It’s been a long Summer , but the last several weeks have been busy. We have sold our house, quit our jobs, had the estate sale, and essentially managed to reduce our footprint to minimal belongings in order to move onto Lost Loon. The boat awaits or return in Georgia. Getting her bottom painted and hull polished for the intended journey through the Caribbean this winter.
There is an echo as we move through the house these last few weeks. There is more light, literally and figuratively.
There are remnants of the estate sale as we begin to package these things up for storage or donation. There is a new game we play trying to organize our present belongings into items for the boat, the storage or to take to the Minnesota cabin. We find a part or piece that is in a drawer or box and match it with its mate or like piece. The key is remembering where we last put it. There is also the difficulty with staying on task when so much needs organizing. I have spent 2-3 hours going through boxes of photos and elementary keepsakes, reading stories and poems written years ago about family trips, dogs and sports. I have laughed to tears on several occasions, as well as shed a few heartfelt ones.
There are more than 30 years of collectibles, clothing and just stuff. I have never considered myself a hoarder, as I am the one to purge the unnecessary quite often. But in the last several weeks have come to appreciate the lightness of eliminating the excess. How fun it was to buy crystal in Ireland 28 yrs ago, but however a remembrance, we have not used the glassware much. We have a chopper and blender of all sorts, because it was nice to have. Going forth, I just need something to grind my coffee.
Baskets. Ok, since Mike is keeping all his musky lures I’m keeping most of my basket collection. Holiday collectibles. When you have children there is a delight in decorating for the event. OK I will admit that I have attained quite the Christmas collection. I collected Santas, ornaments , and all sorts of dish ware. That was then….I have saved some precious items but the rest will go. Cookbooks. With the incredible data available on the internet I have relied less on cookbooks but, I thank all my friends and family for sustaining my desire to cook. I will now have to manage with a limited pantry on the sailboat and will have to invent my own recipes.
Finally , we have gone thru our wardrobes and eliminated those pieces of clothing we haven’t worn and probably won’t wear in the future. The shorts that looked good 2-3 yrs ago are no longer in style nor sensible for sailing. One should not need 8 pairs of sweatpants. The shirts and sweatshirts from all sorts of events and trips were fun, but I have gotten their use. I am hopeful that someone will enjoy one of the numerous Amery, Colorado, Methodist University, and BVI t-shirts and hats.
Since we are uncertain as to our disposition in 9 months so we have decided to limit the furniture we keep. We presently have a kitchen table and chairs, a couch, a few chairs, a bed, and couple of side tables. Of course we have lamps and other extraneous household items, but it limited. I can usually open the cabinet and grab for a teacup, I now have to remember which ones I’ve kept and where they now reside, temporarily. Many of the antiques are gone. They now have a new life. The dining room table that has hosted first birthday parties, “high school dinner parties”, anniversary dinners, many Christmases and Thanksgivings has a new home with a new family. The house we have called home for 20 yrs has witnessed many years of happiness: first day of kindergarten, first drivers licenses, first deer, many sports celebrations, prom, high school and and college graduations, and wedding preparations. We have experienced some very cold and snowy winters.
There have been some excellent vegetable gardens and successful local hunting. I think as we look back on the grand plan in bringing up the family in appreciation of living in the country when we bought the house in 1995, I would say we have managed to succeed in those intentions. So looking back, there are no misgivings about leaving now.
I finish this driving home from now closing the seasonal cabin in Minnesota, on Lake Vermilion. We were blessed with beautiful Fall colors and weather, a gorgeous sunset, and mirror calm waters. We even caught our last walleye of the season to have for dinner. The winter shutters are in place and the dock is up and out of the water. As we motor away the leaves are falling gently into the water as another season is well underway.
And so we return to Wisconsin to complete the final tasks of moving out of the Amery house, say goodbyes to patients and co-workers and friends, and family to move onto the boat in November. Which in itself will require a bit of clever organizing and work when we arrive back in Georgia.