The last place you look and the joy of unpacking after a move

The last place you look and the joy of unpacking after a move

We moved from Chicago to the suburbs in early September. It’s now well into October and my wife is looking for a certain book, Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything.”

First problem: It’s still in an unopened box.

Second problem: The second bedroom is filled to the ceiling with my unopened boxes from the move since my general attitude toward unpacking is to keep stuff packed away until I need something. I have at least one plastic bin of stuff that has lived in three different places without being opened. At this point, I’m almost afraid to open it on the off chance it has become holy during the moves and my face will melt off like the Nazis in “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” once its contents have been revealed. That would be unpleasant. I would like to avoid that.

But my wife would like to cook something from “How to Cook Everything,” a simply fantastic cookbook, which one of these days I plan on thumbing through to see exactly how one might prepare unicorn. And it’s in one of the 30 unopened boxes in the second bedroom. So, it’s time to start opening boxes.

I start with the bigger boxes because it’s a fairly large book and – well – that would make sense. Unfortunately, I forgot that I do not use sense when packing boxes. I open boxes filled with books and socks. I open boxes filled with books and various computer wires. I open boxes filled with books and scissors. I do not open a box filled with books and “How to Cook Everything.”

I open every box that seems like it might contain “How to Cook Everything” and … nothing. I move on to various sports bags I packed to see whether maybe I placed it in one of them. Nope.

I give up until the morning. My wife uses a different recipe. Baked unicorn will have to wait.

The next day, I begin again. I open box after box, scattering the contents across the second bedroom. I have the day off. It’s as good of a day as any to organize. Still, though, no “How to Cook Everything.” I’m beginning to wonder whether the moving truck gremlins got it on the way from Chicago to the suburbs, the price for somehow getting our glassware from one place to the next without cracking any of it. It would make sense. Moving truck gremlins love baked unicorn, but few know how to properly prepare it.

The moving truck gremlins didn’t have the book, though. I eventually did find it. And you already know where I found it. The last place I looked, the last box I opened  – a box I deemed much too small to contain a book of the stature of “How to Cook Everything.” I stared at it for a second, lifted it from the box and carried it to the kitchen to hang out with its companions, “The Flavor Bible” and “George Foreman’s Indoor Grilling Made Easy.” (You can probably guess my contribution to the cookbook shelf.)

Now, I have a second bedroom filled with the emptied contents of 30 opened boxes. The rest of the day will be spent sorting through the room wondering why I still have my precalculus book from college. But that’s OK. Because tonight we’re having baked unicorn. I might even invite some moving truck gremlins.

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