Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thursday Stuff

Yesterday Alexandra and I went on a road trip to look at the place Jay and I are considering moving to. It was a gorgeous day for a drive - warm with absolutely no chance of snow or ice on the mountain pass. This picture was taken at the place we stopped for our picnic lunch, not too far from our destination. (My apologies for the iPhone photo. I forgot to take my real camera.)





One funny moment during the day happened when we walked by the pond on the grounds. I can't say I wasn't warned!




We stopped on the footbridge going across the water so I could take some pictures of the birds. They were very obliging, and swam right up to us. One second they were floating calmly in front of us, and the next one of them shot its head straight for my feet. It's a good thing I have fairly fast reactions or that bird could have done some serious damage. Here they are right before "the strike." Those necks are a lot longer than they look.




The drive takes about three hours each way, and we spent over two hours looking at a couple of the homes in the development. All of that is to say it was a rather long day, and I was exhausted by the time we got home. I also felt quite deflated. For the first time since we decided to try to sell our house and move farther south I am having doubts about the whole idea.

I absolutely love the place we are considering moving to. But there are several realities that must be faced. The first is that we have only had five people look at our house so far, and none have indicated an interest in buying it. The second is that we are looking at a major downsize. Our current home is 3000 square feet, and the one we are looking at moving to is 1500 square feet. This isn't a problem for me. I am wanting to dejunk and decollect (yes, I made that word up!). I am to the stage of life where having less stuff seems very appealing.

However, and this is a huge however, my husband isn't at the same stage. He wants his stuff. All of it. Thousands of books, boxes of memorabilia, and clothes that haven't fit since he was in his late twenties.  I phoned him as we were leaving the development yesterday to tell him about the new cottage Alexandra and I had looked at. I was enthusiastically going on about the mountain views from the front porch, and the window seats in the bedrooms and on the stairway landing. He wasn't interested. What he wanted to know was how much room was in the crawl space under the house, and how big the opening to it was. Sigh...

All of this has left me feeling oddly deflated. As much as I want to move, I am realizing there is a very good chance it might not happen. Even if someone should make an offer on our house, I am beginning to think we might be better off staying where we are. Because, no matter how beautiful the views and great the location, the last thing I want to do is live in a 1500 square foot cottage with 3000 square feet of Stuff squeezed into it.

I was so tired last night from the drive, and the emotional let-down of that nasty thing called reality sinking in, that the only knitting I could face was my March Self-imposed Sock of the Month club instalment. Which, since the end of March is in a few short days, was probably just as well.


Fibernymph Dye Works, colourway Tartan

37 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear of the let down.. maybe there can be some sort of compromise somewhere. It can happen! :) And on the bright side, you might not have to worry about attack swans, or at least you'll have some time to prepare for them!
    Love the sock colors!

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    1. Aren't those sock colours amazing? I loved knitting with that yarn. And yes, we need some kind of a compromise. I'm just not sure what it could be...

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  2. Love the socks...no change is easy. One step at a time, and expect that overwhelming feelings will be a part of it. Hang in there...if it's right God will bless it and all things will fall into place.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Karen. Moving is always such a huge stress. I mistakingly thought that this time, because we didn't have to move, it would be easier. It's not...

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  3. Harrison has some lovely 1500 sqyare foor houses with 1500 square feet of crawl of 5' crawl spaces....just sayin'>

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    1. Ha! Harrison is lovely, and we did go look around briefly when we drove down in February. But being so close to the mountains and trails at Cultus is a huge draw for me. The cottages actually have crawl spaces running under the length of them too, so there is lots of storage there. But I don't think bookshelves are going to work well since the crawl space is only about 4 feet high! And books are the main problem.

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  4. WOW. Even by iPhone picture, that location is beautiful. I'm sure you will reach a compromise at some point. My parents went through a very similar downsizing last year. It was definitely a challenge for them to part with a lot of the "stuff they accumulated over years of marriage and children, but they are SO happy they decided to go for it.

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    1. It is very beautiful! My parents also went through this about seven years ago when they moved off the farm. My dad was like my husband - a collector. They ended up renting a storage space for him to keep some of his stuff in, and he would go over to it every couple of weeks. It drove my mom crazy. :-)

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  5. But WHY does he want all that stuff? What does it mean to him?

