Getting Light and Letting Go: A New Adventure

April 16, 2016

This morning, instead of the usual geese flying over our valley there was a hawk sailing free on the air currents above us. I took it for a good augur of the moment, and our future.

It’s been an interesting season around here. Last New Year we began reducing some of the accumulation of things we’ve acquired since 1986 – the last time we reduced all our worldly belongings into what would fit into 3 suitcases. That year we flew to Florida with our 2 year old daughter, lived and worked there for 6 months, and then had a leisurely, wonderful car trip back to Vancouver, WA. Where we started accumulating again. That was 30 years ago.

By 2009 we’d managed to collect so much stuff that when we moved here to our mountain home we divested ourselves of a volume of things that would have filled about half of an 18-wheeler. But we didn’t get rid of enough. It’s amazing and a bit shaming what the American lifestyle produces in the way of material goods. Granted, we had our own remodeling company and quite a bit of accumulated inventory and tools as well as saved projects “I’ll do one of these days…” But beyond that we finally became aware of just how much we’d actually managed to accumulate in our home alone.

We are not profligate people. We shop at thrift stores often, I’ve made several pieces of the furniture we have myself, Lenore sews and knits and mends our clothing. We have simple tastes and a small appetite for things. And yet, even so, we still have all this stuff! Books, desks, file cabinets and years of obsolete files; clothing we no longer wear or wear rarely; stored, unused bedding and curtains and drapes and sewing fabric; board games and children’s toys and stuffed animals rarely used except when the grandchildren visit; more furniture than we need, a vault of mementos and photos we never visit – the list goes on and on.

So here we are. 2016. A new dawn, a new day, and more than ever a time when the present is present in consciousness, and the past is fading fast. All the things that have stuck to us are losing their adhesive and falling off. We are here, now, and it’s time for a new adventure. We’re selling out everything one more time, just like back in ’86, and going on the road in an RV.

Next week the realtor comes, and in the meantime I am building temporary plywood tables for the garage sale. Recycling and dump runs have happened and more will follow. We’re bagging the useless and worthless, tagging the sellable, and hoping the old 1905 Cable Nelson piano finds a good home. Formerly a player piano, it has a sound box and sound board that produces a large, rich, wonderful tone. It has a nice action, too. We hope we can get it to a musician who can appreciate what a great instrument it is.

I’ll keep you posted.

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