Sounds like a fancy couture designer, doesn’t it? But alas, it’s my house. A friend from bible study, Revmotha, who is moving as well, referred to her house that way and it applies equally to mine. There are piles of stuff to go to the US, piles for the garage sale tomorrow, piles of gifts in the guest room for holidays past and future, waiting to be dumped into suitcases. And it is only going to get worse.
On Monday the packers come to start packing the shipment to the US. They will be in my house for 3 – 4 days. The following week they return, after the Dragon Boat Festival holiday, to pack the goods for Madrid. Downsizing is messy. Do I really need to take all the dishes? Um, duh. The Easter dishes won’t work at Thanksgiving and vice versa.
Adding new lines of goods purchased in China to the Excel spreadsheet household inventory, I have been immersed in my own materialism. Much fodder for self-examination, the inventorying makes me feel rather dirty and nauseous at the same time: all that money gone and stacked in closets waiting for foreign men in logo’d polo shirts to pack it up. A wisely(?) previously-negotiated 40 foot container of that crap I can’t give away is going to the US. Thing 1 dislikes tchotke* and has given away nearly all of her childhood but Thing 3 and I are still arguing over a painted bulletin board from Brazil that I would like to give to Bea Long’s son’s Eagle Scout project, an English library in a migrant school. Thing 3, usually good about purging, is digging in her heels. Thing 2, characteristically, is selling most of his childhood. I nearly had a total breakdown when I saw he had put his cherished Scooby Doo in the bag of stuffed animals for the children’s heart charity, Heart2Heart Shanghai; Scooby Doo was the theme of his 7th birthday party (an idea he stole from Thing 1 and which she is still miffed about) with Missionary Girl’s son in Brazil. I know it will be just as loved, if not more, in Hubei or Anhui but it was like my little boy had put himself in that bag. Too old for Scooby.
The good news is that no previously burned birthday candles are being sent to Madrid. China, it turns out, has plenty of new ones at both the dreaded Carrefour and Party Pop in Shanghai. Madrid will have them too. The cookie sheets too big for the baby oven are going to storage and I am throwing out the pancake griddle and getting a new one in the US. I will shop patriotically but with, I am ??? (no word fits here) to say, little enthusiasm. I am shopped out and too dang tired. The siren call of Target is not stirring me just yet. This might just be the miracle my mother has been praying for.
As I inventory, inventory, inventory, I am slowly working my way through the American candy I have been hoarding from KT’s lovingly created and greatly appreciated Valentine’s and Easter care packages. Knowing I was moving, I held a few bags back from general consumption, an ace or two in the hole as it were. Chocolate miniatures and Jelly Bellys do wonders for a stiff neck and shoulders when one moves. As I was giving the shipping company representative a tour of the house, I found an Easter egg tucked in a curtain. Filled with Butterfinger eggs, I felt like Charlie getting Willy Wonka’s golden ticket. How long would that egg have sat there, balanced in the folds and going to waste, if we weren’t moving? I’ll take my love where I can find it at the moment.
*Note to self: don’t bequeath the antique snuff bottles or silver serving pieces to Thing 1.