Farewell Houston

2/6/18 3:30pm.

Unemployed for 4 days, homeless for four hours, and starting our great adventure.

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Jinga.

Figuring out how to fill up our 234 cubic foot Ubox was a bit like playing Jinga but as you can see we got everything in place-you can see the blue tape marks marking the dimensions of the box-and it all fits with some space to spare.

So we are having a celebratory cocktail (glasses have all been given away so solo cups for us!) and crossing our fingers that it all fits smoothly tomorrow when the box arrives.

It’s been a fun day -Breakfast with one of Mike’s coworkers to meet his daughter and then a final visit to Killen’s BBQ with my now former boss and his wife for our last taste of Texas BBQ. But it’s been a long tiring one too so as soon as this exciting game is over we are off to bed.

Retir…’ahem, unemployed…

Yesterday was quite a day, after 12,661 days of being a Heery International employee, I set the out of office announcement for the last time (don’t bother me anymore!), cut my computer off and suddenly I was unemployed.

The day started with breakfast and well wishes from the Aldine ISD team and ended with the party shown above hosted by my colleagues at Heery. In addition to them clients, colleagues and competitors were there to have a margarita (or three).

My boss for the last 28 years gave what basically was what I hope my eulogy sounds like someday long in the future and his wife recited a poem she had written in my honor. Both brought tears to me and I think a little bit to them too. While it was great to know that I had impacted folks, it also was a reminder of how much others have taught me and impacted me in return.

It was a very weird day, I expected to feel elated but I think between the emotion of leaving the Heery home (family?) of the last almost 35 years and the knowledge that we still have the final push to get packed up (where did all this cra, ahem treasured possessions come from?) kept the elation level low. But I think on Tuesday afternoon when we see Houston in our rear view mirror and the adventures ahead in the windshield I will finally realize that I am indeed…. (dare I say it???)

RETIRED!

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!