Packing, Sorting, Tossing and Making Lists

I had the very best outing yesterday. Friends picked me up to take me with them to a local winery. It was reminiscent of the back country road wineries I so often went to in Australia. And like down under, the wine was actually very good. We started with a bubbly champagne of sorts and then moved on to a very good rich red. I even brought a bottle of the latter one home for later. I will definitely go back. If for no other reason than to shake the hand of the vintner. It was such a warm and firm handshake. It felt good after maybe two years of not having that type of contact.

Last week I cruised my new neighborhood to be and someone living there actually waved to me. I can’t remember the last time someone waved to me. Where I live now it is not one with neighbors who would wave because no one sees each other that often. And since Lee has left here, the isolation is even more acutely felt. But things are moving along quite well with the relocating. The bank has approved a loan large enough to get my new house built and I will stay put and continue to clear thing out before putting this house on the market close to moving in day.

It is so odd to see how I have disassociated myself from here since Lee has gone. I will not miss being here. It is work, lots of work and there are no close attachments to those living in this neighborhood. It is a perfect home for someone else who can throw themselves into making memories like those I have of building and making a home to entertain friends and family.

As I go through the house deciding what I want to take with me, I see much more that will not. Amy and Patrick will take most of what is not going with me. They will get movers to take the lot back to a storage unit in their own state to wait for their new places with empty rooms. In the meantime I am to make a list of all that goes into that moving van or the backs of their cars on their trips down to lend a hand.

This morning three very heavy extra garbage bags went with me to the trash. There is such pleasure on early Sunday mornings loading up the back of my SUV and then lifting it out and up over the edge of the tip bin. The sound of it all banging on the bottom (because I wait until the weekly pick up truck has left just before I get there) is very satisfying. There are such interesting discoveries under the cat hair and dust bunnies of my closets….often with the question, “Why am I saving THAT?”

The early morning walks clear my head for what I need to decide to rid myself of that day.

And the only things I bring inside are the bits so beautiful they need to be drawn into my journal.

The large wooden bowl in the center of the dining room table fills with these pieces until I can get to them. Day before yesterday I found some bits from Australia stuck behind the teapot in the cupboard. Half of them are on this page. The other half are waiting to go in next.

I have stitched up more patches for the journal. When I finish with this one I will go get one of the large blank journals I made years ago and work with watercolors illustrating the muddling of my mind as I make decisions…it will be a conversation of sorts.

Lee is pretty much the same. When I called to check the other day he was still able to eat all of his meals, wheel himself around and was busy talking to his cat. The one they gave him that meows back and occasionally scratches itself. It is a very kind place for him.

Friends are coming mid September from St. Louis. They will spend a few days in the studio and their husbands will hike and maybe do some kitchen duty. I think I will make a lasagna for the freezer, make sangria, stock up on shrimp and pasta and sandwich fixings. And maybe lay out some poetry books to read from after dinner.

Speaking of reading, I finished Louise Penny’s latest Inspector Gamache novel today. I like how she can keep a story going. And appreciate the distraction her books give me. But I need to start making the lists as I go from room to room noting what goes with me and what goes off to the kids. I also need to get back to the builder to answer some questions about getting me closer to a different life.

Another short story might get written as I try escaping lists and garbage bags

Til later…..