Sunday, October 24, 2021

Making Space...

Checking in with a progress post on our move.  Tomorrow is closing day and it's hard to believe we're at this point already.  Packing continues, and life doesn't slow down for it.

There is so much I could write about things going on alongside all the packing, but one of the biggest highlights was that we had the opportunity to meet the sellers of the house we're buying.   They had a garage sale last weekend and while I stayed home on Friday to wait for a furnace tune-up, Hub went over to the sale and met the couple we're buying the house from.

As they talked, Hub & the sellers found they had some things in common.  Mr. seller graduated from Purdue, which Hub also did, and I attended.  Not necessarily unique around these parts, but it's always fun to meet another Purdue Alum.

Then they asked if Hub knew T...  B(ourlastname), and Hub was thrilled to tell them that was his brother.  Now... to our knowledge, Hub's family are the only people in the state with our last name. We live about an hour south of where Hub's brother & sister lives, so it's not very often that we run into each other's people.   You might be able to imagine when it does happen, people instantly are curious if we're related since our name is pretty unique in these parts.    

Anyway, turns out when this couple lived further north, they attended church where my husband's mother, father, sister and brother & his family all attend(ed).  What a small world!  

Then Saturday, I went over to meet them (and Hub went again, too).  We ended up buying some office furniture which will be great because we have an old computer table that is looking seriously shabby, and it probably wouldn't move well if we tried.  

I addition to that, when I saw in the garage sale a picture I had admired when looking at their house, I started to offer to buy it, and before I could get the words out completely, the Mrs. gave it to me.   And through our realtors they had previously offered us three nice bar stools they have at their kitchen island, so it looks like we're set in there, too.  It was so good to meet this terrific couple (and some of their family, even).  They seemed genuinely glad to meet us, too.  It's nice to know we're not meeting complete strangers tomorrow at the closing.

Immediately after the closing, we take possession of the new place.  We plan to take a couple of loads over tomorrow late afternoon.  I'm lobbying for getting Chinese take-out and having our first meal there at the kitchen island as a celebration.  

Meanwhile, packing continues...

I don't know how it is, but with each box packed and put in the garage, it seems I become aware of how much more there is to pack!  It feels a tad overwhelming, but then I remind myself that we get to make this move in stages.  The plan is to move small stuff ourselves during the week after closing.  We have a smallish moving van rented for next weekend and will move medium-sized stuff when we have more help.  Then finally we've scheduled (hopefully big, burly) movers to handle the truly heavy stuff - like furniture, an upright freezer, a piano, and anything else we're too pooped to deal with...  

We've never done a local move before and this concept of moving in stages is interesting to plan out, and I hope will be a lot less exhausting in the implementation.

This past Thursday a friend helped me pack up most everything in my china cabinet.  Before we started I told my friend I wanted to take some pictures of the process.  I thought I'd be artsy and get fun angles of her hands placing nicely wrapped dishes in boxes, reaching for dishes in the cabinet, things like that...  Half the time the dining room table was covered with dishes and packing material and even that would have been a great shot.  But do you think I could actually remember to do this?!?   Of course not!  I seem incapable of being part of the process and documenting it at the same time.  So instead of artsy pictures that could provide me great memories in my old age, I have pictures of stacks of boxes containing dishes and china cabinet stuff as they fill my living room, that will only serve to remind me of my aching back in my dotage.

Books have been the easiest thing to get packed, but I will tell you - packing is seriously making me rethink being a collector of books.   In order to not create too heavy of boxes, when I can't put my hands on a small box, I've found that packing books and yarn (or any soft, lightweight items) together is a great way to make sure I'm not packing boxes that are too heavy to actually carry.  

Who knew my closet full of yarn would come in handy in this way?  My books and yarn will possibly end up in the same room at the new house, so the items are a natural to pack together. 😄 

I know a few books slipped out during this challenge before I took a picture of them, but looking back through these posts and counting books pictured, I can see (including today's post) I've gotten rid of at least 194 books in the last year.  Today, I've just counted 50 that came out of the family room!

