Daily Views


Regular life mixes with preparation for change.  We have friends over, write commitments on the calendar, and pack boxes in anticipation of time away.

Yesterday, tired of not being able to unlock or start up our one remaining vehicle without cursing and burying a crock of cabbage in the back yard under a full moon, we took the car to the shop for the day.  Turns out we needed new keys cut.  Of course, it took twenty-four hours and several bike rides on Groom’s part to get that sussed.  In the meanwhile, we rented a U-haul for wheels, as the cost was cheaper than renting a car for a day.  Plus, we needed a big vehicle to handle a run to the dump:

As junk stacked up, awaiting departure, Paco and his buddy worked on whittling and glueing magic wands.

Running back and forth to the house for glitter, strings, and scissors, I appreciated the explosion of blossoms in our back garden.  The lilies and daisies–along with pork–are something I’ll miss a great deal this next year.

Another thing you can do with a U-haul is bring home a heap of empty boxes from liquor and grocery stores.

Bit by bit, our basement is filling up with bags of bedding, tubs of clothes, and boxes of knicknacks.

We call our interior design scheme “Glad Chic.”

This is all a bit daunting when we realize we’re still just packing “around the edges” and won’t touch the big, daily stuff for a few weeks yet.  We may need to hire a perma-U-haul and park it out back, full to the brim, for a year.

Every week, we’re taking a huge load to Goodwill.  By the next week, a new stack has grown under the stairs–much of this, though, for some sort of yard sale (Paco’s got his eyes on a few sets of Legos for the road…):

At least there is evidence that we’re on our way towards denuding the house of all things personal:

…but mostly we’re creating lots of stacks of “this to there” and “that to here”…

And, really, what does one do with the Pictionary?

Just walking away from the heaps, out into the sun, can save sanity–and remind us how much we’ll miss the neighborhood.  Moon sand proves perfect amusement for ages 1-10:

And ooblek (“slime” of corn starch and water) buys us more time away from stacks of “what to do withs”–

When ooblek fails, a more serious recipe is called for, this one by Ruth Levy Beranbaum (who gives the impression she will reach out with a slap if one fails to rotate the dough, folded side to the left, three times, just as prescribed):

Of course, once one has made it through the threat of a slap and the stress of a household half-packed, the rewards are immense.





19 responses to “Daily Views”

  1. Erin Avatar

    I am overwhelmed on your behalf. What an undertaking, but it will be worth it! Good for you for taking time to play

  2. Jenn @ Juggling Life Avatar
    Jenn @ Juggling Life

    You are baking in the middle of that?! I totally bow to your ability to handle chaos. You rock.

  3. secret agent woman Avatar
    secret agent woman

    If you're only going away on sabbatical, why get rid of all your stuff?

  4. unmitigated me Avatar
    unmitigated me

    This cookbook is the property of the Half-Blood Prince.

  5. Jocelyn Avatar

    Secret Agent Woman: We're not getting rid of all our stuff. We're mostly packing it away (our house has been rented for the year)…but of course, part of the process of packing stuff away is touching each and every thing and asking oneself, "Do we really need this anymore?" For example, a lot of the kids' clothes and shoes that "just" fit them right now aren't going along, nor will they fit when we get back. So every single thing has to undergo the "if we pack this up for a year, will we be glad to unpack it and see it again when we get back?" If the answer is no, it goes.

    Plus, the garage needed cleaning out so the renters could put some of their own stuff in it.

  6. cathy Avatar

    Wow! Scary stuff. I think one of the reasons I'm not divorced yet is how daunting I find the task of going through the last 16 years of accumalated stuff.I have started decluttering bit by bit but haven't found my courage in the chaos yet:)

  7. Becky Cazares Avatar
    Becky Cazares

    Oh my goodness. How the heck do you pack a family for a YEAR? The thought of packing for a 2-week vacation sends me running for my smelling salts – and that's just for me and the hubs. Can't really remember the last time we left for more than 7 days. A year…? Overwhelmed would be an understatement.

    I was SO glad to read (in your last post) that you have a guide ready and waiting to show you the ropes when you get to Turkey. That is a godsend – so you can figure out food and groceries and ordinary things like post offices and banks. That will help SO much. I hope she's as good as she sounds.

