Before I finally begin to tell everyone about Yellowstone, and the rest of our journey, let me first say a couple things about attachment.

As we were packing up and cleaning out the apartment in Huntington, I became what I can only describe as drunk on nonattachment–or at least, what I thought was nonattachment. And I was so happy about it. I threw out so much of my stuff, and gave away more than that, and left some things not really thinking I’d ever see them again. Of all the things we’ve stored in the basement of my in-laws house, the only thing I really want back is our signed copy of Coraline, because Neil Gaiman drew a nice rat in it, and I miss that rat.

So I got rid of all my furniture. All my kitchen appliances, and I admittedly fought for my rice cooker. I brought one sturdy backpack full of books, and thought hard about my choices. What ended up making the cut? The Taoist Classics, American Gods, the Graveyard Book, Cyrano, a Mennonite seasonal cookbook, the Tassajara Bread Book, The Last Temptation of Christ, Lord of Light, Lord Demon, Moby Dick, Don Quixote, a collection of essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson, our Anniversary Book, The Little Prince, Monkey, my travel journal, the Art of War, and the Artist’s Way. Almost all health food, even if some of it is the equivalent of broccoli: both delicious and nutritious.

Then in Kentucky we had to stop again. This time, I thought, this is going to be telling. What we throw out here will really say something about what we’re attached to. I threw out my baking dishes and mixing bowls, some bags and sweaters, my spices–curry powder, savory, Chacherie’s, everything. Lots more. Chris said it was about one and a half Skinny Younger Sisters worth. And this time there was no one to give things to. There was nothing to do but throw it all in the dumpster.

At the time, I was so relieved that the car was driving better that I didn’t really have any other thoughts or feelings about throwing stuff away. I wished I could have gifted it, but I was just so relieved that we would make it across the country.

So now we’ve lived in Seattle for almost a week. How has all that sainted, unattached feeling worked out for me? Here’s what I miss: Chairs. More than my bed or even my spices, I really miss chairs. The books are nice, but I can’t read for very long lying on the floor or sitting cross-legged. I can cook pretty well with a pot, a knife, and a cast-iron skillet, but eating on the floor is not the funtime hit of the season. I’ve seen pictures of the Dalai Lama’s rooms in Dharamsala. He has this really neat chair, wood with cushiony bits and just a little carving, as I recall.

And this is the point at which I go, “DOH! Middle path!”