Thursday, May 24, 2007

How was the move?

So glad you asked...

We had a fantastic yard sale... we only sold 4 days out of six, but still met (and surpassed) our goal of having everything gone, and making at least $1800 to replace it all.

We cleaned house like crazy. That home has never looked so good... made us almost want to move back in again. Almost. Okay... not really.

After packing up the trailer we realized we still had 1/3 of the space still left. So, we took the seats out of the middle of the minivan and put a futon mattress in. Ahhhh.... that was brilliant! The best thing ever! We drove cross-country and whenever one of the drivers needed a break... voila! Sleep. Underrated.

I think we labeled this trip our "ADD America" trip. We literally stopped to see everything along the way. Rest-stops were the best. Historical. Refreshing. Curious. And, always in the nick of time.

I took pictures, but sadly the cord that connects my camera to the computer is either in a box or got sold to some lucky fellow who will probably use it to tie up his fishing gear.

Anyway, I am proud to tell you that my husband has seen the Grand Canyon! (Or as my kids call it... "The Grand CANYON..canyon...canyon...") We stopped in after dark and set up our tent. It fit our kids. Derek and I slept on the futon. I would have loved to sleep under the stars, but I was afraid my city-slicker husband would find issue with that... so we slept in the van. We met an old friend there - she joined us after a six hour drive at about 2am. We ate breakfast together and then trotted out to see the Canyon...canyon...canyon... It's always amazing... no matter what time of year or day... it's just almost too much to take in at once! What was coolest on this trip to the G.C. was seeing the herd? flock? BUNCH of condors nesting nearby. Every once in a while one or two would buzz us or they'd swoop in and impress us all with their aerobatics. I kept telling Zion they were looking for a small child. He wasn't impressed. We met a retired couple from York, England there. They're traveling the world. It's what they do. *Jealous!*

After seeing the canyon...canyon...canyon, we stopped in at a steakhouse and gorged ourselves on cowboy food. We waddled out and saw the G.C. Imax nearby... to go or not to go? $60 for a 34 minute movie... uh... NO. I might regret that. It was a National Geographic Movie... but $60?!!

So... my souvenier from the Grand CANYON...canyon...canyon was a sunburn. This Indian skin hasn't seen the light of day in years! And, the light of day at 7000 feet is particularly bright. No need to fear.. I found the medicine I needed in Kingman, AZ. The burn is now a fantastic, evenly bronzed... farmer tan.

We cheered as we drove across the CA state line. We had decided to take on Death Valley at night. Sooo much better that way.

We've been here since Friday of last week and we have caught up with a lot of our old friends. Nearly every day since Sunday we have made the drive up to Folsom, Orangevale to see old friends... BBQ... yap. We have more visiting to do today. I'm hoping we'll find our strong, German massage therapist and old friend, Sonya. That would be the icing on the cake. (Or "cek" as she'd call it.)

So... while we wait for our Passports... we shop and look and visit. It's great. When folks asked me the Sunday we were leaving what Derek got me for Mother's Day... I told them... "A trip to CA and a move to Canada!" Doesn't get better than that. Jealous?



Thursday, May 10, 2007

So it's true. Selling it all and moving to Canada... it's liberating!

Today I have seen my "most precious treasures" go up on the selling block and not even flinch... I guess I don't treasure them after all! It's a matter of making up your mind, I think. When we decided just how big our trailer was going to be, it was so much easier to make decisions on what to keep and what to chuck and what to sell. It's like all the items in my world fell away and only what we would need to minister to our new church remained. That and a few cute things to make our house a home.

What's most ironic about it all is this: We have measured a 4"x4"x8" space (the size of the inside of the trailer) in our dining room. And, for good practice, when we pack a box, we set it inside those boundaries. It lets us know exactly how "full" we're getting. And, after packing several of our most important books and documents... and even my crafting items... and decor... we haven't even filled HALF of that space! It's amazing! I guess we went a little nuts on the "sacrifice it all" bandwagon. But what a blessing. I honestly don't regret selling anything.

Apparently at the border we are going to have to have an accounting of everything that's in the boxes. What's in them. How much it's all worth. So... I'm making a list. And, I'm labeling the boxes as we go. We decided early on to use uniform size boxes. Letter size office boxes. We have had them since CA... we fold them and their lids up and "voila!" a box... unfold it and "voila!" space! It's great! Best moving investment EVER.

We've had the honour of a few friends coming by and going through some of our things first. What a great thing that is. They don't flinch at the prices of things, and I know they really love them. And, I'm helping them out too. It's just good all the way around. Cue the music... sigh.

I have more to sort and pricetag. The yardsale moved indoors today. We ended up cancelling today's sale as it was SUPPOSED to storm like the dickens this afternoon. We frantically moved eight LOADED 8 foot tables inside and under the carport. (And all on a heelspur...waaaaaaah!!!) But the sale should move along smoothly tomorrow and Saturday. If we sell all our big-ticket items, we will meet our yard-sale goal. All the trinkets are icing on the cake. Woo Hoo!

So, I'll get back to it.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Overheard while Pookie was sick on Sunday:

Me: Expectantly - "Well Zion, we're gonna miss church... what do you want to do?"
Zion: Flops on the couch. "I dunno."
Me: "Well... do you want to watch cartoons?"
Zion: Picks up the remote (makes it look like it weighs a tonne), and slowly makes his way to me... "I dunno, mom. I don't feel very much like laughing."

And... a little later...

Me: "Zion, are you feeling better?"
Zion: "Yeah... I started to sweat." (And then in a very knowing tone - ) "That means my fever broke."
Me: "What do you know about fevers breaking?"
Zion: "C'mon mom... I'm seven. I listen."

I just love my Zion. He likes to try on big words. He's got that natural humour... that timing. He downplays just how funny he is. I love it! The boy is even funny when he's SICK!


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Okay... admittedly I was in a funk yesterday.

Today was different. I got things done.

Sweet husband stayed home and foraged through boxes with me. I suppose what's harder than moving is deciding what to keep. But... I just know I'm going to be liberated when I separate myself from all my posessions. Think like monk, Jen... think like a monk.

Kids spent the day at the coolest retro-style waterpark EVER! It's owned by friends of ours, and they get a free season pass. Too bad they'll only be able to go for four days. Sigh. It's a great park though... been around for over 70 years. I just love the owners. They've become fantastic friends of mine over this past year. I don't know if I've ever told them just how much they mean to me. Note to self...

I have plans to make little postcard works of art during my trip. I have my paper, ink, gadgets and inspiration all lined up. I plan to send them to the friends that are on my mind as I travel. If you want one, send your request to me. You know my address, right? Do I have your snail-mail addy? Send it to me. I'm so looking forward to this part of the trip.

Zion is sick tonight. Fever. Sore throat. Says he "hopes he doesn't throw up". Poor, sweet thing. This germophobe is a little timid about cuddling with her pookie... but she'll do it. And, I'll read him his new favourite book. He hasn't heard it yet. But I just know it'll be his new favourite. It's called "I Love You Stinky-Face!". It's great!

I'll have more to post tomorrow. I'm gonna check for snail-mail addys.


