Leaps and bounds!

Just as the emotional dam broke, so did the progress on emptying the house and readiness for the trip! 

All the mattresses in my house have been hauled away except for the one I am planning to keep in storage. The rooms are quite empty and guests will have to bring their own beds and bedding! 🙂  Oh, and chairs, etc.! 

The biggest thing that has set my mind at ease is that the Kuwait Embassy has already sent back my passport with visa attached! I just sent it on Monday and it was approved and returned to my door by Thursday!!! Now that was a fast turn around and I’m breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Tomorrow morning the guy who is buying my car arrives to take it away. Now, I just need my house to sell! Please.

I have scheduled Habitat for Humanity Restore to come pick up all the left over furniture on Saturday, August 17 in the afternoon. I’ll be in a completely empty house then, but only for 2 days.

Tomorrow a friend is coming with her pick-up truck to haul away some trash. It will good to get some of the bigger stuff that doesn’t fit into the trash can (bikes, scooter, shovels) out of here. At the landfill there is a swap shed where things that are reusable, such as that, are left for people to take so it doesn’t end up in the garbage. 

Speaking of friends, I absolutely could not have accomplished these things without the support and sweat equity of my friends and family. I mean, they have not been afraid to get dirty and do the heavy lifting. Some of the stuff was in the eaves of my house and coated with decades of dirt and dust. I am a packrat and I have lots of papers and books that, for some insane reason, I kept. Papers and books? They’re so very heavy. These same friends have crammed their cars to the gills and helped to haul it away. I am pleased to say that most of it has gone to recycling, the thrift shop, the swap shop, or trash. That means that I did pretty well in estimating the size of the storage unit for my stuff. Other than what I am taking with me, everything I own fits in a 5’x15′ storage unit! Thank you to these wonderful, generous, loving friends and family!

My goal is never to be a packrat again. I don’t want (nor do I want my children) to have to go through junk like that. Simplifying and living light.


Well, I held them off for as long as I could but the dam has broken. Soaking up time with my daughter (Camp Pamdrianne) I had to acknowledge some what this move means: this house is quickly becoming a shell instead of home and “camps” will have to happen elsewhere, I’m not going to be “just down the road” from either of my children, friends can’t just run over with their large vehicles to “save me” when mine isn’t big enough, spur of the moment dinners will no longer be that as they’ll have to be long planned, and I may be out of the country for some major life events in my children’s lives. Yes, realizing all these things led to the release of many tears this last week.

Through the blur of tears, we were able to accomplish some big things during Camp Pamdrianne. Probably the largest (and certainly the dirtiest!) was getting everything out of the attic. I had an old braided rug up there and I don’t think it could have held any more dirt. Phew! Anticipating yet another move after we moved in here, I kept most of the boxes. Some had been flattened, but many still had packing paper in them. I think the pile of flattened cardboard boxes must have stood about 4 feet high and now they’re recycled! Linen closet is now emptied except for what I will take with me. The clothes I will take with me are mostly packed out of my closet (minus the few I might yet wear here). All the furniture I intend to keep in storage is now there and I believe I will actually be relieved of my car by next Friday. 

I have gotten used to having my children at home with me again just in time for them both to return to their cities and lives. Today my papers were returned from the US State Dept (I now have John Kerry’s autograph x3!) and I am working on how best to get them in to the Kuwait Embassy. It all feels like it is coming down to the wire.

So along with the tears my stress levels are rising. I WILL make it and all will be well. 


All the pictures are off the walls now, packed up and it’s time for a trip to the storage place. 

In the midst of all that, my son arrived home from China. He had a great time overall, and it has been fun to see his pictures and hear his stories.

Then on Saturday afternoon we drove to Charlotte for him to redeem a NASCAR driving experience certificate we had given him 2-1/2 years ago! He went 151.59 mph! It’s quite a different population of people who frequent the speedway.Image

My son sitting in the driver’s seat!

It was an interesting experience and he said it was quite an adrenaline rush. I felt it too, and I was just watching!

He’s headed back to Wilmington soon and my daughter is arriving on Monday! I hope to make a final push this week while she is here to get everything into storage that needs to go.

