Packed!

We are celebrating being packed. Well, at least all our cra…ahem treasured possessions that are headed to storage are now in a box and ready for the Ubox to get here.

Thankfully our friend Karen from Arlington came down with her own mattress and helped us get everything ready. And more thankfully decided she needed some of our crap…ahem, treasured Possessions for herself!

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Hall Tree

Several readers have contacted me directly about the mention in my last post of Mike’s Grandmother’s Hall Tree which his father had refinished and the impact it had on us when it left for a new home. I’m glad that our feelings resonated with some of you and for those that asked for a picture there it is. Well loved and missed but as Mike said, he was happy that the lady who bought it was so excited. He said it helped him to know it was appreciated and not just going to be re-sold in an antique store.

Here is an old picture of Mike’s dad with Mike’s god daughter Maggie. She is now an old married lady who we learned this week is having Mike’s college roommate Yost’s first grandchild! Life continues….

Hurry up March 4th!

This getting ready for a life change is a bitc….ahem, pain in the bu….ahem, a real chore! We started shortly after the holidays listing furniture on NextDoor and LetGo that we knew we didn’t want to keep and increased our listings significantly as the month has worn on.  It has been interesting what cra…ahem, valuable possessions that other folks want and what they don’t.  It has also proven to make our last month in Houston less than comfortable.  For the last two weeks, we have been sitting in our outdoor metal and mesh chairs, using a folding table and watching the TV which now sits on the washstand that used to sit in the entry hall.  We are ready for the comfort of a real sofa again!

We have gone back and forth (and back) on how much cra….ahem, valuable possessions to keep and store (thank goodness Mike’s mom has lots of storage spaces) and how much to sell/donate/give away.  As of this moment (and I think unlikely to change), we will be loading a Ubox (Uhauls ¼ size version of a RatPack or Pod) with my grandmother’s chair, Mike’s grandmother’s china/curio cabinet, three bins of Christmas, four or six boxes of housewares – china, some glasses, my grandmother’s frying pan, Mike’s big stock pot, etc., the Turkish carpets and a wardrobe box or two of clothes.  The rest will either be sold by then or we will be giving it away – anyone need a box of art?  How ‘bout a box of frames?  Box of vases?  Each of these were at one point individually listed on the sales sites, but are now being grouped as lots and the prices lowered in hopes they will move.  If not, there will be some pretty stuff at Goodwill soon!

ubox

Our Ubox (along with moving help) arrives on the morning of February 5th and hopefully by lunchtime it will be loaded and on its way to Danville.  It is due there by 2/20th when we will get to unload it.  UGH.  We expect to return keys and checkout of our rental place here early afternoon on 2/6 and hopefully have dinner with my aunt in Beaumont before heading towards New Orleans.  We will stop and spend the night before arriving in NOLA for Mardi Gras week with Mike’s brother and his wife on 2/7.  After that debauchery, we will drive towards Charleston for a long weekend with my brother and his family – and our friend Claudia who is coming down from Greenville for a visit.  We then will head towards Danville with a lunch stop to see Cousin Martha in Salisbury.  In addition to unloading the Ubox, we will visit friends in Raleigh and Lynchburg during the two weeks we will be there.  On March 2nd, we will go to Durham to our friends Robert and Scott’s and with them go to Kinston at Chef and The Farmer Restaurant (as seen on PBS’s A Chef’s Life) and then on Saturday fly to San Juan where we will spend the night before boarding Viking Sky on 3/4/17.

March 4th can’t get here fast enough for me.  Moving is always hard, but combine that with getting rid of so much cra…ahem, valued possessions gathered over the last thirty years along with figuring out how to fit the cra…ahem, valued possessions that must be kept into 234 cubic (not square) feet plus the sadness/happiness of terminating yourself from your employer where you have basically been thrilled to work for over 34 years and this one is incredibly difficult move.

So far, no ugly crying, but it has been close.  Some have been good tears, going through stacks of photos and snapping pictures of them before throwing them away was great – it provided the opportunity to reconnect with old friends as we both shared the newly textable pictures with them.  Gosh we were young!

M&C

But when the hall tree from Mike’s grandmother (that Mike’s father had refinished) left Monday night it was tough for both of us.  I suspect we will have a few more of those before we are welcomed aboard on March 4th for this new adventure…hopefully these sad points will pass quickly and fade from memory and be replaced by happy ones from our new retir…ahem no longer working life!

Happy New Year!

LJS

 

Hope everyone had a great Christmas, Kwanza, Chanukah, Festivus or whatever winter solstice celebration you celebrate!  We had a great time with Mike’s family here in Houston including their traditional Christmas Eve dinner (we actually did it on Christmas Eve’s Eve) at Long John Silver’s…long story but suffice it to say its what we do every year!

Once Mike’s Mom left on the day after Christmas, we felt like our countdown to retir…ahem…ceasing work clock really started ticking louder!  We spent most of the week between Christmas and New Years taking pictures of furniture and getting it listed on local sales apps (NextDoor and LetGo).  So far we have gotten rid of the huge armoire, the recumbent bike/clothes hanger, the big orange chair, the coffee table and have folks interested in a number of other pieces.  We believe we have decided we will be able to use a UHaul container to have the few things we want to keep moved without us having to drive a truck and are hopeful we will be able to sell or give way the rest. So the whole “what do we do with our crap” conundrum seems to be moving towards resolution – it better, less than a month to make it happen!.

The healthcare question is still very much up in the air.  The company I work for was purchased in late October and therefore at this juncture I can’t get a good answer on how much COBRA is going to cost…hopefully that will be known in the next week or two.  Once we know that, we can determine whether we will go with it or if we will purchase a private plan.  More to come on that.

Now for the big news!

Mike’s Mom Lois is going to fly back with us to Copenhagen in September and after a few days in Copenhagen, we are all are going to set sail on Norwegian Breakaway for a nine night Baltic Cruise including Talin, Estonia, St. Petersburg, Russia, Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.  (No Jane, I too was upset that Riga isn’t on the itinerary – I had so wanted to see the places you and Visi talked about so lovingly).  After we return to Copenhagen, we will fly immediately to Lisbon and spend four days there before Lois flys home and we head to wherever we have decided deserves more research as our potential new home.

So another chuck of our travel year is planned (and mostly booked!).  Now we just have to figure out when we are going to go to Ecuador and Mexico between June 28th and September 9th.

Oh yeah and healthcare too – ugh.