And lastly for today, I've finally decided I'm just getting rid of the rest of my Taste of Home magazines and am not going to look through any more of them to determine if there are recipes I'd like to save.   I think I counted 29 below:

So this week I have 79 more things leaving the house and I've more than met my goal of 1,000 things gone in a year's time.  If I could take this packing business slower, I could probably get rid of 1,000 more things in the next few weeks, but I can see that isn't going to happen. My decluttering journey (while I probably won't document it further here - at least, not in the same way) will, no doubt, continue at the new place.

I'll try to remember to keep a camera close and snap some pictures this next week.  Once we have possession, I'll feel freer to post some pictures of the new place (or at least spaces in the new place).  A whole empty house isn't going to be terribly interesting, but I'll see what I can do.  

Making Space Week 51:   1029  things gone!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

We've found it!

I have been looking forward to the day I could share my good news, and I think it's finally safe to share it!   I haven't been writing much about our house hunting, but up until recently it's been going on in the background consistently since I first mentioned we were starting to look - back in June.

After visiting houses nearly every weekend from June through September, we found our new home on September 24th!  While we weren't sure about it just reading the listing description and seeing the pictures online, neither of us had any reservations at all once we saw it in person.  This had been my prayer from the beginning - that the house we would choose would feel right to both of us when we saw it.  If you knew Hub's and my personalities (not always in sync), how often we vacillated over what this next house should be (nearly weekly), how few houses that "checked our boxes" were showing up on the market (few to none), you would know that was no small prayer.

Whether or not you're considering buying a house right now, I'm sure you know that in today's market, good houses go fast!  The house we're buying was listed on a Friday afternoon, we made a 6:00 pm appointment to see it, and at 9:00 pm we were leaving the realtor's office after signing our offer to buy.  It sounds crazy, but that's what buying a house is like in 2021.  Whoever "they" are, "they" aren't kidding when they say buying a house in this market is not for the faint of heart.  

This house not only checked all the boxes of what we felt were important, but it also had everything on my personal wishlist, and then some.  I am so undeservedly blessed by that.  In four months, while we had seen some very suitable houses, this was the only house we both felt equally compelled to make an offer on.  And (no surprise) we weren't the only ones who felt that way.   

Knowing by Friday night there were already multiple offers, and knowing the chances were very low that the first time we'd make an offer on a house it would be accepted, we waited just over 40 hours assuring ourselves that we would be just fine if we got it or not.  By Sunday the 26th, we were becoming pretty sure that we were not the winning bidders and were truly okay with it - and then a call came when we were out to lunch with friends.  We were asked to provide bank records to prove we could back up our offer, and a few hours later the second call came telling us our offer was accepted - out of seven total offers made!  We were told the offers were competitive, and later heard (through the grapevine) that ours wasn't even the highest, at which point our delight expanded to wonderment. 

While the house and property please us, it is not really what we envisioned when we set out on this search.  Though, to be honest, our vision kept changing as we looked at various houses - none of them being quite right.   At some point in the process I began to realize that this house hunting was as much about us adjusting our expectations and hopes, and even being willing to walk away from many nice houses that just didn't feel right for us, as it was about finding the right house.  Walking away from several houses was sometimes a step of faith, but we always had peace about it, or quickly gained peace once the decision to walk away was made.  What a process this was!

So... we've begun packing and expect to close at the end of this month and begin moving the first week in November.  Hopefully, we'll not experience winter weather before we get moved in, but regardless, we look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving in our new place.  And this morning at church I signed us up to host a small dinner gathering in early December.  I'm already looking forward to it.

I hope to take some pictures of the process of moving, but I know that may be a challenge for me.  I'm either good at throwing myself into a process, or being a photographer, but rarely do I manage to do both very well at the same time.  We will see...

Meanwhile, as we try to eat our freezer inventory down, we sort and pack, sort and pack.  I am so thankful I've gotten rid of so much this past year (easily it will be over 1,000 things), but still I'm discovering things I didn't know we had.   Living in the same house for 23 years makes that happen, I suppose.

