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Last time we moved, we got free moving boxes off craigslist. But people aren't giving away valuables like cardboard anymore.

On the upside, there's also a brisk market for used furniture. I've been selling off odds and ends. Gone: a coffee table, dresser, cabinet, bed frame, fire pit. Less to move, less to store until we have our own place again. The cash doesn't hurt either. More than ever, my house feels like a pile of stuff with a cover on it.

We told our daughter that we're going to go live with her grandmother, and we asked if she understood what that meant. She said, "I'll get my blue toothbrush back!" The child has an impressive memory for toothbrushes left behind, but I'm afraid she has no concept of the changes about to hit her.

Her best friend is going through a rough patch and hasn't wanted to play with her lately. His mom tried explaining to him that soon she'll be far away and they won't be able to play together anymore. He's a little older, and he's experienced his dad's deployment. Even so, preparing for separation and loss may be too much for a preschooler.

Something else we can't take with us: my business. It's too small to sell, and the one person who works for me isn't interested in taking over. So I'm closing shop. It's difficult, but not as difficult as I expected. I poured myself into the business, but life took a sharp turn and I'm moving on.

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