Memorial Day is upon us, and I am here in Minnesota. We should remember the real reason for Memorial Day and for those enjoying this beautiful weather here, and I have been out and about, I have gotten lucky. Memorial Day is the day to recognize that over a million members of the military have died in the service of our country since the time of the Revolutionary War including those who died during the Civil War. Yes, please enjoy the day and the picnics and the get-togethers but remember that freedom is not free. Of course, it is also the unofficial start of summer and the weather, this past week has been amazing. It can and usually does change here, so expect the unexpected. In any case, for me, it is very strange to be back here in the Midwest. Yes, it has been nice connecting and re-connecting so far, but it is not home for me.
I came back here to tie up loose ends as much as possible for the next few weeks, so that the cord is finally cut. I also have many memories here, both good and bad and the goal was to continue the process of downsizing, which I along with a friend did this past week. Of course, I was not sure what I would find and after hearing about the flood that happened this past winter with the water pipes bursting, and the few pictures and the descriptions, I was stressed out as I went through each box and still doing so. Yes, there were some totaled items, mostly books and games including, unfortunately, a signed copy of a book by Lou Graham, formally of Foreigner and some of my LP’s, yes, vinyl. I am not done with the unpacking of boxes to see what else, but the good news is that except for some broken glass, certainly replaceable, the artwork survived and as this was mostly puffin art, and some signed and framed LP’s, the items I would be donating for a cause I believe in, the Audubon Society and Project Puffin, can still be, the puffin art, not the framed LP’s.
As you all know, I have learned to live with very little over the past almost 2 years, with what I brought east in my SUV. That was very cleansing for mind and body, so when I came back to Minnesota to clear things out this past week, it was not as much of an issue as I thought. Originally, I had one 10 x 20 unit where everything had been stored, but due to the flood, everything was split out into 3 units to dry and whatever else those who assisted to deal with the problem, addressed the situation at the time. It turned out that 90 percent of the furniture was in one unit. The item that needed to be removed was the bed, which had been water damaged, so it was thrown away right away. Insurance covered that, so no issues, but I had to and still looking everything over. Also, it turns out that the manager of the storage unit is having a yard sale, so she has taken a great deal of the items, so she bought, some she will sell and take a percentage and some, who knows. Funny, the day after the mattress and box spring were left to be thrown out, someone took them, so good for them, I hope someone can use them.
In the end, the hardest item to part ways with was my grandfather’s desk, which I had had for years. It is solid maple wood and served its purpose, but if I can make some money by selling it and other things and not have to drag them everywhere anymore, I will be happy. In the end, I am not taking the items to Italy with me, and so getting rid of things now is the best things. The bottom line for me is that what was once all stuffed into a 10 x 20 unit, through selling, throwing away and giving away, I am down to a 10 x 10 unit, and I am still not done. It also is saving me, for the next few months, until I return here to drive back to New England, in advance of going to Italy more permanently, over $150.00 a month for rent. And I have realized more and more that these are simply things.
Yes, I have the artwork, the wine collection, the stamp collection, and some books, depending on what else I sell, give away or throw away, as I continue to downsize, but the goal is get it down to simply what fits into my SUV and the smallest trailer I can haul before winter hits here in October, when I return, and things like tax records and other paperwork, necessary to keep will be kept, but I am happy to be getting rid of some of the burden after so many years. I don’t have the space or the time to appreciate the items. Even the kitchen stuff, glasses, silverware, plates etc. are being sold. And yes, there are other items, for now, like my trumpet I will keep, but again, the less I have in the end, the less I will bring with me to Europe.
Memories are very important, good, or bad, so we don’t forget and hopefully we learn something from the experiences, and I have had many. Yes, the accumulated things are part of the experiences, but in the end, you can’t take them with you, so getting rid of them hopefully benefiting someone else who can appreciate them is important for me. I was very happy giving some things to those who can make use of them. When I leave for Europe permanently, it will be with what is left of my clothes and some personal items. If I need something or want something, I can buy it along the way. For the longest time, I have simply packed and unpacked things, accumulated things, not had enough room for them and then got more things, storing more and more. Yes, there have been times when I have thinned things out, but still collected more. Well, it is time to stop that cycle and continue to make more memories, but not with things, with Rosa and continue to live the simpler life.
As always, stay safe, stay healthy and always look for the best in a situation and be patient as the best things in life are worth waiting for. Thank you as always for your support of my crazy little world and my small business. As always, I look forward to your comments, questions, concerns and continuing the discourse through whichever means you read my posts!!!
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Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin