Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Penultimate Purge

Prepping for Sale
Prepping for Sale
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
As unbelievable as it seems, we are once again purging our lives of Things. We've done this before. Actually, we've done this several times. In fact, it seems like we have done this so many times that we can't possibly have anything left to get rid of. Yet here we are looking very much as though we vomited the contents of a West Marine warehouse onto the docks and deck.

Historically, every time we go through these radical pruning sessions, we move our family into a smaller space. First, it was a mental dust out which nevertheless resulted in nearly 9 van loads to the dump, Salvation Army or freecycle. Next came the first true scrunching into smaller space when we moved from a 3000 sq. ft. house to an 800 sq. ft. walk out apartment. After six months later, we moved on to the boat as liveaboards, but we were still stuffed to the gills and overflowing on to the docks and into our land cars. Our next hack was considerably more harsh as we dispensed with cars and dock and floated away. Nevertheless, after a few months cruising we elected to trade stuff for speed and threw roughly another 1000 pounds off the boat.

This has got to be the penultimate purge, however. I say this because I can't see how we can possibly reduce ourselves more than we will in this instance. We are moving to New Zealand with quite literally the clothes on our back and two suitcases each. Our total household goods will amount to 500 pounds, a guitar and a cat. And the cat goes to Seattle.

This round is both easier and harder than any prior purging effort. The easy part is that we don't really care too much about things any more. Except for a few books that DrC and Mera refuse to let go of and all Jaime's jewelry, there is almost nothing left to which we feel emotionally bound. We are also old hands at getting rid of stuff. We have already sold nearly $800 worth of this and that at the swap meet, gave away nearly a truckload of things to the charitable group that raises money for children in the area. The boat is three inches up on the bows, two inches up on the stern which according to the Lagoon figures represents roughly 2,000 pounds of personal and nautical gear. We look around and we still see stuff that we just do not want anymore.

But in other ways, we're finding this process more challenging than prior purges because of the physical constraints of our suitcases. We all have a few things that we've held on to over the years that we hand carried from location to location. DrC looks at all his tools and boat mechanic books. He rearranges them to try to make them look smaller and weigh less, but ultimately they don't get smaller or weigh less. With Jaime and Aeron, the problem is simply one of organization. Those two are like electronics taken out of a box. You can't take them back; They don't stuff back down into the box again. I don't see how we fold them into two suitcases each with out first muzzling them, tying their hands behind their back and chaining them to the salon table.

My problem is -- not atypically -- electronic. Four hard drives, three computers, a wireless router/firewall, two notebook computers, a 24" monitor, a sewing machine, five iPods, an iTouch, an external DVD drive and a printer all beacon to me. They want to go to New Zealand. They really do. Pretty please…

Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
And then we have Dulcinea. There is not a day that goes by that one of us does not snuggle up to her and get the sniffles. Sending her to Seattle for six months is going to break all our hearts. While she fits in the suitcase, New Zealand is pretty much a complete hairball for importing live animals. So in the end, she is purged… sent to live with a friend until the if/when of getting her paperwork processed.

While Don Quixote still looks like a combination auto parts store and day care center, she's actually emptying out. Peek in the lockers or under the beds and you hear the echoing sounds of a family abandoning ship. One thing is absolutely certain…after her paint job next week, we will finally be able to cruise at 8 knots.


judith said...

It's sad, but also exciting.

My work verification is 'spacked' as in "sorry honey the sewing machine spacked."

Behan said...

this does bring back how some of the transitions to boat life, and leaving the US on the boat, created some chaos in analyzing stuff and what we really need. at least there is a date and you'll be past it soon enough!

if this is your penultimate purge- when is the final purge? when you step in the airport with your 2 suitcases each?