Friday, May 04, 2007

I guess the hardest thing about leaving is knowing that I really haven't established myself. I haven't really TRULY kindled friendships... any long-lasting ones, anyway. It's hard to even admit it. I'd like to think that someone will miss me. That I've made my mark. That I've had some kind of effect. Made some kind of imprint.
But you know, honestly... I was a blip on their radar. And eventually the bright green blip fades to black again, and their interest is directed to the new blip. And so it goes.
Perhaps one of the most difficult things about being in the ministry is the moving. But, harder than the logistics of that is the implications, the complications of it. Moving means that while I were just setting up... getting comfortable... about to relax, knowing that the real me is acceptable (or at times not acceptable) here... I uproot and start all over again. And, this time... it's a new culture... new environment... new climate. So... I do.
And, I don't say this to complain. Though I realize it sounds an awful lot like complaining.
So, as I purge my home of all it's things... scoot together my sentimental items... I wonder why the phone isn't ringing. They know I'm leaving in a few days, right? Then again... I remember... this place was full of drama... and me leaving hardly qualifies as drama. It's a day in the life.
But not for me. I can honestly say that I cracked open the pages to my heart here. Some folks liked me okay... several did not. I can say that I know now that I wasn't created for the South. God, I guess intended for me to be a westerner or a northerner... or a somewhere-else-terner. But not the south. I just don't fit it. At least not here. So... back to Canada I go. Wonder who I'll find there. Or will I experience culture-shock returning to my homeland 17 years later?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

So the rain is coming down and it's still 72 degrees outside. How is that possible? Ergh.

Our plans for the trip are coming along nicely. The US gov't got their money for our passports. Yay! I might be naive but I think that might mean they've actually done something with the applications...

We've sold half of our things at our yard sale last weekend. What a trip that was. People come out of the woodwork for a yard sale!

There was the elderly neighbor who made frequent trips. She'd bring her chequebook, put in the amount in her register, and forget to write the cheque. (No worries, she wasn't hard to flag down.)

Then there was the exited toothless lady who came back three times in two days to make sure we hadn't sold the TV yet. She started telling other visitors it was "her TV". The last time she showed, I wasn't convinced she was in her "right" state of mind. Hmmm.

Late on Friday a minivan with 5 beefy-bandanna-wearing-non-English-speaking fellas pulled up. They wanted to see what was in the house too. My hubby wasn't home, and I only had my kids outside keeping the store. We fumbled through our English/Spanish and I made a few sales on the spot. They're coming back for the second yard sale. The one where I sell everything. They were great customers. Didn't even flinch at the price.

Then there was the neighbor from up the street who had his eye on my camping skillets and pots. I didn't budge on the price. He had a few choice words. After some complaining, he bought them... and I got him to admit he got a great deal. Man, I shoulda been in sales!

So... now it's raining. And, it's still warm outside. I'll never get used to warm rain. Rain is supposed to be refreshing. A cool drink of water on a hot day. Not a damp, lukewarm steam bath on a hot day. Ugh.

We made a good fistful of dollars on our yard sale. I was pleased with it. I have a goal of $1800 minimum on our yard sale, and so far we have made $770... but we haven't sold much of the big stuff yet. And, there are plenty of trinkets out there. Folks love them some trinkets!

There were a few things I really REALLY hesitated to put out there. I knew though, that I would be the one who'd have to make the most sacrifice. All my dearest, most treasured possessions are now up on the sales block. And, strangely... some of them just won't sell! Is it a sign from God? Or should I lower those price tags? Hehe.

I sorted through old pictures today. I was supposed to go through them and sacrifice the bad ones - out of focus, bad colours, "dunno who that is" pictures... yeah... I think I'm the wrong one for the job. I got rid of about 7 pictures and all the sleeves from our photos. That's it. I'm far too sentimental. My husband on the other hand... he'd throw out the Declaration of Independence if it was in his way... sigh. I'll take another jab at it tomorrow.

The rain is letting up... I'm gonna check on the tarp in our carport. It's covering our Game Cube gaming stand... the one they have at those gaming conventions... they hold the TV and the console... and the games... I got it at an auction and my husband banned me from the auction for all eternity. And that was BEFORE he saw the PlayStation props! Kids loved it. But, we don't have the space for it. I hope to get a bundle of cash for it. I paid $10 a piece for them. Heavy as all get out, though. But, not as bulky as the 9X9 Phillip's 66 sign I have in my backyard.

Gotta scram.

I have to sort clothes. Mine. (Guess now would be the right time to decide if I'll do that diet, eh?)