    Perhaps he can be coaxed to keeping only a few, representative or key items. For example, instead of keeping all the clothes he wore in his twenties, just keep the shirt he was wearing when he met you. :)

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    1. I sort of get it, and I sort of don't. My mom doesn't have a sentimental bone in her body, but my dad did, and as a result hung onto tons of stuff. Some kind of gene splitting thing happened, and I fall somewhere between the two extremes. :-)

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  6. Ruth (no longer in Ottawa)March 28, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    I think a person has to be ready to part with their stuff, and if they aren't, there's no point trying to make it so. Sometimes there's no logical reason...from the outside, anyway. Does that make any sense? I speak as one who has moved frequently and always gotten rid of a mountain of things before each move, things I was sure I would never want again - and always there is something I regret or miss later. Our new retirement house is bigger than the house we moved out of - just saying! We've spent 3o-odd years collecting memorabilia, books, "toys", you name it. Why should half of it go out the window now?

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    1. I think you are right that there is no way you can make someone ready to part with their stuff. But when stuff gets in the way of moving on in life, it makes it a bit challenging. I like to keep a few things that have sentimental value, but too much stuff makes me feel overwhelmed.

      One of the problems we face is that by moving close to the Vancouver area (not in the city itself, but within a two hour drive of it), the cost of homes and real estate skyrockets. So in some ways, by trying to relocate so we are closer to where our kids are living, we are forced into downsizing. We could never afford this size of a house where we are going. But I must also say that having a cottage style home has a lot of appeal to me.

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  7. Could you not move and rent a small storage unit for Jay's stuff ... maybe months later having not felt the need to visit the boxes he'll be better able to let go?

    Moving is such a stressful thing ... I think you need to plan some really ace knitting projects to see you through ... the kind that require shopping for expensive yarn ;)

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    1. You're suggestion is a good one, and probably what we will end up doing if this ends up going ahead. My parents did this exact thing when they moved off the farm, and my dad (he was the sentimental collector in our family) would go visit his stuff at the storage shed frequently.

      As far as your suggestion to shop for some expensive yarn, I think flying to Shetland to buy some Jamieson and Smith yarn should qualify, don't you? :-)

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  8. Who is in charge here - you or the 'stuff'? Things are things, don't let them stop you living the life you want to live....

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    1. The problem is, I am only in charge of my own stuff. So, for now, I will continue to sort through what I own, decide what is really important, and give away or throw away the rest. Of course, no yarn will make it to the "throw away" pile. :-)

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  9. Sorry to hear that you are feeling deflated, maybe its just not the right house and something that is perfect is just around the corner. I like my stuff around me too , not even in cupboards really... we live in a mess!!!

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    1. I like to be surrounded by my crafts, so I do understand to a degree. And, like my husband, I own lots of books. I am just not as attached. And my mom, who is clean to a degree usually just seen in magazine pictures, would tell you I live in a mess, too. :-)

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  10. I was going to suggest the storage facility, but got beaten to it. My only other suggestion as one book hoarder to another is get a Kindle. It's much easier to let your massive book collection to go a charity book store if you know that should you really want to read that obscure book you bought 20 years ago, you can always download it.

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    1. Yes, the storage facility is a great idea, so thanks for that suggestion. I have a Kindle, and I think that is partly what makes it easier for me to think about parting with some of my books. Jay has been very reluctant to try an e-reader though. But you are right, it does make it easier to give the books away when you know you can "get one back" in seconds by downloading it.

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  11. Great socks! Don't give up hope, summer is the most productive home selling season. As for the stuff, any chance Jay would consider a self-storage unit? That way your new place doesn't need space to accommodate it, but it's not gone.

    PS - I've been anti-water fowl since ducks attacked my (toddler) daughter when all she wanted to do was feed them.

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    1. Yes, things usually pick up in the summer. But that works at the other end too - the house we want could be bought out from under us. I know, I'm a bundle of negativity. I must be low on chocolate. :-)

      I don't blame you for being anti-water fowl. Biting a toddler is crossing the line. Birds can be nasty. I have friends who were teachers in Laos for a couple of years. They lived next to some ambassador's home, and they had geese on their grounds to keep the poisonous snake population down. So their nastiness can be put to good use!

