Part 1: “Are you sure you want to get rid of this?”
She is quite the charmer. A big old Southern Lady House, with a past. She is 121 years old, or she is 103 years old. Ladies do lie about their age. Known locally as Miss Knight’s House, for the family of school teachers who taught several generations of children in this small southern village tucked tightly into the eastern shoreline of the United States.There are rooms for sewing, and reading, built in shelves for all of the books. Rooms for the Grandchildren, a great big bathtub, showers tucked under stairs, warm cypress flooring, and spare rooms to accumulate finds from yard sale, craft, and antiquing. There are front porches where neighbors gather to drink tea, mint juleps, or home made wine. There are back porches off that beautiful warm kitchen where breakfast is served, crabs are eaten, laundry gets hung on rainy days, and lemon trees in big clay pots thrive, their fragrance permeating into the house and back yard.. I listen to many stories on those porches, often long into the night. Stories of the Old South and the New South. We lived and loved in the Southern Lady-House. I heard my own true voice again in that house, felt my heart beat strong and vibrant, discovered MOOCS, created this blog, and understood without a doubt what I wanted and needed to do was leave that house and most of that stuff, get closer to family, and return home to the high desert of the Verde Vally. Ready to live lightly on the planet. Good news that my beloved and the universe not only agreed, but pitched in with enthusiasm.
Got rid of over 5,000 pounds of stuff. Books, furniture, nick knacks, tools, and at least a thousand of those pounds being the “WHAT WERE WE THINKING!” piles. One box a day gone a minimum, working through one shelf of books, one drawer at a time, putting FREE signs on dressers, a boat, shelves, rugs, hauling them out to the sidewalk where they were quickly loaded up and driven away by someone glad to have them. Passing stuff on to our Daughter, Grandchildren, neighbors, charity, and friends. If you came into the door and your eyes lingered with interest on something, chances are you could go home with it.
Once we got into this shedding of the stuff, we began to really enjoy it, and I can only describe it as a feeling of freedom and lightness. Said our prayers, buried our Saint Joseph’s and put the Southern Lady House on the market For Sale. The Southern Lady House sold. Just that quick. Atlas Movers headed west with the remaining stuff, while we stayed behind over a last minute change to the settlement date. The quiet after the hectic activity of the last few months was simple, clean and right. No bringing to order the house as we prepared it for realtors to show perspective buyers, no To Do List of things to get rid of and services to change. We had a blow up bed, two plates, two sets of utensils, one pot and one pan. Did not shop as we ate our way through the remaining food in the fridge and freezer. It was during the last week of Lent, and we turned the week into a time of meditative silence, reading, naps, yoga, with periodic conversational walks about the village as we said our goodbyes to friends. One last dive into a still chilly Atlantic Ocean, one last meal of fresh from the boat fish.
It was during those last few days that friends and neighbors, shop keepers, and passersby began to reveal to us in private hushed, don’t tell anyone voices their own desire to leave the village, some of those desires twenty or more years old. They expressed anxiety over economics, strangers, making a mistake, social/political upheaval, their church, and facing the new and the unknown. They blamed their staying on their spouses, children, exhausted finances, community obligations, and Obama. They voiced with regret their years long unhappiness with the village, their life there, and long lists of should have, would have and could haves. Some yearned for a different country or climate, most for more convenience and opportunity, and for several even a longing to move inland out of hurricane alley had somehow seemed insurmountable. They spoke of a renewed interest in that yearned for place, career, or lifestyle they always wanted. They stopped by and watched, helped, whispered their renewed determination to go, or warned us of the danger and risk involved as we continued our preparations to leave. “Aren’t you scared?” they asked. “Only on occasional Tuesday mornings.” I replied. They did not laugh.
The new owner arrived, the sale closed, and I glimpsed that larger cosmic picture often discussed called synchronicity about showing up at the right time in the right place for the right people. The Southern Lady House all spruced up and poised to continue her role of mentor, champion, seducer, and home. In gratitude and joy I leave her. “I Tramp a Perpetual Journey” with life, embrace it, and know that the only constant in my life has been and will continue to be change.
The goal currently is to create a lifestyle of Elegant Simplicity. Not being responsible for a big Southern Lady House was the first big step. The next steps will surely be alot easier without that extra ton of baggage along. I thank you all for hanging in there during my absence on the blogs. And promise to catch you up and catch up with you as I continue forward as a committed participant. And boy did I miss you!
Coming Soon: Part Two
Terry surprises me with a new Nikon COOLPIX L830, as we take off on our road trip across America.