Where do I begin…

First words to the theme song from the movie Love Story. That’s nice and all, but really where do I, or should I say “we” begin. After moving the seasonal items and the larger furniture pieces, now what? I looked around the kitchen and thought well I still need my dishes and we need to get new cupboards in the apartment so I’ll wait on this area… The laundry room? Yes, there are storage cupboards, and I’m not taking the washing machine or dryer… yes, I could empty cupboards…. But how about….
And the wandering about the house continued and basically I accomplished very little. Is there a GPS or some sort of direction in this downsizing. Maybe I should “google it” or maybe I should just start somewhere. So I did…I took pictures off the wall, and though this should be easy… started thinking about wall space. What pictures will fit and where? Remember… only 5 rooms. I am not ready to part with any of our family photos so I will take them all and then decide as I go along. But how about paintings and other décor? I have pictures and decorative art in almost every room. Maybe I’ll sell at the garage sale or maybe I can store… but there just isn’t any room. The process is not easy. My husband’s advice is to get a dumpster. That fell on deaf ears… something you learn after all those years of marriage.

Here is a true example… I had a nice set of square votive holders- 5 to be exact. They all read of a positive message, namely “joy, hope,love, peace, and faith”. My intention is to fill our new space with positive intention and energy so I thought maybe I should keep them… 5 votives…5 rooms… a nice message, one in each room. Really all this thought over these small items… voice in my head said “sell” you have a lot more stuff to go through. And I did. SOLD-Virtual garage sale!

Speaking of the virtual garage sale, it has been a wonderful tool in selling some of my larger items, like a butcher block, a bench, chairs, and a bunch of other items. I hope that as I share this experience, it helps others who are thinking about or trying to downsize or just clear stuff out. I recommend virtual sites, craigslist, or a personal garage sale… all great tools. Speaking of online tools… someone called about the house listing and made an offer…. And by the way, the “for sale” sign was never used. We will be taking that back to Home Depot … fingers crossed that the offer goes through.
So…what’s next? Stay tuned … the ride continues… ( yes, still in the Sebring – with some help from the work van).

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Stopping to reflect….

How we got here… a time to stop and reflect…

Well, we started this journey in a burgundy impala that used to be my parent’s. I took it over when I needed a car to finish college. It was used and eventually developed a hole in the floorboard on the driver’s side. We put a piece of plywood over it and covered it with the carpet and mat. It got us where we needed to go and we had no car payment. Yes, we were “a – just- married” couple with a life ahead of us, but truly had no idea what we were doing. We had fresh- out- of- college careers and were married a year later. But we were happy. They say ignorance is bliss and the older I get, the more I believe it. It seems nowadays everything is well planned out or maybe I just wish I knew then what I know now.  As this car started to break down, we needed to get one with a little more space to make room for the children. Whatever… our journey continued…
The next and most favorite car ever was the gray 1989 Chevy Celebrity Station Wagon… I so loved that car!! It had a third seat and you could sit backward and look at the cars behind you. It was good for babies and growing children, groceries and travel. The adults even loved it… that third seat was great after a few beverages – people wouldn’t know if they were coming or going (lol), nor did they care. It was a car anyone could pile into – kids, friends,nana,and even great grandparents as it was easy to get in and out of. So lots of memories. We navigated in that vehicle for 12 years and I was sad when we had to junk it. It was so bad that my oldest son painted the rust spots so it didn’t look so beat up – he was a teenager and probably a little embarrassed. It truly needed to be junked, but to this day I still love my station wagon the best!!

Next was a conversion van with a small built-in television for the kids. We were cool because we had a TV in our vehicle and the three kids loved it! How funny is that! Great for our annual trek to Florida and for cruising around town… gas was a little more than a  dollar then. Am I getting old or what? Naaaa..older, but not old. But again, a van that was great for the kids as our family was continuing to grow.

