Saturday, January 26, 2013

Last Load Delivered

I wish I could report that we finally are settled in our new home.  There are times when I wonder if that will ever happen.  While the process of moving and settling is definitely not complete, I can report that we did complete last stage of our move.  It only took us four months to complete all the stages that we established to make our move a bit easier on us.  I can congratulate myself on only taking four months to move.  I might have left the things in our storage shed longer, but Jim reminded me that one month's rent on the storage shed would pay for a cleaning lady once a month.  That motivated me.  

Back in September, I wrote in my blog (read it here) that we had completed Stage One and Stage Two in preparation for our big move which was occur in October.  I reported that our first stage required that we "Sort through professional papers, books, notebooks, teaching materials and memorabilia from the classroom and our professions." Once we had completed this task, which took a lot of doing, we then went on to Stage Two:  Move the things we have left from the basement to a storage unit.  

Today, we hired a couple of guys to move all those boxes that has been stored in a storage unit for the past four months to our home.  These two very efficient, energetic guys seemed to move all these boxes from the storage unit, into a truck in no time at all.  They then drove to our new home, unloaded the truck, carried all the boxes to the basement, patiently waited for me to determine which box would remain in the family room and which box would go to our crawl space that we are using as a storage area, and then they moved each box to its appropriate place.  Youth is on their side.  All of this took no time at all.  

Just before the movers arrived, I snapped a photo of the new bookshelves we purchased to hold the books that were stored in the storage unit.  Was I naive when I thought these shelves would hold all the books we kept?  Yes, I think I was.  Either that, or I was forgetful.  I forgot I had all those books in the storage shed when I bought these shelves.  Oops, somehow, I forgot that even though we got rid of nearly 1,000 books all told, we also kept quite a few.  These books were in the storage shed.  I wonder how I forgot that.  Perhaps, it was wishful thinking.  Today, my son asked where we had all these books before the move.  My reply, "Mostly in boxes in the basement."  Before the move, we got rid of old books that were outdated and that we not longer were interested in keeping.  I think we will be culling once again.  

Here is the view of boxes of books as they begin to arrive from storage. 
I really don't think I can fit all the books from the boxes on these shelves.  What do you think?  This is a view of one end of the large family room in the basement.  Jim's desk in one corner of the room.  The bookshelves are by the desk.  

This is another view of  view of the opposite end of the family room.  We have our television in this area.  I am still trying to decide the best use of the space.  I am also trying to put odds and ends in place.  The couch and the old pink chair lived in our living room in the old house.  They have been relegated to the basement in this house.  The couch is still in excellent condition.  I just didn't want it in my living room anymore.  I will get this area decorated at some point, but in the meantime, it is the place where old furniture and odds and ends are being deposited.  The old green footstools do not match anything.  Old, and tattered, I decided to move them and will recover them soon I hope.
 Here is another view of this room.  It is large, very large.  One end is Jim's study.  That is his black recliner on the left of the photo and the bookshelves are on the other side.  I am standing by his desk to take the photo.  

At this angle, I am standing near the television looking toward Jim's desk.  Yesterday, I nearly had all the boxes out of this room.  Now, it is filled again.  

The Stuff I Could Not Throw Away

After reading the above mentioned blog which was posted on September 29, 2012, I was struck by several things.
  • I am amazed at how much stuff we have!  I thought we had gotten rid of so much.
  • I am looking through the same professional books and papers again!  I thought I had done a good job of getting rid of stuff in September.  I find I still cannot get rid of so many papers.  I have no idea why.  I've decided to save my professional books one more year.  If I haven't used them in one year, I promised myself I will donate them.  
  • I am struck by how much emotional attachment I have to things.  Somethings I just can't get rid of.  I found pillow cases embroidered by my grandmother.  They were turning yellow in a plastic container.  I decided the time is now.  Either I need to get rid of such things, or I should use them.  I decided they actually matched the duvet covers in the bedroom that the grandchildren use.  I will wash the pillowcases and put them on the twin beds in this room.  They will add a special touch.
  • I am also struck by how important my time in the classroom was to me.  I just can't seem to part with cards from students, memorabilia that the students gave me, lesson plan books, unit designs, rubrics, and curriculum guides still hold a place in my heart.  I know I will never use them again, but I can't throw them away.  Do other retired teachers feel this way?
  • Maybe I will have to hire a professional to help me get rid of all these papers.  
Just before we moved, I read a newspaper article about letting go of our 'stuff.'  I cut it out and put it on the refrigerator for reference.  I even saved the article!  I wonder where it is.  I remember that it said to save the stories about treasured items but get rid of the item itself.  I had such good intentions.  In the end, I just could not get rid of some things.  

At first, after I read the article, I decided I would not move the small table and chairs that my children used when they were growing up.  It sat in the kitchen next to the larger kitchen table when they were children.  It was the place where they sometimes ate their breakfast,  lunch, or a snack.  It was where they colored or played games.  When the children were grown, the small table and chairs went to the basement where it stayed until there was a family gathering.  Then, the chairs and table were toted upstairs for the grandchildren to use. 

