This is Really Hard
When I tell people what I am doing, I hear over and over, "That is so exciting," "You are so brave." And yes, that is probably true, but it is also very, very scary!
I left home as a very young woman, still in my teens, into a world I didn't have a clue about. Leaving from South Africa during the apartheid era, I had lived a life closeted behind protectionist walls, so I left there with absolutely no fear and no idea about what life was about. And that lack of fear and complete trust stayed with me for years. But now, here I am on the leading edge of the baby boomer wave, and it's not easy to head out into the world again on my own. I go around thinking, "I should be so excited about this," but in reality I am scared to death!
It's not just the age factor but the way the world has changed in the almost 50 years since I climbed aboard the first plane, heading to England, the first of many flights and destinations in my life. I got on that plane with one small suitcase and the equivalent of fifty bucks in my pocket and not a single hesitation, just a sadness leaving my family and the very first love of my life!
I never wanted to be in this house this long! The last few years, I have made a concerted effort to not buy "stuff," because I knew I would be leaving soon. Frugality wasn't difficult as finances have been very slim. But even so, as I pack and discard, pack and discard, it's apparent how much I accumulated. I am determined to leave here with just one suitcase, my (new) laptop, camera and (new) iPhone 7 Plus, the tools of my trade. The mementos and stuff I just can't part with, like the photos and slides that are so dear to me; the Zulu beads I have collected over the years; the boys drawings and cards they made for me when they were little, are in seven plastic storage bins that are going to a friend's garage where they will stay until who knows when.
The rest of the stuff, the furniture, the small appliances, dishes, pots and pans, are all being sold. And every one of those inanimate "things" hold memories. All those tomatoes I grew in the sunroom being processed for sauce in the food processor that has gone to a friend of a friend. The big bed, (some memories there!) going to someone who works for a friend of mine. I think this is one of the blessings of living in a small community; I know where my stuff will be living!
I think that once the garage sale is done, everything cleaned out and all the paperwork done to close accounts etc., I will feel more enthusiastic about this new adventure. It's difficult to look beyond all the incidental stuff and see the adventures that lie ahead. Because, really, how many people, regardless of their age, can drop everything and go to South Africa for four months and then to Belize for an indeterminate time? All with the prospect of writing about and photographing craft distilleries around the world. Not too shabby!
The hardest part of all this is finding a home for Hinckley and Buddy. But I still have time, four weeks and I know and trust the right person and place will be there for them. They are the reason I have stayed here too long, as I knew finding a home for them would be heart wrenching and I didn't know if I could survive it. Now I don't have a choice, so I just have to trust it will work out. They are such intuitive little creatures, they know something is up, which doesn't make it any easier.
So today, I will once again make a list, put one foot in front of the other, take on one task at a time, cross it off the list-of-the-day and keep moving. Like they used to say in the 70s, I will "Keep on Trucking."