This past week I started packing books, so culling out those least likely to get read has been my goal. This is just one book case's worth, so hopefully, it's just a start:

And a couple of weeks ago, I had culled through my closet, so I have this little stack of clothing to go:

And, as always, there will be collections of random things we realize we don't need, and certainly don't want to move - like this:
The only noteable thing above is the cat drawing my artist sister made of our first kitty, Sy Snootles.  Sy has been gone for over 30 years, and we no longer display the picture so I asked artist sister if she'd like the picture back - perhaps to pass along to one of her grandchildren.  She seemed thrilled with the idea.  It's on its way to her as I type.  😊

With just three more weeks to my 1000 things gone goal:

Making Space Week 49:   950  things gone!


Sunday, October 3, 2021

Making Space...

Things are pretty bustling here and I'm not finding time to blog much, but I do want to let my blogging buddies know I'm still around.  I check into your blogs when I can, and will try to post some more Making Space posts before the whole experiment ends in less than a month for me now.

The reason I haven't posted for a little while now is mostly due to busyness, but to be honest, I've had some struggles emotionally as I'm nearing the time for the closing of my brother's estate.   Closing the estate isn't the cause of my emotional struggles, but in going through records to do some final accounting and prep for next tax season, I have experienced some emotional "triggers" I didn't anticipate.  And there have been some hard days where the rug has felt pulled out from under me emotionally and even spiritually. 

On one hand, I've wanted to write about it here - to be known, to document my process, even to be beneficial for others who have perhaps dealt with loss that comes out of a complicated situation and family dynamic.  On the other hand, I've not wanted to inadvertently invite advice or even sympathy that is based on incomplete knowledge - because I don't feel I can share enough for a reader to really understand the situation.  I know... that was quite circular.  And round and round it goes in my head.

So I don't write much here about my loss and the head- and heart-work of dealing with it.  I may some day.  Or maybe not. For now I write this as much as a documentation for myself as anything - to record the existence of profound loss and often crushing regret alongside the good of life that is happening.  That's the nature of loss.  Of grief.  Of deep regret even, I'm learning.  Good often runs parallel to confusion and chaos.  Happiness can be experienced adjacent to profound pain.  It occurs to me that this is, perhaps, a small glimpse of a spiritual redemption that I hope to someday see more fully.  On that note, I do want to say I've gained great comfort and spiritual insights from others who share their grief journeys in a public way.  You know who you are, and I thank you.

So... yes, things are hopping here.  It is, perhaps, the hoppingness that helps me handle the hard moments of late.  The reason behind the hoppingess will be shared soon enough, but not yet on that either.  😉

So...  with all that said, let me share my recent decluttering.

Curious how many of you may have one of these around:

After 41 years, I finally opened up my hermetically-sealed wedding dress.

The blue around the yoke is tissue paper.  Someone seeing the picture thought it was fabric, so I thought I should clarify.

While it looks pretty in the picture (and I assume it did in person), my dress was not an heirloom-type dress.  It was made of polyester, and I bought it off the clearance rack in 1980.  I wanted something pretty, but I wasn't into the idea of spending a crazy amount of money on a dress I would wear exactly once.  Always practical - that's me.  Even so...  in 1980, off the clearance rack, I think it cost a little over $100.00.  I probably waffled over spending that much.

Anyway, the dress had at least one dark stain after 41 years of baking in different attics, and the white lace has myellowed to a beautiful shade of cream, but it made using the dress for some other purpose (other than a Halloween costume, perhaps) pretty much out of the question.  So I cut the skirt off, and am saving the still-intact bodice for now, and will hopefully remove the lace someday and make something else pretty out of it. 

I don't imagine it's the most beautiful of lace patterns, but it feels special since it's mine.  It's actually fairly substantial in weight so if I can remove it intact, I may find it has many uses.  We'll see!

Also, I saved a long skirt's, and a short train's worth of the lining fabric - I'm thinking it's probably taffeta.  Probably polyester, too, but it's a woven fabric - stiff and thick enough to provide some shape to the knitted polyester of the dress.  Not sure what it will be good for, but for some reason I felt compelled to save it. 😊  

That's all for this week.   

Making Space Week 48:  878 things gone!

Comments have been disabled for this post.  To anyone who commented and came back to read my response (which I usually leave), I have edited portions of one paragraph above that I think might have been better left unsaid for now.  Please trust that all comments were received in the generous spirit they were given, and I have saved them for my personal benefit.  Your kind comments are jewels to me. I just rethought the idea of having a comment section on this post. Thank you, kind readers.