One of the biggest obstacles to our moving from Bend has been the necessity of clearing out our house and packing up our belongings. The dread! I have had nightmares about how we were going to fit all of our stuff into boxes. This past month has seen that particular nightmare come true!
It is incredible how much stuff one can accumulate over a ten year period. Last July, we held a garage sale. The front porch, steps, driveway and garden were completely covered with toys, games, kitchen ware, books, and tools. Our first customer arrived at 6am that morning after whom came a steady flow of passer-bys, neighbors, and “professional garage sale perusers.” There really is such a thing! They start the rounds as early as 6am – coffee in hand – ruthless and ready to steal a bargain! We got rid of so much stuff in anticipation for our big move next month, and yet…it seemed as if in the last ten months, we accumulated just as much as we had sold! The initial feeling of liberation passed all too quickly.
In facing this mammoth task in the last few weeks, I have learned a few valuable lessons:
- Any packing materials that promise fun and laughter are setting you up for complete and utter misery! There was very little smiling on our end of things!
- Both Mike and I have very different ideas about what is and what is not sentimental…all giraffes, whether plastic, glass, or wooden, are all worth keeping! Yes! Our 7 foot tall, solid mahogany giraffe has begun his voyage back across the seas to a new home…in a custom made “coffin” of sorts.
- My attention to detail and fastidiousness about wrapping delicate items is far more trustworthy than Mike’s “just throw it all into a box and call it good” method of packing!
- Moving is arguably one of the most stressful events that one can live through.
- Reducing ones possessions to the bare minimum (albeit 47 boxes) is truly liberating.
And where are these boxes en route to, one might ask? They are currently making their way to Dublin, Ireland. We will be making our “home base” in Dublin for the foreseeable future. Yes! That makes me very happy. The boxes will sit in a storage unit for as long as we figure out the next step of this crazy adventure. We intend to stop off in Dublin on the way to Kenya so that we can stuff the contents of 16 of those boxes into duffel bags to carry with us as luggage to Nairobi. Ann, Mike, two kids, and 22 pieces of luggage battling their way through airports and navigating airport trolleys. I am anticipating a little stress during that particular phase of things!
Our house is now devoid of any character due to the absence of photos, pictures, and various different knick-knacks. It’s not really our house anymore, however, as we closed on the sale over a week ago. As the shipping truck pulled off and away from sight, I had an urge to run after it and say that it had all been a big mistake! Mike and I still look at one another and ask if all of this is actually happening. It is a very surreal feeling to be packing up, saying goodbye, and moving onto new experiences and places yet unseen. In one way, it seems as if this move has been such a long time coming. In other ways, it’s hard to believe that we get to embark on this adventure together as a family. So many emotions pack themselves into a single day…excitement, fear, being overwhelmed, joy, terror, disbelief, enthusiasm, sadness, anticipation…it’s hard to hold so many feelings at once. Our over-riding feeling, however, is one of Peace. Contented that we are on the right path. Satisfied that we are following our calling. Trusting in our God to never leave nor forsake us.