I’m currently in the middle of moving to Seattle from San Antonio, Texas. I started moving around April, when I accepted an offer from Amazon.com to come work for their Retail division. I spent the first couple of months getting ready, and I arrived here on May 28.
When you make a large-scale move like that, you can’t actually bring much with you. In my case, I was able to take two large suitcases, and I brought along my guitar1 as well. I moved into a tiny (600 square feet) apartment in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, and my wife joined me a couple of weeks later after she finished her job and handled all of the packing for the move.2
I don’t think we ever thought that we’d still be in temporary housing four months later. When we moved, summer was just starting, so of course we didn’t pack any winter clothing (luckily, we haven’t really needed it so far). I only brought one pair of shoes, and we certainly didn’t bring a variety of clothes for every occasion.
And we’ve been here ever since, sleeping on someone else’s bed, eating on someone else’s plates, and generally trying to make the best of things, pretending like it’s an extended vacation.
A few weeks into the move, I started missing my ukuleles, so I ordered an inexpensive Kala (from Amazon, naturally). It’s been a lifesaver. The ukulele is a much more casual, intimate instrument than the fire-breathing electric guitar, and much more suited to the small confines of a single-bedroom apartment than the Les Paul, which has the ability to fill up a stadium with thousands of screaming fans.
This one is a “concert” size, which means that it’s smaller than the tenor ukuleles that I’ve been used to playing. It’s more difficult to play (because of my big fingers) but has a lovely tone and is easy to carry around.
I’ve always been a perfectly adequate player, and steadily trying to get better. I’ve gotten several ukulele self-improvement books, several song books with ukulele chords, and I’ve been browsing ukulele tablature online and finding music that I’m able to play.
It’s not much, but a little sanity in the midst of all the displacement goes a long way.
Next week, hopefully, assuming that the bank still likes us, we’ll be purchasing a new home north of Seattle. We’ll be able to get back to our own bed, our own plates and dishes, and my old ukuleles (assuming that they survived the move and four months in storage).