But most of all, he hated packing. He understood that movers charged according to total weight and distance. He knew Mom and Dad couldn’t possibly move everything. So he had to pick and choose.
Mom had already sorted through all his clothes. Outgrown - donate. Summer weight - donate. Worn out - toss. She knew what he’d be able to wear in the new climate.
No, he had the hard job. Which books could he fit into his allotment of book boxes. Which collections could he bear to part with, and which were light enough or small enough to keep? How could he part with his investigations?
The leaves would have to stay behind. Too fragile to survive the trip, and who knows how long it would be before he saw a tree again? Same for the snake skins. Most of his books could be found in any library. Hmm, what to do during the long winter nights?
His astronomy books. His telescope. His film camera. Just think of the tight circles he could make in the long exposure shots. The northern lights. Pictures packed light; negatives even lighter. He’d be able to keep adding to this collection and keep it on the next move.
The miniatures. He’d hand painted them all, researched the war for years, found rare books about the man at yard sales. He could recreate the dioramas and replay the battles. Yes, this would fill his last box for the trip to Iceland. Time to leave Wooster for new adventures.
I was younger than Gooley when we moved from Texas to Iceland. My parents made all the tough packing decisions, and I found new books to read — even acquired a generously sized and widely eclectic comic book collection. I missed out on the night skies, because it was too darn cold. But I do remember the time as an adventure. I’d love to return someday.