packing up

Discarding Memories

This was probably the worst storm I have experienced in this house. The rain was literally blowing sideways!
This was probably the worst storm I have experienced in this house. The rain was literally blowing sideways!

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.

My French tart pans are difficult to give up - especially when filled with a savory delight!
My French tart pans are difficult to give up - especially when filled with a savory delight!

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!

Selling It

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.

Hinckley and Buddy
Hinckley and Buddy

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. 

Keep on Trucking


This is Really Hard

Rainbows in my future
Rainbows in my future

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!

Packing Up

A favorite photo and appropriate for this time of year
A favorite photo and appropriate for this time of year

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 Boys

My boys who need a safe haven
My boys who need a safe haven

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."