory that we were able to accomplish that, but the other hand…pretty much speaks for itself.

12:15 PM, 7 hours until move. Honda is still being stuffed with things. We might have to compromise the laws of physics soon, if we haven’t already.

1:00 AM, 6 hours until move. And so it ends. There’s still a little bit of packing to do in the morning, of course, but most of it is done. Tonight I’ll go to sleep on a mattress pad on the floor next to an air mattress with half of it unusable in Texas. Tomorrow I’ll go to sleep in a real bed in a mostly furnished room in Ohio. (After a 16-hour drive, of course).

The journey from one state to another is very complicated, and has brought up a lot of mixed emotions in me for a long time. But there’s one belief that has never abandoned me throughout all the turmoil in my heart.

Packing. Is. Terrible.


While moving, I’ve realized how similar my house is to the Hydra. You courageously set out to slay the clutter, wielding your mighty roll of packing tape. You pack up boxes and boxes of things, and, glistening with sweat, send the boxes off to their final destination. You retreat, feeling satisfied with your efforts. And then you open the nearest drawer or cabinet,  discovering two boxes worth of things for every one you disposed of.
In the original myth, the Hydra could only be defeated with burning.
…Wish me luck.