I love this photo of the table.  Ok, really, I love the photo of Hannah using the table!  I just found it.  I would guess this was taken the day after a family Christmas party.  Hannah is enjoying one of those great cupcakes we used to always have for the kids.  Isn't she adorable?  Can you see why I could not give the table away?  It carries with it too many memories.

The photo below was snapped at a family Easter celebration.  Mason, Gillian, Hannah, and Atticus are all seated around the kids' table.  Julie, dressed in green, is leaning over the kitchen table.  This is just a quick snapshot of a family celebration, but now, at this date in time,  the photo captures a priceless memory of time gone by.  I notice the blanket no longer carried around by one of the grandchildren that is draped on my chair.  I notice Gillian is dressed in my apron and sitting on the pillow from my chair.  I see the cute little parkas the grandchildren wore flung on the hooks by the door.  

Now, the grandkids are grown up and the table is no longer needed.  
Mason and Gillian are teenagers.
They don't care about Easter baskets.
They would not fit in those chairs.
I have the stories.  
I have the photos.  

I kept the table.

It was in the last load delivered from the storage shed.  
It was placed in the crawl space.
I just could not get rid of it.


Jackie said...

Difficult to part with items that hold such powerful memories. I understand.
And...I love this line from your blog:
" one month's rent on the storage shed would pay for a cleaning lady once a month."
That would motivate me, too!
You go girl!!!

LC said...

You have made a noble start. I am not facing a move, but I decided the time had come to get rid of papers and books and memorabilia from my working days. I have found that I make a good start then stall for months.

Your sharing is renewing my determination.Your "table" photo carries so many layers of emotion and memories.

My mother loaned a relative the little table that my brother and I used. It was never returned and she never found out what happened to it. I would have loved to have used that for my children, then my brother's kids who came much later and now my grandchildren.

Linda Myers said...

I will help you get rid of your stuff. I work cheap.

Barb said...

You're in the one stretch Sally! I agree - keep the little table. But curriculum guides - pitch!

Joanne said...

I have a hard time getting rid of stuff too...especially the kid's Stuff. My daughter has the exact same blanket. She's had it since she was a baby. I don't think I can ever get rid of it.
Blessings, Joanne

Kay said...

I do know exactly how you feel about letting go of the teaching material. I had the worst time when we moved from Chicago to Hawaii. To be honest, I still have a bunch of stuff too precious to throw away too. As for that table, I wouldn't give it away for anything. Not only the memories, but it's really a beautiful table!

THAT is a HUGE room! Wow!

Arkansas Patti said...

Sorry, but I am still laughing how you kept your stuff but lost the article to help you get rid of it.
My last move really made me cut to the bone. The down size just didn't allow me to keep things like books that I would never read again. I do miss the wonderful look of racks of books but now days I have 500 books stored in a 5x7 inch tablet on my night stand. Not the comfort and beauty of the bound versions, yet always at my finger tips and they don't need dusting. Good luck with purging. It is only painful in the beginning.

Jeanie said...

At this point at least be glad you got rid of all you did before the move. I like the idea of waiting a year with the rest and then getting rid of whatever you haven't used....except for the little table which you should keep forever.

DJan said...

It's so hard to let go of things that mean so much to us, the parents who raised those kids. But it's something we will need to do anyway, little by little. You are doing great and don't need to hurry things too much, Sally. There's plenty of time to continue your downsize and finish your move. You've accomplished a tremendous amount in a short period of time!

Perpetua said...

Sally, I think you are doing amazingly wellto have sone so much in just 4 months. We moved back into our old home at retirement five years ago and still have unsorted boxes in the barn, though the pile is gradually getting smaller.

I too find I can't get rid of some things related to my professional life and would always rather throw away the papers than the keepsakes which to me are priceless. I am using more and more of the "best" things in everyday life, knowing that once I'm gone they will mean little or nothing to my children and grandchildren.

rosaria williams said...

I've had the same discussions with myself, questioning the need for saving stuff, for holding on to things that will never be used again. Every time we move we repeat the steps of sorting. What we are sorting are our own feelings of attachment; reviewing what and who we were, the importance of our work.

Teachers don't teach in a vacuum; they reach souls and they connect deeply with people, as parents do. How can we possibly discard anything of such value?

I did throw lots of things, and the process was painful.

Olga said...

I am very much the other way with very little sentimental attachment to stuff. I remember my first husband accusing me of being cold-hearted because I did not want to take my daughter's baby cradle when we made a move. She was 18 at the time and wasn't using it any more. I am near to an anxiety attack just thinking about a move in process that is still going on after fur months.

#1Nana said...

Let me know when Linda is coming to help you sort through your stuff...I'll come help!

I've managed to let go of most of my professional books. Turned them over to my son who sold them online! Those that weren't of any monetary value I sent to Goodwill. It became easier for me to let go of the professional stuff once I had some distance from the job. It took me 20 years to get rid of my kindergarten teaching maaterials. The objects that remind me of family are more difficult to let go.

I'm serious about coming to help you would give me something to write about in the blog!

troutbirder said...

