Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Rapture is better....

Last August Bernie and I walked out of house in Kingwood with two dufflebags, two cats in carriers, and two backpacks.

It was a breeze. I hardly blinked as we climbed into the awaiting taxi and drove away to the airport.

Monday night we walked back into the house...and I cried. Our left behind house was still as it was when we left it; it was beautiful, bright and in perfect order. The lamps shone like life and joy, and I felt like I had returned to the best moment of life.

I didn't forget the reasons why we had left to move to Utah. I don't regret our decision, but for a few hours we sat in front of the fire and talked of the times we had had in this house. Good times and very very hard times. Sickness and health, rich and poor, better and worse...doesn't the house that becomes a home become the stage and setting of a marriage?

Tuesday morning the movers arrived and began to empty the closets and cupboards. It is estimated that there will be close to 200 boxes loaded into a van tomorrow. Frankly, I recoiled as I shot pictures of what was in each drawer and cupboard, in a desperate ploy to jog my memory of where "things" had been stored in the "old" house.

It has been almost four months since I reached into any of those spaces. For four months I have lived just fine with just what we brought with us, a borrowed bed and a couple of chairs, a couch and three bags of "stuff" from the grocery store and IKEA.

What on earth am I going to do with 200 boxes of stuff that obviously I don't really need?

Our household goods will go into storage in Utah for a minimum of two more months. We have an idea of which house we will be buying, but are awaiting some more information before we mentally designate that place as "our new home".

Two hundred boxes...and furniture too...there simply is no room for all of this regardless of where we move.

Bernie's company is paying for the moving costs; it doesn't matter how much we bring. I stoically watched the packer carefully put an empty cardboard Starbuck coffee box in with some other kitchen item; I didn't even reach to toss it out. I will have to get a dumpster anyway in Utah and hold garage sales, put furniture up for sale on Craigslist, or on consignment, or simply leave it at the curb on heavy trash day.

I know that it is common and normal to simplify as we age. But the task of making the decisions of what goes, and how it goes seems overwhelming to me right now. I know I will have to make some sort of sense of all of our belongings and work hard to nestle them nicely into our next nest, to make a fit stage and setting of the next chapter of our lives.

And all the while that I am doing that I will know that likely we will uproot it all again in another ten years or so when we retire, or grow too old to manage on our own.

I find myself longing for heaven, for a place that will not require boxes to be unpacked to move into; a place that will not require different paint or new carpeting or any of the things that a new house always seems to need before it feels like home.

I remember all the strange and empty houses I have seen lately, and am so thankful that as our possessions are driven away, another couple, close to our age will fill it with their belongings. We met the new owners and the new "lady of the house" at signing yesterday; Ellen told me how beautiful she thought the house was, and how all her friends thought so too. She has just lost her father; her mother will be moving in with them now. How quickly even her plans had changed for her move.

As I write this on a clickity library keyboard I really just want to curl up and hibernate, and awake with everything settled again somewhere, somehow. I know that won't happen. We drive errands through Kingwood and it seems dreamlike that I am once again in Texas for just a brief moment, and will likely never be here again in my life time. Christmas decorations are up, and carols play in the stores just like they did last year, and will again next year.

A bit like the old play "Brigadoon". It seems a bit like a dream. I just hope when I awake it will all make pleasant sense somehow.
But for now, it is just most unsettling.


Kate said...

Take heart, Dear! You will enjoy the light feeling you will get when you divest yourself of some of the old things. Somehow, I too have accumulated waaaaaaay too much in just the year I've been in my tiny apartment - shoes and work clothes mostly for my gypsy life of late.

I'm unpacking a couple of boxes a day before heading off to work and it feels good - makes it more and more like home without being overwhelming. Just take your time and inspiration will come.

Remember - Downsize to a Bigger Life!

Kate Q:-)

Lovella said...

Jill, you are doing something many of us will never have to do. It is so interesting how we all walk slightly different paths in life but for those of us who know Jesus as our Saviour. . .our paths will ultimately end at the same place.
Blessings on you my friend and I pray for strength and courage for each day you feel like hibernating. . .hugs.

Vicki said...

Jill, you've so eloquently expressed what I've felt several times before when we made our "big" moves from KY to TX and, later, from TX to FL. Each time we moved, I downsized somewhat before packing and while's amazing how differently your stuff looks in your new home. It didn't feel I got rid of it. Now I'm ready to get rid of lots more.

I'm laughing about the empty Starbucks box...during both of our big moves, the packers managed to pack our trash cans - trash and all! - before I could grab the cans to empty them! Imagine unpacking a trash-filled can after two months in storage! (Trash seems to be privileged around our house...someday I'll have to tell you about how we once took our trash to Disney World.)

Caroline said...

My parents had to do the same thing several years ago - sort through nearly four decades worth of material memories, deciding what to bring with them to their new home in Florida. People don't realize the emotional ties we develop with "things" until we have to shed them.

In the end, you will wind up with those possessions most important to you, which is an extremely enlightening experience in and of itself.

Lin said...

How long will you be in Kingwood? Maybe we could get in touch?

Anonymous said...

Good Luck, You both! During 14 years I've had 3 BIG moves and I still have boxes and furniture stored and I know, I'm never going to use them, yet too lazy to get rid of them! I'd need an army to help me...but maybe one day...
I just made a cruise to Helsinki, where I'm from, and thought that only sun would make it a little bit better;it was so stormy but so familiar somehow. Anyway; I prefer living in Stockholm! It is so beautiful in the summer! Greetings, Pia

Julie said...

Ohh Jill.. you have me crying.. I am the worst for nastalgia !!
When we drove away from the house and property that had been our dream and home for 33 years.. I knew I would never come back.. I couldn't.. The reasons for our move are still valid and I have not looked back.. but I know going back to my old house is not something I could do !!! So, I really feel for you Jill!!
BUT .. reading your hint... you have found THE house ?? when do we get to have the virtual photo tour ?? I'm dying to see...
You will find room for all the things that are important to you..the things that turn a house into a home.
I do however share with you the yearning to reach our heavenly estate... where we will never worry about anything again!!! and never have too much STUFF or not enough.. and NEVER have to move !!! I love the thought !!
May it be soon !!!

running wildly said...

Awww, *hugs* to you as you move through this transition. Thinkin' of you today.....

Gotta Garden said...

Oh, I so relate...having moved so many times. For the last few years, it has just felt right to start unloading various things...although, it seems as if the more I unload, the more there still is...somehow.

I've enjoyed reading through your more recent much there. Our tastes do change; I think I have been through so many (too many) phases. I'm okay with now...the feelings that I have that less is more. Just wish I could get there...hehe!

Best wishes in settling in your new home. It is amazing how much we can do without.

It will all work out...and feel rather uplifting, I bet, as you decide what stays and what goes.

Take care now. Merry Christmas! (loved reading about your Thanksgiving...sounded just perfect!)