As joyful as this move was for us, it still lacked the magical appearance of a “Star Trek” transporter device — something I’ve desperately longed for during every single move to instantly relocate all my belongings from point A to point B. In other words, we still had to deal with the typical joyful and not-so-joyful parts of moving out of one place and into another — not unlike the recent experiences of outgoing Gov. Jim Gibbons and the incoming one, Brian Sandoval.
As you pack, isn’t it amazing how many dusty old things that used to be shiny new objects you inevitably come across? You’re packing things into boxes that you haven’t even considered or looked at in years but at one point represented something new and exciting. For Gov. Gibbons, those dusty old things might represent hope, change, the promise of making a positive mark on the state and creating a strong legacy. But, just like in moving, once new and exciting things are forgotten and relegated to the garage, it gets harder and harder to dust them off and make them shiny again. Especially, for Gov. Gibbons, when one of those objects is a wedding photo.
When it’s time to leave, you always do your best to repair and clean the old place to make it livable for the next residents and hopefully get your security deposit back. But, how much work are you really willing to put into the old place when you’re busy preparing for the new one? Politicians nearing the end of their terms give it their best college try, diligently showing up for work until the end. Yet, polishing the old place up for the new guy becomes impossible to do when you’re left bruised and battered, just wanting to get the heck out of Dodge as soon as possible. And as for your security deposit … that was spent a long time ago.
Finally, you stand in the doorway looking around the empty, bleak residence that was once so fresh and clean and full of infinite possibilities. You remind yourself of the new place waiting for you, ready to be decorated and filled with promise and hope for the next phase in your life. You leave your keys on the counter. It’s time to go.
Boxes everywhere are filling nearly every square inch of your shiny new home. As you unpack, you find that some objects fit your new home perfectly, like your belief in a smaller, more fiscally efficient state government. You also find things that might or might not fit your new place, like your experience “in the system” as a federal judge. For now, you unpack it all and find a place for each thing that has survived the move and didn’t get broken along the way.
In the midst of unpacking, you take a breather and look around your new home. It looks so freshly cleaned, like you’ll never have to clean or repair anything because nothing will ever become dirty or break. Any renovation projects in the works, such as tackling the state’s climbing unemployment, for instance, look like exhilarating challenges rather than daunting problems.
Admittedly, I’m no Rachael Ray, but I have to say I’m cooking up a storm in our new kitchen and having a great time in the process! The Sandovals reportedly feel the same way about their new kitchen. Perhaps the new first family believes the common notion that “food is love” and the kitchen is where a family comes together. Or maybe, in light of our state’s budget problems, the new first family will cook up a recipe for economic renewal.
The furniture has arrived, the boxes are unpacked and the paintings are hung. It’s your first home (or your first governor’s mansion). Although others have lived there before you, with their failures and triumphs, it’s a fresh slate for you. Fortunately, our new governor is very “optimistic” (to quote his inaugural speech) about the mark he will make on that slate.
Moving into a new place represents promise and infinite possibilities. On moving day, Gov. Sandoval seemed very aware of the challenges he will face in his new home. We can only hope that the promises of moving day will be kept for all of us.
Christine Whitmarsh is the owner of local writing firm Christine, Ink. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.