Towards A Lifestyle of Elegant Simplicity

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.  We are the change that we seek.”      Barack Obama

Part 1:  “Are you sure you want to get rid of this?” 

IMG_0066

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.

 IMG_0027

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 lightnIMG_0025_6ess. 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.

IMG_0009_10 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!

IMG_0060

IMG_0996_2_2

Coming Soon: Part Two

Terry surprises me with a new Nikon COOLPIX L830, as we take off on our road trip across America.

DSCN0022
Photo by: JoHanna Massey

28 thoughts on “Towards A Lifestyle of Elegant Simplicity

  1. Love your story. I moved less than year ago and also went through the purging of accumulated stuff. Some things I didn’t have time to go through and just moved with me. They are still boxed up, letting me know they aren’t needed….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hah! Every journey begins with a single step–every spiritual clearing begins with the “stuff.” Congrats on taking that first step! I am looking to down-size as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Did we just pass in the night? You said it all perfectly: What are we thinking? Life is an incredible journey is we keep our hearts open. Hope your heart brings you back to eastern Carolina so we can visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely to see you back in blogland after some wonderful life changes. Purging is good for the soul! Enjoy your new lightness and freedom!! Look forward to chatting more in the future. Happy weekend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Welcome back! That house is beautiful, but I can only imagine how much work it took to care for her. You must be so exhausted after all of this, I hope you have time to take a good rest and enjoy your new ‘lighter’ life. I look forward to reading more of your adventures. Take care 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes…she was one demanding mistress of a house. It is a holiday here in the US and I am going to do nothing today but read yesterday’s Sunday New York Times and explore the new neighborhood some. And NAP!
      Thanks for showing up and so happy to be in touch again.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I can’t believe all of the things I was holding onto. Everything from unmatched ugly earrings that I didn’t even wear when they were halves of matching pairs, to a fourteen foot boat with a leaking stern that never did get patched, so many pots and pans, pants that never were worn….and the list goes on and on….yes it was liberating and also has really got my attention about not accumulating more.
      Thanks for stopping in.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Welcome Back my friend! I am soooooo happy you are well. Hard to leave a beauty of a “Lady” like that… but YOU GOT YOURSELF A NEW NIKON! Hello New World!
    And it looks like we could be neighbors… you will only be as far as the crow flies, away!
    Welcome back and I am looking forward to your beautifully, well written adventures! Oh and all the pictures tooooooooooo!!!!
    🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Nancy…I was going to say ‘You can’t imagine how thrilled I am to be home.’ then I laughed because it is you Nancy and you not only know exactly the thrills of living in the southwest…but you were so inspiring to me with your enthusiasm and gorgeous photos during the period of time when I was first ‘knowing’ I needed to come home to the high desert. And what a spring it is. Enough rain to have the flowers running riot.
      Thank you for showing up!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well… I am so glad you are returning home! If my pictures thrilled you into coming to the warm weather…well, then I am delighted! Can’t wait to see your pictures and who knows… we may meet up for coffee one day! 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.