Monday, August 11, 2014

T-minus 10 and Counting!

Just a quick update to let you all know that I’m still alive and kicking!  With so much house activity consuming my days, I’ve not had time to write many blog posts…but hopefully, those lazy carefree days are coming soon…very soon!

In just 10 days, Millie and I will be pulling the Winnie out of the driveway for the last time and leaving our house to the fabulous couple who will be renting it over the winter.  They were over on Saturday measuring rooms trying to decide how they’d downsize their house’s furnishings into this one, while I was out in the driveway trying to figure out how I’d get a 2-car garage filled with stuff into my 24’ Winnebago!  “Downsizing” is all relative it would appear!

It’s not all been excitement and CandyLand, though.  I finally had a bawling emotional melt-down about a week ago after what felt like being haggled down to a pulp by ruthless Craigslist bargain-hunters on some of my most-cherished possessions.  In reality, they were just buying items for the going rate, and I still had way too many emotions pent up needing to “let go.”

All the Craigslist sales up to this point had been easy and fun—looky here!  Cash for unused, uncared about stuff!  Yippee!!!   Now, I was down to the really hard stuff such as grandmother’s most-prized dining room set and bedroom set from the 1930’s.  

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I thought about all the family meals she had served from this table, the smells and tastes of those tried-and-true comfort foods like meat loaf, sweet potatoes, turkey with stuffing, ham, green bean casserole, and various fruit Jello molds.  The smiles and laughter of all my grandparents’ relatives and friends who would often join us around this table.  

Hanging on to this furniture for the past 20 years was a way to wrap myself in those comfortable memories, and postpone the grieving.  So, if I’ve learned anything these past few months of downsizing, it’s this—the “emotional” aspects of transitioning to full-time RVing that one expects to go through (i.e. leaving friends behind, no longer having a fixed home base, etc) are nothing compared to “re-grieving” the loss of  long-passed relatives and selling the treasures they bequeathed to me for pennies on the dollar.

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Fortunately, it was my full-time RVing friend Suzanne who was again there to email me a pep talk to get me over one more difficult hurdle.  She always seems to have a plethora of quotes “at the ready” and ended her email with this most-appropriate quote from Winston Churchill – “If you’re going through hell, keep going!”  

That was just the tonic I needed!  Now beyond the point of no return, with the big heirloom furniture grieving complete, I was now ready to focus on that growing, ever-brighter light at the end of this long tunnel.

I started looking at maps and making travel plans to head out West this Fall-- now looking forward, instead of behind.

Fingers are crossed that the big garage sale next weekend will take a big chunk out of the remaining piles of stuff to donate, trash, or store. 

After August 20th, my plan is to move to a local campground and driveway boondock with family for a few more weeks while I sell the green Sprinter van and remaining eBay items, and tie up any remaining loose ends.

T-minus 10 and counting… I can feel the engines starting to fire up as Millie and I prepare for blast off!

14 comments:

  1. WOW is all I can say. I can hear you starting to breath a little bit.

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  2. It is NOT easy for sure. BUT, just think of all the adventures ahead and the fact that you'll be able to LIVE IN THE MOMENT instead of in the past. I promise in a year, none of the stuff will matter and you'll ALWAYS have the memories.
    You'll look back at this event and shake your head in amazement that you got through this. I still do after 14 years, but with NO regrets. Happy trails.
    BTW, the last time I drove to Colorado around Labor Day it was a steady stream of RVers heading South. I was amazed. I asked them why they were heading out so early and they nformed me that heading south the first week of September was NOT too early! Just sayin''...........Adios

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  3. But look! You have memories and pictures of your treasures. You'll leave the bad feelings behind as you wander on down the highway embracing a brand new adventure in life.

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  4. Sounds like you are getting real close to fun time. We broke out the View today just for a trip to the beach:)

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  5. The hard part will be behind you very soon now. New adventures and new faces.

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  6. New adventures and new faces too for your grandmother's furniture. All that stuff gets a new life, as you do. Good luck and God speed, i'm looking forward to reading all about it.

    Cheers!

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  7. oh that's rough, Lynne.. on my FIFTH downsizing … I let my Aunt's bedroom furniture ~ it was antique furniture when she bought it … she left it to me, I loved it ~ AND my piano I bought in the 70s and had moved it and stored a bazillion times….

    I finally let them go and I was really surprised at the emotion that just burst! BUT the freedom afterwards … was great.

    Plus your having Suzanne being there for you … ?! that's good stuff ;) I'm looking forward to your and Millie's adventures… if I didn't have my little Charlie and Adelle?… oh, sigh… you know what I'd like ? no? … climb up high ~ put on a flimsy dancer's outfit … flowing and blowing in the wind … just me and the sky and the wind … dancing and singing … maybe a little bird OR an Eagle would join me… ohhhh joy

    need to say bye to pie

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  8. I trust that the sweet memories will linger, long after the weight of the "stuff" is gone. It's been two years since my "big purge," and I haven't regretted a single thing I sold / gave away / threw away. In fact, of the few boxes that I kept, I can't remember half of what is in there! Not a single regret! Keep going, my friend, keep going!!

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  9. Lynne,
    Feel your pain and I mean pain .....
    That is so tough just to read about your trials and downsizing .... I am certain it will make you stronger in the end but getting there that is so tough.... Thinking good thoughts for you and Millie ....
    That WC quote is worth remembering.... All the Best, Sally and Duke

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  10. Thinking about you as you go through this, Lynne; I know it's not been easy to let go of these things that seem like such tangible connections to the loved ones from earlier times. And it's okay to have a "meltdown" over the whole process--grief takes many forms and it's all okay. I know you well enough to know that you will get through it. When I was at the Zen Buddhist monastery years ago, one of the favorite teachings I learned was from Master Dogen, a 12th century Zen Master: "Seven times fall down, eight times get up." Give yourself a big hug and see you on the road!

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  11. We went through this three years ago and even though it was hard to let go of cherished items, three years later, we don't miss them, in fact don't even think of them. We never realized what an anchor "stuff" was, we felt very free once all of it was gone.

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  12. Would like information on your green Sprinter Van - where could I find that or would you please e-mail me?

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    1. Hi Sandy-- I don't see email addresses via comments, so shoot me a quick email at winnieviews at gmail dot com and I'll get you more info on the van. Thanks!

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  13. Nothing wrong with just letting it all out. You have had an emotional last few years and now you are making a huge change, most unsettling. Good luck with the adjustment process.

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