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Aug. 8, 2006

Last week I helped Ellen move the last of her belongings from L.A. to Chicago. I didn't think it could be done, but after a yard sale and trip to the thrift store, we packed nearly everything into a rented minivan.

The most troublesome items included a mountain bike, a curvy coffee table and a snowboard, not to mention five years' worth of photographs, kitchen accoutrements and sociology texts. Seeing it all stacked in the carport, I was certain that tough choices would have to be made -- choosing between taking the boyfriend or the bicycle among them -- and prepared to provide consoling hugs as Fiestaware and statistics assignments were dropped into the Dumpster, but Ellen somehow got it done. I never should have doubted. We even had enough room to accommodate a spree at the outlet stores in southeastern California. Later, a new pair of flip-flops, my first, fit nicely in the glove compartment. (Strangely, the van did not come with a flip-flop compartment, despite having been rented in Santa Monica.)

Helping a significant other with a cross-country move is an important rite of passage, one I recommend everyone do exactly once. I'm happy to report that after approximately 224 straight hours in one another's company, we are still talking. Which is not to say the week passed without its icy moments. A week is a long time. I don't know how you married people do it.

Photo taken: Aug. 2, 2006