|Just before sunrise at Lake Padden|
It was tiring work and rather depressing to see Carol trying to decide what to keep and what to leave behind, but we made great progress. It also made me grateful to SG for not being a saver of stuff and someone who makes regular purges of unwanted household items. I tend to accumulate things I don't need and it's very inspiring to have someone around who is the opposite.
Carol also is using a different moving company than I'm used to: ABF Freight U-Pack. When I came home Friday, I saw a large trailer parked in front of the apartment complex and learned that it was for Carol's stuff and that she had until Monday to get it all packed up. It is much larger than what she needs, but she only pays for the space she uses and the rest of the truck is then packed with freight, not another household. I've always used U-Haul rental trucks and so was quite interested in learning how this system works. So far, it looks like a good way to manage a long-distance move and not have to drive it yourself. Carol says it's cheaper, too.
Helping someone sort through years of accumulated treasures along with no-longer-needed items is very enlightening, even if a little sad. Carol likes to keep everything, so there is a LOT to go through, making me think of moves that I've been involved with in the past. This is just a small two-bedroom apartment. It sparked memories of long-ago forgotten upheavals, a parent dying or a divorce, with the accompanying tearful wrenching disruption.
Just part of life, I guess. We all go through it, but some of us are better at it than others. Growing up with my father in the Air Force, we moved a lot, and I learned not to become too attached to things back then. There are some items that I carry with me from place to place, and just the presence of those things in my surroundings makes me feel better. I have a lamp on my bedside that I've had for five decades now, one that I bought with no sense that it would become a staple in my life. I've got piles of old photographs that cover decades, too, and although nowadays all of my latest pictures are digital, I cannot bring myself to get rid of any of the old ones. I did, however, years ago rid myself of all those negatives I carried around. Now I simply scan a picture and have plenty of copies if I want.
More than eight years ago, when I retired and we moved from Colorado to the Pacific Northwest, I got to see how an organized person does it. We had lived in the same apartment for fourteen years, and even though I didn't realize it, we had accumulated a lot of stuff we no longer needed. SG purged for months prior to the move, and by the time moving day came around, our pared-down belongings were manageable. With the help of some friends, we loaded up a U-Haul truck, which SG drove while I followed behind in the car, and we traveled over several days to our new home here in Bellingham. (He had come here months before, found our new apartment, and flown back to Colorado to make the trip here together.)
And now here we are, hopefully with no need to move again in the near future, coming up on nine years of life in Bellingham and a reminder from Carol to maybe think about a shedding of the old no-longer-needed items that surround me every day. Why not? It would probably feel really good to do that, and then I'll have that space to add even more stuff! I'm smiling but it's true.
People have so many different styles in the way we live our lives, and the bringing together of two fifty-year-olds when SG and I got married was quite a change for both of us. I'd lived alone for many years, as had he, but after the first difficult years, it never ceases to amaze me how well suited we are to each other, a quarter of a century later. We have had our ups and downs, but I cannot imagine my life without my partner, who complements me in ways I never even contemplated way back when. He says he's had to change the most, but I wonder if that's true. And really, who cares? We made the necessary adjustments and now we live together comfortably.
Which makes me look over at the other side of the bed and listen for his regular breathing, as he sleeps while I write, tapping away on my laptop. It's that time again: my post almost done, tea gone, and a sigh just escaped from my loved one, reassuring me that he's over there, if not asleep, content and probably reassured by the sounds emanating from this side of the bed, knowing all is well in our little corner of the universe.
I do hope that the coming week will bring you contentment and joy, as we move through the fall season toward the coming winter. The days are growing very short, and the nights longer in the Northern Hemisphere, but I am also reassured that spring is blossoming in all its glory in the Southern Hemisphere on our beautiful planet. The wheel turns, and I will finish with a Chinese proverb: "The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us." Be well until we meet again next week.