Three weeks and counting! Life is rushing by as I prepare for another stage of my life, going back to my roots in South Africa. The big question is - will living there work for me? This adventure is all about finding out if the country, now so different from the place I grew up in, will suit me now?
It's a long haul... clearing out the house completely; finding a home for my kitty boys; garage sale; tenant... It's difficult to keep foucused on the prize - South Africa for Christmas and Belize in March - with so much upheaval around. And my To Do list doesn't seem to get any shorter!
But it feels like it is all coming together now, with a lot packed up and more stuff gone, either sold through Facebook marketplace or the garage sale on Saturday (with another this coming Saturday).
The house echoes and footsteps are extra loud with it being almost completely empty now. Of course, I still have the kitty corners and their special sleeping areas. The sad thing is, they will be going to their new home this coming weekend and they know something is up! Such intuitive little creatures. I've tried to keep their routines consistent but when they see "their" furniture and stuff going out the door... well, they look at me in dismay! But they will be fine, I keep telling myself. They will probably adjust better than I do!
This week is more cleanup, trash runs, hazardous waste disposal, for sale signs for my car. And then I will move myself to Mardelle's for the last few days here, while the house is cleaned and prepared for the tenant.
The few days up in Port Townsend will give me the time I need for two articles I need to get done and which I am already late on! And Susan and I will probably go over to Ballard as I am not happy with the photos I took while I was there. Maybe by then, I will have my new camera!
Susan whisked me out of here yesterday for a break from the mayhem and we went to a little cafe across the bridge called Butcher and Baker Provisions. Very cute place with good food, good coffee and good service. Then we strolled around Port Gamble and took in the dahlia garden which is spectacular and reminded me of Mum's passion for them. Growing up, there were always rows of dahlias leading down to the cottage. The Port Gamble ones are brilliantly colored and all with different shapes and styles and really brightened up a very dull day (weather-wise).
The Belize article in All at Sea just went online and I am very happy with it. They did a good job posting it and it's always a vailidation for what I do! I'm really looking forward to doing a lot more writing once all this stuff is done and dusted!
What Goes and What Goes in a Box
I had no idea this would be so difficult and time consuming. I imagined myself breezing through the process and the next chapter of my life magically opening! But no...
As I go through my stuff and go keep-discard-discard-discard, and look at and feel each thing, the memories surrounding it rush back and worry my decision-making abilities! Often they are wonderful memories, other times I am happy to toss them. Others are just sad and I find myself in tears.
Take all my kitchen stuff as an example. I've gathered specific utensils at various times, like the three French tart pans with removable bottoms. They were, at the time, hard to find and expensive! That was when I wanted to start a tart company and was making various combinations day in and day out, trying out different pastries and combinations. I can still see them and smell them and remember sharing with friends, asking for opinions and favorites.
And there is the little tiny garlic chopper that Ryan and Les gave me for Christmas one year and that I use regularly. It's tiny so will probably keep it...tucked away in a box that I may or may not ever see! The uncertainty is ever-present as I sort through things.
When I get sad about things I have to get rid of, it's hard to keep the positive images in front of me - South Africa with good times ahead with family and friends; then on to Belize. Sun, beach, warm... so I am grateful to my friends here giving me moral support!
I have resisted using craigslist to sell stuff and instead, have used the Facebook local marketplaces which are proving to be amazingly successful! And the fun part of that, is very often when someone responds or buys an item, there is a personal connection! As an example, Michelle who messaged me about the big "marital" bed (yeah, memories there, some I definitely prefer to forget) works with a friend of mine! And a couple who bought my mixer and food processor live next to John and Danelle, Susan's daughter. So it does make it easier, knowing where things are going and that they are going to good homes!
And also people I haven't seen or heard from for years are popping up. Patti, who was our office assistant in real estate is coming over on Wednesday to have coffee and pick up a couple of things she wants. So the connections are good and fun, helping to make this transition a bit easier.
Next weekend, I will have a garage sale and get rid of as much of the small stuff, then take what's left to Goodwill.
Nothing is easy about finding the boys a home but things are looking up, a good thing as they know something is going on. Maria is coming today to meet them. No coincidences, right? A friend saw the posting and told her about Hinckley and Buddy. She immediately contacted me as she had planned to go to the shelter this week to adopt two older kitties! She sounds really nice, a total cat person and understands how hard this is. So more on this after I go to check out her place tomorrow, as long as today goes well, which I know will.
The rest of my life is pretty much at a standstill as I work through this move/transition. But I am writing this on my new MacBook Pro! Finally have a system that all components speak the same language. Even though the screen is quite small compared to the big monitor I had been using, with the Retina display, it is easy to work on and very easy on the eyes. Oh, and my iPhone 7 Plus is on its way! I will be a total Apple person!
We've just weathered one of the worst storms I have experienced in this house, so my timing is perfect to get the hell out of here.