    So, when you need wheels and maybe a bit of extra space, a U-haul is cheaper than a car? Who'd have thought of this?

    Don't forget to breathe. Sounds like you have that part down, though. Amazing.

  8. ds Avatar

    Wow. U-Hauls, boxes, Goodwill, wands, ooblek, and Rose Levy Beranbaum (who is too precise for me). How much more can one pack–pardon the expression–into a day?
    Well done on all counts!

  9. Deborah Avatar

    I am tired out from contemplating your move. It is – with the exception of some other things that I am too superstitious to invole – nearly the worst experience one can have. In my humble opinion.

    I never moved until I was an adult, and then I moved continents. Then I did it again. And then several more times. Now I know there are people out there who have moved 59 times in 36 years and they are to be commended for not having committed hara-kiri somewhere along the line, but my half-dozen moves still give me nightmares on a regular basis.

    So you would have all kinds of sympathy from me except that you are moving into your own basement (not quiiiiite so bad) AND you are moving in anticipation of a Great Adventure. This makes everything worthwhile!

    As usual, I am floored by the fact that you can do all that, and still post tons of pictures and comprehensible text about your doings. Congratulations, and good luck!

  10. Pam Avatar

    I bow down before the Gods of Organization and All Things Cardboard to pay my respects for you fervour. Well done! Tell me sister Jocelyn, are you truly ready to don the mantle of the yard sale – the ubiquitious bum-bag bestowed on the cautious but capable? I know, when ready, you will wear it with pride.xxx

  11. Pam Avatar

    …I know. You can't help yourself. Just put 'r" on your, and ubiquitious?…yeah, yeah,just put that line through the i. xxx

  12. Jeni Avatar

    No matter how much envy (and pure jealousy) I may harbor towards you with respect to your upcoming big adventure, I definitely do not envy you in the least with the clearing and cleaning out, packing up stuff to donate, to store, set aside for a yard sale, trash and then finally pack and leave! That has to be the world's absolute worst job. I suspect if you aren't already regarding it in that way, you will by the time you actually finish up and leave home to run away from the good old USA for about a year. Just think too -when you return -will you have to go through a mini-version of this part? And when you return, you'll also have to retrieve all the stuff packed away in storage!
    And one question though I hope that never comes up is "Was it worth all this?" No matter what a pain in the dupa all this is, you know the answer to that is going to be, "Yes, yes, yes! A thousand times yes, all worth every ounce of the hassles to go see the new places, meet the new people and make millions of new memories. Priceless!"

  13. Green Girl in Wisconsin Avatar
    Green Girl in Wisconsin

    "Glad chic." I dig it. In a way, this purging is probably really good. But how daunting indeed. And deciding what to store, what to get rid of, what to keep, what to bring…you must be FRIED with the decision making.

  14. Jazz Avatar

    Damn, I have trouble packing for myself for a two week trip. Packing up four people for a year? Whoa.

  15. Patois Avatar

    Like Erin, I'm overwhelmed, too. I would be unable to await being on the other side of the chaos.

  16. alwaysinthebackrow Avatar

    All of the things that you have packed will seem new when you unpack. Like birthday presents!
    And I am also impressed that you are baking in the midst of it all.

  17. Bob Avatar

    I envy you your Turkish adventure. We lived in Greece (Crete, actually) for two years – our kids were born there – and while our days were filled with the same 8-5 humdrum of earning a living there were the jaunts into undiscovered territories for the day, packing a lunch of bread, butter, cold-cuts, and beverage of your choice. Those are memories of a lifetime. Your children will be provided an experience that will give them a perspective few get.

  18. Midlife Jobhunter Avatar
    Midlife Jobhunter

    This is so exciting. I can't wait to travel with you. Must be such a good feeling also – to sort through everything and cleanse, as they say.

    Meanwhile, those cardboard multi-colored boxes on the book shelf? You can't get rid of those. I still have my kid's on the shelf upstairs.

  19. lime Avatar

    oh the memories of the major house purge before moving to trinidad. but i only had a toddler at that point, rather than two big kids. either way it is a massive undertaking.

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