My kids’ grandmother very thoughtfully sent me a package in anticipation of my travels and I am anticipating a fun going away dinner Monday evening.

The main worries left to me are whether or not I will get my papers authenticated in time to travel and what to do with my house if it doesn’t sell before I leave. These are biggies, but I am trying to continue to trust it will all work out.

Showings and school

It’s hard not to just sit back and enjoy the newly uncluttered space in my house! Now all my sorting and packing has to be able to tidy up in about 15 minutes. The next step was to finish packing up my things at school and get them into storage. Oh, and the “official” check-out at school. That finally happened today! My son came and helped me get my 8 or 9 heavy boxes of books down the stairs, into my car, and into storage. I have to brag a little about getting my 20 years of accumulated teaching stuff down to 8-9 boxes! In all likelihood I could still pare down even further. Maybe when I UNpack. 🙂 I am encouraged by the space still left in storage, but it is hard to gauge the amount of stuff that still needs to go in. 

Another big project that I got finished was going through all my photos and packing up a box to send off for scanning (http://www.scanmyphotos.com/). They will return the photos with a DVD that has them all digitally on it and I think I have most all of my photos in one place now. Whew! 

Now I’m focused on getting my son ready for his month in China. He leaves next Monday. It will be so exciting for him. I will miss him. A lot. His sister will come visit for the weekend before he leaves. I love having the house full of my kids!

After that I hope to be more focused on getting rid of more of the furniture and clearing out certain rooms. I’m trying not to focus on all the good-byes and leave-takings though. That part is sad. 😦 Trying to celebrate the little accomplishments and focus on the exciting new adventure. 


Lots done, but so much to do

This weekend began with some lovely social time with a great friend, and then dinner with my wonderful neighbor. It was an auspicious beginning!

Saturday started off with a trip to a storage facility where I plan to rent a unit. The rest was spent sorting some books and papers from when my daughter was but a wee one. I also looked into scanning my photos so they can be more compactly stored (and taken with me abroad). Then I made lists of the things I plan to store and the things I plan to take with me. I talked with my parents and am excited that they plan to visit over Memorial Day as well as my brother and his family from Michigan at the same time. I will, of course, put them to work! Hooray for family!

Sunday provided an opportunity to do the grocery shopping and then researching some of those plastic vacuum packing bags. Then B & D came over to help me with some of the heavy things in my eaves storage. It was incredibly helpful as we pretty much cleared it out!! Now it’s all sitting in a bedroom and my living room and in need of sorting. It was unbelievably gratifying to get all that stuff out of storage even if I do have a mess in my living room to deal with. My work is cut out for me!

Tomorrow a guy arrives to start repairing the rotten wood on the outside of my house.  If the weather cooperates he should be ready to start painting by Wednesday. Then I’ll get it inspected. Things are proceeding quickly!

Big decisions

I have decided to sell my house!! I sign with a realtor on Tuesday! I will have to rely on the hospitality of friends (as will my son) when I am in town. I do hope to eventually buy a townhouse or something after I return from my sojourn abroad, but for the meantime I will be homeless. Now let’s pray it sells in a timely matter, but not before I’m ready.

I have begun sorting through some of the things in storage. Shockingly, I found things from my childhood, as well as from my children’s childhood. It sure makes this a more difficult task when one is sentimental. I’m trying to breed that out of me. 🙂 

I am trying again this weekend to do the hot air balloon ride, so I’m off to Asheville again in the morning. I look forward to new trying some new venues for food as well as this big adventure of balloon flight! I will take pictures, and am dedicated to making this blog a more visual thing as well as text. A friend has challenged me to consider making a documentary of this experience! Hmm. 

Tonight, instead of my usual fall-asleep-on-the-couch-after-a-glass-of-wine-Friday, I went to a world premiere of … well, it’s really hard to explain… puppet show to the Rite of Spring. It was pretty mind-blowing and incredibly creative (got some ideas for teaching drama in Kuwait!). Fun to see some old friends too. Now I need to go pack for Asheville and the hot air balloon. I’ll let you know how that goes.