Relocation has started. Or at least the things that need to be completed prior to moving have started. My sister and I made an offer on a house. Offer accepted after some back and to. OK. House inspection revealed radon. Several days of freaking, trying to decide to continue or NOT. Then a settling down, gathering of information, discussing radon mitigation with “experts.” So OK. Moving forward. It can be corrected. In fact, we discover, over 70% of homes in these mountains have some level of radon. I don’t like it, but it will be corrected. And then, I think, people have been living here for a long time–long before radon was ever tested. Living here. That’s the operative word. Living. Here.
We’re in a due diligence period. Another week before it expires. And what DD means is that at any time for any reason, we can back out of the offer to purchase contract. Until October 10th. The house under contract is nothing like I would ever have imagined moving into. It’s brick. I call it a rancher, but in fact that’s incorrect. It’s mid-century modern I’m informed. Hmmmm. A just ever so subtle hint of Frank Lloyd Wright-ism. Ever so slight. It’s open. Rooms flow into and out of each other. It’s located on a secluded street-of-sorts with only 2 other houses. In the woods, after a fashion. And it has lots of big drafty old aluminum windows. Windows that will be need to be replaced.
So during this due diligence period, we’re pricing windows. Pricing other things as well. Trying to make good choices and decisions. Keeping wants at bay. It’s not about that–not about wants. More about needs. Which brings up the more interesting part of this process. Determining essential needs.
I raise this question because I literally have tons of books. Well, maybe a ton of books. And I’ve schlepped them around for 40 years. Many of them I’ve never opened again in all that time. So why am I doing this? Boxes of books are heavy, and although this will be the first move ever where I’ve hired someone to move me, I’m still packing stuff. And I find that once things are in boxes, I hardly remember the contents. Could easily take everything in boxes to Habitat for Humanities Retail Store. Could easily never see any of this stuff again, and be really ok.
Books. Books AND artifacts. Pieces of memory bound up in material form. Do I need these things? I don’t think so. And that raises the question of just what it is really that I do need. The answer is surprising me. I need my scraps of cloth. I need a bowl. And a spoon. I need a coffee mug and a blanket. And of course, I need a coat and sweater. But multiples? Many multiples of each? Several coats? Many sweaters? When did this accumulation begin? When and more importantly, Why? I study pictures of refugees fleeing Syria, fleeing their homes. Fleeing with only what they can carry on their backs. And studying these pictures, I think, something is really out of balance here. That I have to rent a truck, probably a big truck, to transport my stuff down the road.
What if I just took what I could carry? Thinking about this
And the kaleidoscope images, converted to pictures, affixed to unbleached 5 x 7 card blanks. For sale. $4. They will be in two spots in town and available here as well.
And underneath everything, the moving cloth is evolving. Holding me. Grounding. Leading.
There it is. Interestingly resting on top of this week’s Mountain Express. On its own.