Thank goodness for extra long weekends. Since I don’t have a cottage to travel to during a pandemic, I invested my time continuing to organize our new home.
Yesterday I unpacked three suitcases from the move; two contained the remainder of my seasonal wardrobe. It feels like I am clothes shopping in my closet after cycling through four basic outfits for the past month. Bonus!
I spent the sticky, humid half of the long weekend sorting through boxes of books, finding appropriate spots for them in the limited supply of bookcases. You can read about it in this blog post written by the Tabby Cat.
The excess boxes with questionable historical value have been tucked away for later inventory. They may have to come with me during the next move to an even smaller rental. Either that or my adult children will have to deal with them after I die.
This may sound morbid but I think it’s important for adults to consider the eventuality of one’s death and make preparations to alleviate the burden on others.
It becomes more of a consideration during a pandemic.
There’s nothing like moving into a smaller home to challenge one’s ability to skim off the excessive possessions.
Of course, this is not to lessen experiences of people leaving their homes due to civil strife and natural disasters.
Moving during a pandemic provides enough limitations and extra costs – even within the same community.
I recently had to make difficult decisions: I had been holding on to nicnacs, family portraits, letters, Christmas cards from years gone by and artwork my children made many years ago. I had to get tough with my sentimental leanings and those “what if” situations where we would need extra dishes, linens, towels and sleeping bags. It’s not like we can accommodate house guests or invite people over for dinner any time soon.
I embrace and cherish my journals and albums tracing the family activities through good times and bad. To me, these are important memoirs, accounts, photos documenting the children’s growth, the reunion with my oldest child, meeting his wife and my beautiful grandchildren.
What about the doodles and whimsical sketches I made to keep my sanity during the quiet evenings of the many COVID-19 stay at home orders in 2020 and 2021? I like to think they will also have historical value some day. The people at the Ottawa Archives may think so too. I wouldn’t want to be the entry level Archivist who has to sort through and categorize thousands of boxes. We can be sure that by now, most Archives will accept digital copies of memorable documents and pandemic artefacts.
At what point do you justify paying monthly rent for a storage unit?
How much effort are you able to put into getting useful items to local charities?
How much are you willing to pay for a service that will take your junk away, and promise at best effort to redirect useful items to charity?
How many wine boxes does it take to pack your beloved books and other delicate items? How many bottles of wine would you buy in exchange for the Wine Shop staff putting boxes aside for you on a bi-weekly basis? How many of those bottles do you consume or gift to others who are helping you in the process?
When can I unpack my books and place them on the limited bookcases in our new home? Am I willing to make some difficult choices? Haven’t we been through this before?
How long until I decide to move again? Will I have unpacked all of the boxes or piled some into a cramped corner?
I am sure there are statistics somewhere but I wonder what percentage of Canadian residences have such a thing as a landline or “Home Phone” anymore.
One of my goals for 2021 is to move to a cleaner, safer rental setting. Forget affordable; we will have to cut back on guilty pleasures and luxuries. I just want to have our own laundry facilities instead of dealing with inconsiderate, clueless tenants, lazy custodians and petty crime vandals – especially during a pandemic!
A sense of roots
I am debating whether to transfer our home number to a prospective new rental. I am also comparing costs of getting a bundle with major carriers for phone, Internet and TV.
To me, having a home phone number is like having a sense of roots, something that is permanent although transferable, a number where family and friends know they can reach members of your family if you are not roaming out and about. It’s not like we have the freedom to do that these days during a pandemic lock-down anyway!
One of the Millennial youth scoffed at my reference to “home phone” in conversation one day, when I used the term for communication options during logistical arrangements. “What even is a “home phone” anymore?”, he asked. Says he who had to move around the country for school and special training but still carries the same cell phone number.
This current rental is what was the last “family home” they lived in before jumping off to their various independent lives, sharing accommodations with friends or finding a quiet place to themselves. Some returned for short stays in-between engagements and the next phase in their lives.
I have to learn to let go and trust the Universe to protect and guide them. My job is done with providing a sense of family, home and convoluted roots.
It could be something deeper for me in that I have a hard time of letting go of them, of missing our small family gatherings for holidays, special meals and celebrations. The COVID-19 pandemic and regional lock-downs since March 2020 seem to have relieved me of that expectation but blessed me with the company of my youngest Millennial for the duration.
It’s time to move on after ten years, to downsize and remove emotional attachments. I have given up on waiting for the fifteen year-old cat to die; she’s going to have to survive the move. Perhaps a new home layout will provide her with more enrichment between her naps, meals and tongue baths.
Thanks for dropping by – and keeping a safe distance.