Archives for July, 2010


Anatomy Of A Downsizing ~ Feeling Hopeful, Finally…

On Monday evening, we closed on our new house. It was utter madness.

We received our keys. The electrician and contractors were on call.

We were meeting at the new house to begin the task of transforming it into our own.

We're on a tight budget, so we're painting, mainly. From top to bottom. Citron yellow. And what a difference.

It's already starting to look like home, after only two days...

Colour is magical. And we already have friends.

Last week, when we signed the legal papers, I noticed a familiar name on the condominium board. A woman who had been trying to have a cup of coffee and a chat with me for months. We met through this blog. And last night we dropped in for a visit. She lives just down the street.

We all hit it off instantly. They're wonderful. I'm going to join the condo's "Gardening Committee" ~ can you believe it?

This is magical, too. A miracle. A blessing...

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Anatomy Of A Downsizing ~ The Countdown…

Yesterday, the pictures began coming off the walls. It's hit me. We're really moving.

Until then, my world was simply chaotic. Closets, drawers and cabinets look the same when they're closed whether they're stuffed with stuff or empty. When you strip the walls, when the family photos come down, then you really know you're moving.

That's what Marty and I started doing last night.

There were a few casualties...

That lamp you see above took a tumble. The lampshade was damaged. I never cared for it anyway. It can be replaced.

Now, my real fear is finding what I want when we begin the process of unpacking everything one week from tomorrow.

On Friday, we visited our lawyer and signed all the papers. Now, we wait for "the closing" tomorrow on our new home, a condominium townhouse built in 1971.

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"Here I Go, Singing Low…"* Part 2

If you haven't looked at something in six months, out it goes...

That's the rule. But rules don't always apply ~ especially when it comes to people and emotions.

I'm not about to spend hundreds of dollars to have someone tell me what I need and what I don't need. If I could afford that, I wouldn't be downsizing.

And, I ask you.

In all honesty...

How can an expert ~ albeit a Boomer, like me ~ who doesn't know a whit about me, predict if I'll ever need my old Roll-O-Dexes stuffed with business cards: names, addresses and phone numbers, mailing addresses and notations? People.

She keeps asking this question: "The sentimental value in that is...?"

People aren't things and it's the people I'm afraid I'll lose if I toss something out.

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"Pack Up All My Care and Woe…"*

Sunday, July 11: 9:10 a.m.

I am swimming in my memories. What a mess!

It's not easy packing up dishes, platters, pots and crystal. No fun, but I have no huge emotional investment in stuff.

Not so, with people. Ghosts of my past swirling about me. Mental snippets of thousands of stories I've written. A lifetime of people with whom I've engaged in researching and writing them.

Ghosts of all the different people I was over the years...

More than three decades of professional journalism. Radio. Television. Magazines. And more than my work. My education. My times. A lifetime. And I feel like a failure because deep down, I blame myself for losing this house. But I press on.

Where is all this stuff ~ not only the books ~ going to go? How many boxes will it take to pack it all up? Which ones will be unpacked. Which ones will stay in boxes. Where will I put them in this new house? Will they fit? A big Blue Box is slowly filling up with all the stuff I'm discarding. But what if I want to find something I need? What will I need? How can I know, now?

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"Not Dead Yet"…*

Please forgive me.

I should have written earlier. Updated you ~ but I've been utterly overwhelmed with this downsizing. Dry. Distressed.

It's no fun. Fun and I aren't friends, right now.

Between teaching, packing, signing and initialing an unending stream of financial and legal documents plus all the countless details involved in moving, I've neglected you.

Keeping up with your comments simply isn't enough. So here I am to assure you that I'm still here, sort of...

The Stress Scale...

A few weeks ago, Dr. Bob and I were talking about the "stress of moving" and how it's right up there on the scale of life's most savage stresses. The scale in question is the infamous Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale. Everyone talks about it. It's apocryphal. So I decided to look it up and see exactly where "moving house" ranks on it, in relation to losing a spouse or a child or a parent or a limb or pregnancy or Christmas.

And guess what...

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