It is hard very hard especially when it involves the son you lost...

Betsy Adams said...

Well--at least you have a place to store those sentimental things... I am not too much of a saver (never have been) ---but NOW (as I've gotten older) I wish I had some of the things I got rid of along the way. SO--you are probably smart to keep your things...

You seem very organized to me --and I'm proud of you and Jim for taking it easy---and moving things gradually.. You are SMART to do that...

There's no time table on moving. We all do it differently.. Anything you do should be exactly what you WANT to do--not what someone else suggests...


Friko said...

O well, somebody else will have to do it for you when you’re gone.

We leave too much stuff behind for the next generation to clear out. I have no more sense than you in these matters. I know that the children won’t want any of my treasures and they’ll all end up in landfill somewhere because they won’t have the time to deal with them properly.

O well.

btw: gritters are people with gritting lorries filled with sand, coarse grit and salt. The men throw the mixture over the road to make them safer to negotiate.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Great books shelves, something I could do with myself as my books are just piled up and looking unsightly!

Moving is a stressful time but we do get there in the end.

CJ x

Keicha Christiansen said...

Oh my gosh! Our babies and their cute little fat cheeks. It's hard to believe how grown up they are now. And check me out in the background. I almost didn't recognize myself I was so skinny!

I'm okay with you keeping the table, however it sounds like it's time for me to pay you a visit and put my organizational skills to work. ♥

Marcia said...

I'm wondering, did the bookshelves come assembled or did you have to do it? Because we bought one and neither of us can figure out how to put it together, even with the instructions! Is it us or are they putting the instructions in Greek nowadays? Aargh....
I enjoy your writing.

Jeanie said...

Well, Sally, if it makes you feel any better, you are not alone. I shudder when I think what I will have to do to one day downsize. Let's leave art supplies even out of the discussion -- the books and Christmas alone are enough to make a woman crazy. And yes, all the china and crystal and dishes. Lots of dishes. Like you, I am sentimental -- there are things I simply cannot part with. And, like you, I am also learning to use the precious things. If they rip or break I will be sad, but more so, I think, if I didn't enjoy them. (And your book problems resonated more than you know!)

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

I love what Patti said in her comment."Good luck with purging. It is only painful in the beginning."
I need to keep this in mind and your helpful post about your move because I may be moving in May. lol
Sending you lots of good wishes for enjoying your new home.

Vagabonde said...

I read your last two posts. First of all I am so pleased that your Jim is doing so well now and hope he will continue to feel better. Sadly my Jim won’t. Just before we found out he had bladder cancer we also found out he had onset Alzheimer. The bladder cancer is cleared now but he has to have follow-up treatments for 2 years, but the Alzheimer is not curable. He just has short term memory loss but he cannot drive anymore and I have to make all the plans for our trips (and everything else) I just hope it won’t get bad too quickly. I have started to look at all the things we have because we will need to move sometime. Four months is very fast I think – you did very well. We have thousands of books and so far have been unable to part with them. I hope that we can start getting rid of stuff because it may come a time when we have to move. Your dog is beautiful by the way.

Dee said...

Dear Sally, and really why should you get rid of that small table, laden as it is with so many memories? Why not simply keep it and when the great-grandchildren come they can use it. And later, when the two of you are gone and your children decide what to do with the furniture in your home, they can either remember the table and children gathered round or they can simply let it go, much easier than you can. Be good to yourself and to your memories. Peace.

becca said...

just popping in to say hi

Maggie May said...

I'm also very reluctant to part with things that hold dear memories.
Love your room and I hope all those books could be accommodated!

It would be a nightmare if ever we moved as we have stuff in boxes piled high in the attic. I must sort it and be ruthless, before someone else has to do it.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

Terri Tiffany said...

Your new home is beautiful. We had to get rid of so many precious items when we left FL for Texas. I wish I had them now. Glad you are settling in!!

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

"Retired English Teacher" has been included in the A Sunday Drive for this week. Be assured that I hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.

dkzody said...

You need someone like me to come take care of this stuff. I have no sentiment and my feeling is: can you use this right now? If so, keep it and use; if not, toss it or give it away. I am very good at this getting rid of stuff. As for professional papers, I did that before I left my teaching job. Like everyone in our office said, no one is going to want that, even the lesson plans and curriculum designs. Moving on...

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

I know how hard that is too! I think we all have learned to cling to too much because we are pampered and have accepted that we need things to feel a sense of being part of 'time'. I know I lost much during a fire and have already found stuff to reconnect and feel the old familiar things in place that were saved. Like you I had lots of stuff from teaching times and when kids were small. Now I have let some of that go.
I have let friends go too. I noticed that I am distancing myself more and more.
My mom did that too as she aged. I'm not sure why or what it will lead to.But I'm not afraid. I feel calm. And for me that's a break through. I hope that you will feel a calm after all your chaos.

Janette said...

Teaching stuff? You mean the twenty boxes in the barn? Once the kids get their children through the grades and they do not need it ===I'll pitch it. If I move before then I will find the poorest school in the area and dump it all on them :>)