Our next adventure is rapidly becoming reality. The week has been a whirlwind of emotions and activity. Last Friday was my last day of work after over 12 years at the Portland Business Journal. I do feel like I’ve learned a lot as a manager over the last few months. It’s probably a combination of having a weight off my shoulders and having more fun at work. Hopefully it’s a lesson I can carry forward. I spent a while staring my last direct deposit on my phone Thursday morning. Last paycheck. It’s probably a little like bungee jumping I suppose, but I’m afraid of heights. Earlier there was a lot of anxiety, now we’re too busy to think about it. All the worry and planning are done. Now we finally get to act on plans made ages ago.
Saturday we had a great party with friends and neighbors and began some difficult goodbyes. We love our neighborhood and have tremendous friends, making the next few weeks a tough time. Sunday we dropped Elliott off at his first overnight camp in Purdy, Washington with his cousins, while Ben and Molly will stay at Camp Grandma & Grandpa in Gig Harbor for a few days. It’s wonderful that the kids get to spend some quality time with Dave and Cathy before we head south.
Erica and I raced back to Portland to truly begin packing. Despite beginning months ago, it feels like we’ve got days of packing and cleaning still to do. Today we began actually laying out belongings for packing. We’ve got a crazy assortment to consider packing. We’ve started a “maybe” pile as we consider weight and number of bags. More on the packing list later. We’re cleaning, packing and organizing as we dodge potential tenants checking out the house. (No it’s not rented yet and no we haven’t found a place in Cordoba to rent yet, but why worry!).
The kids are taking it all in stride. Ben said goodbye to his great friend Zé the other day and neither seemed fazed. We think the kids just aren’t able to wrap their heads around the scope and duration. All seem so absorbed by the moment that we’re much more upset by their farewells than they are.
The movers come on 7/10! We’re hoping to have our junk gone and stuff packed before heading north to rejoin the kids for the 4th. Our 14th wedding anniversary tomorrow will be short on romance long on packing!
In a plan with a lot of benchmarks along the way, we’re hitting the final stretch. Two big ones are getting close. Our property manager showed our house for rent for the first time today and it looks like my car is sold pending an inspection! Securing a tenant for a year is obviously critical to making ends meet. Hopefully all the work during Family Clean Night paid off, we’ll see. Selling the car is the final budget chunk needed.
The kids seem completely unfazed by the idea of complete strangers living in our house for the next year. Elliott did ask what we’re doing with the bunk beds today though. So far fairly vague answers are working. For the most part they’ve been blissfully unaware of our massive cleansing projects. We sold a couch 4 months ago and they never said a word!
A huge part of the preparation and planning process has been unloading belongings and gradual packing. This has actually been enormously cathartic for Erica and I. Deciding what went to Goodwill or on Craigslist was a lot more difficult 1 year ago. It’s easy now as we get closer. We’ve become expert Craigslist merchandisers over the past year and have sold over 30 items according to my count. A brief list of our sales: turkey blind, TV, croquet set, paper shredder, air conditioner, shotgun, 3 bikes, electric smoker, baby changing table, desk, and a rocking chair.
The packing effort is in full swing and out in the open with the kids thankfully. The goal now is to pack as much as possible early to avoid a complete panic as we approach departure day. Thus the guest room is now the storage room.