One of the things I've always loved about this house is our chandelier. When the morning sun comes in the large front window, the crystals make rainbows appear on the walls. I think it's stunning and I appreciated seeing it again very much.
In order to prepare the house for rent, Tom and I took a recent trip to the US. I call our trip "Project Purge". Since our former tenants were folks we knew, we left the house partially furnished avoiding any storage costs. This time, we were emptying the house requiring plenty of sorting. We also were puging things that we'd have to pay to store but didn't have interest in anymore. I was dreading the project thinking it would be overwhelming. Having a concrete deadline and flights booked to return to Switzerland, there could be no dillydallying.
Shortly before the trip, I had read an article about the struggles inherent in downsizing. It suggested looking at the item in question and asking yourself "does it bring me joy?" If not, let it go. Another suggestion was to take photos of things that you want to remember, but not necessarily own before releasing them. I kept these suggestions in mind as we worked.
Every box in the attic and basement was opened and sorted. In nearly every case, a gem or two was found which was our reward for the effort. One of the most special items was the program from the 1980 Christmas Eve church service in the Wayne, NJ Methodist church. It lists the different pieces I played during the service. It was a few days after this service that Tom and I spoke for the first time, him complementing my play. After my graduation in 1981, we began dating and we married in 1982. I didn't take a picture of the program, but it was saved.
I guarantee that some of my gems would not be important to you. For instance, this nearly full bottle of the best valve oil. The bottle I have here in Switzerland is much less full and I was wondering when I could fit in an errand to buy some and where to go. Voilà! Now I won't need any more for quite a while.
Another prize were the packets of tablets to add to Christmas tree water to keep the tree fresh longer. I have never seen this for sale in Switzerland and quickly decided to bring them here.
Sarah and Alicia both came to NJ to help go through their things. The task wasn't so big for Sarah since she had sorted some of her things already over the years since she moved out. Alicia had a bigger job, but seemed to enjoy the trip down memory lane for the most part. Of course, getting them together always prompts me to ask whether we can take some pictures. We don't see each other all that often and I don't like missing an opportunity. Their hair color also changes often enough that new pictures are needed.
I got the pictures, but also some goofiness. Sarah found some necklaces to keep and wearing them all was the easiest way to transport them.
|scarf made by Sarah!|
Anthony does not particularly care for having his picture taken, but I was able to grab one in a lighthearted moment. Sarah and Anthony make a cute couple. I'm not biased.
|Tom and the girls|
|I'm really not that short - Alicia and Sarah are standing on the hearth.|
|standing in our driveway looking towards our pier|
|harbor at Westport Point|
|Harbor Master isn't going anywhere!|
What possessed me to think I would be able to park and walk the snowy beach? Of course, the parking lot was not cleared!
|dunes at Horseneck State Beach|
|Horseneck State Beach|
|causeway to Gooseberry was also closed|
|want to go kayaking?|