Moving into sports and the high school years and a new baby… the easy-to-navigate mini-van with “Onstar”… wow, how technologically advanced. (It truly is a great feature!). A few years later we added a used Ford Taurus as the kids got their licenses and we needed a second vehicle. Unfortunately, both of those vehicles made many trips to and from the hospital when our youngest became seriously ill. Well, long story short… we drove both of them into the ground. The oldest two purchased vehicles after college and so as of 2009, back to one vehicle- a 2008 Chrysler Sebring. Black with leather interior and a sunroof… a little smaller, a little sleeker… another re-size! So now with over 100,000 miles on it…that is what we are still driving as we move on in our adventure.

Yes our vehicles got us place to place, but what really got us to where we are today was a commitment to each other and raising a family. We didn’t think about it much as we went through the rituals of every day – namely, work, school, and life events. It is crazy now to stop and think how fast the time went. Twelve years in the station wagon saw our 3rd child from a newborn returning from the hospital to pre-adolescent. Everyday, you just get in and drive…. And the next day, you do it all over again. Somewhere and somehow, no matter what make or model, the time goes by and the children grow up. And in between the days and the vehicles… so many memories are made. This, my friends, is what life’s journey is all about. And now… we just keep driving….

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Back Where We Started…

Some of you may remember this as lyrics to a Kink’s song in the eighties, or some of you may have experienced this when you were looking for directions and went full circle and found yourself in the same place…and asked…now where do we go?
Well, that is where my husband Mark and I are currently located. After raising “almost-four” children ( I say almost, as we lost our youngest to cancer at the age of 8), marrying  2 of them off in the last year, with one finding her way in the fashion industry in the “Big Apple”, we find ourselves “Back where we started”.
I originally was going to call this blog “Newlyweds with experience” (lol) as that is kind of what we are. We are back to just the two of us like when we were newlyweds, but have over 30 years of marriage and life experience behind us. We have been through thick and thin, for better and worse, in sickness and in health, and we prefer not to go the next line… and God willing, hope we have many more roads to travel.
So where DO we go from here. Well our first decision is to downsize. After being a homeowner for the last 25 years, we are moving into an apartment. In the past 2 years, we went from over 2000 square feet, to 1700 square feet and now we are moving into a 5 room apartment- 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, and a bathroom (and we do have a small attic and some basement space for storage). We will be living above Mark’s dad so you can say we are truly back to where we, or least “he” started.
So when downsizing, where do you begin. How do you plan? So up to this point, we bought a for sale sign, put our house up on the market and starting to think and re-think what to do first. Of course, we do not always have the same thoughts even after being together after all these years… So we decided to clear out some space in the new basement to give us room to store some of our seasonal items. That was easy since these are things we won’t need until the holidays roll around.
Now what? Well, he decided it would be good to move some of our permanent living items to the new place and use alternative pieces until the “official move” to see what is leftover. So our loveseat and overstuffed chair were moved into the new space as well as the dining room table and thankfully, it fits. We gotta eat!! We also have a bed so we can stay when we are too tired to drive… forgot to mention, the new place is 40 miles away. So we will now be commuting to work. In the mornings, he likes “sports talk radio” and I like music, but I’ll leave that for another blog (lol).
I truly have to say after moving these necessary pieces, I reflected on what else I truly needed. Yes, I need my dishes, and cooking items, a few wine glasses (enough for ourselves and our friends), as well as bedding and towels, but really how much stuff do we need? I then think about how much “stuff” I have left to get rid of. When I said we were downsizing, I wasn’t just referring to space, but also getting rid of things we no longer need or use. As easy it is to talk about, it isn’t as easy to actually do. I hope to continue blogging as we continue this process as there is a story in every nook, cranny and knick-knack.
So this journey continues… back where we started. Back to thinking about what exactly do we need and what can we get rid of? Back to creating a space and making it a “home” when the kids come back for a visit. Back to the two people who made a commitment and started a journey that has come full circle. The ride continues as we begin the next leg of this trip we call life. So, what’s our next move? Hopefully you’ll come along for the ride with us… stay tuned.

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