I have been very busy helping Steve pack for our move to our holiday home in South of France. Let me tell you this was not an easy task as we had to sift and sort through many boxes of stuff from California as well as go through our stuff in England to decide what we wanted to take to France and what we wanted to leave in England.
There is a process that you go through and it can take a few years. When we moved from California to England – it was originally a two year assignment in the UK – the company put our stuff in storage in California and they shipped some of our things that we needed to England. When Steve retired in December 2013, the company delivered our stuff that was in California storage to ourselves in the UK, but made a temporary stop in Orange County, California where we had an opportunity to go through it all and decide what we wanted to have shipped to England.
When we returned to England in March 2014 our stuff from California was delivered to our apartment in England. We had to unpack all 50+ boxes and decide what to keep in England, what to take to France, and the rest we gave away to friends and charity.
Even Harriet got dragged into the sifting and sorting while she was visiting us in Lincoln. This took from March through May, doing a little bit almost every day, repacking what was going to France and what was staying in England.
Over the years, we also accumulated stuff in England. We then did another round of packing – what was going to France or staying in England. If it sounds repetitive – it was! This round lasted into August. When I see cardboard boxes at the supermarket, I get woozy. When all the boxes were almost packed – yes, we were still taping shut the last few boxes – the movers arrived to collect them for delivery to our holiday home in France. The rest remains in England.
All in all, we have been going through boxes sifting and sorting since November 2013. We have one more time of unpacking and going through all of our stuff when we finally move into our holiday home in the South of France.
At times it was emotional, especially when I came across sentimental things – family heirlooms, pictures of the boys when they were little and life seemed so simple, and the itineraries, plane tickets, luggage tags and other stuff from all of our travels over the past 34+ years. I did not realize how much emotion was wrapped up in all of that, until I went through it all at a very fast pace, creating waves of emotion that brought me to tears a few times. It was good, though. It was a physical, emotional and spiritual cleansing that was freeing and empowering.
I am now ready for the next chapter in our lives – retirement. We will be living between France, England and Southern California.