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  12. I have been bitten by a duck I was hand-feeding bread, so I understand. My mother was once bitten on her butt by a duck! I am sure that we will be in the same situation someday if we ever look to move...I'm all about de-cluttering and my husband...isn't. :)

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    1. You are the second person to report being bitten by a duck! I knew geese could be nasty, but this is the first I have heard of ducks being aggressive. I guess I haven't spent much time around them.

      Good luck down the road when you need to downsize. I am beginning to think there should be pre-nuptial agreements regarding how much stuff each spouse is allowed to collect. :-)

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  13. Sounds like a stressful time for you, buying and selling, I hope it all comes together for you soon!

    I'm glad you survived the swan attack, and your socks are lovely!

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    1. I always admire the socks you knit - you have done some very beautiful patterns. I mostly stick to plain socks, so need to use great yarn to make up for it!

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  14. The location is stunning, I can see why you would want to live there. I understand your feeling though, as long as I had room for my stash and photos, everything else could go but my husband on the other hand has so much STUFF, clothes that haven't been on his back in years - I plan to tackle that this weekend. Never easy to downsize, I hope a solution comes along that suits you both

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    1. I am laughing - yes, my stash, our family photos and a manageable number of books is all I need! Please let me know if you have any success over the weekend trying to "downsize" your husband's wardrobe.

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  15. My husband is the same way. We still have many, many boxes (mostly of books) that he couldn't part with when we moved south into a significantly smaller home. They are stuffed into every corner of the garage and the shed out back and most have remained untouched since we unloaded them off the moving truck over three years ago. :-/ But, we make it work and you and your hubby will too, I'm sure!

    Books are a problem. Wardrobe is not. A few years ago when my hubby was at work, I went through his closet and pulled out everything I'd not seen him wear even once during our then 8 year marriage, bagged it up and hauled it to Goodwill before he got home. Took him 2 years to realize anything was missing... ;)

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    1. It is helpful that you have a garage and a shed. Those don't exist where we are thinking of moving to. You are very brave to have gone through your husband's closet. :-)

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  16. I have this vision of building a shed out back, a heated garage kind of thing, which would be a library/study/office.

    Okay, just blue-skying here. The alternative would be a lighted match.

    I understand entirely. I'm the books, memorabilia, old clothes person. But at least I WANT to downsize. I just can't bring myself to get very far. Even if I fill two grocery store fruit cartons with books (100?) there's still NO DISCERNIBLE SPACE on my shelves. Books are like that.

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    1. The comment below was meant for you, Susan!

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  17. It's a good vision, except they don't allow sheds. We might have to go with your second idea - the lighted match. :-)

    And books are like rabbits. They seem to have a way of multiplying at an exponential rate!

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  18. I've had success taking pictures of sentimental items without useful or monetary value (like the clothes) and then looking at the pictures when I want to have the memories associated with the items. I've also had success with boxing up or otherwise making inaccessible some of those items of my husband's (nothing really meaningful, just random old socks that he wouldn't let go of, etc.) and if he didn't notice after some period sending them on. These things helped us declutter when we combined living spaces.

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    1. Those are great suggestions, Kirstin! I especially like the taking pictures idea. Pictures take up zero space if they are stored on the computer. Thanks!

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  19. I'm so far behind in reading blogs! You won't be surprised to find out that what I was most interested in about this post were those swans...I had to look in my field guide to find out they were Whooper Swans, a type I've never seen. It says they're primarily a Eurasian species. In North America they're rarely seen outside of the Aleutian Islands. The pair you saw were most likely escaped or released captives from someone who owned them. Very cool sighting.

    As for Jay's stuff, maybe you could tie him to a chair and make him watch several episodes of Hoarders? That show always makes me run to the attic to get rid of more stuff!

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    1. Thanks for identifying the swans for me!

      I know what you mean about that show Hoarders. I don't like watching it, so only do so when I am visiting my mom, who loves it. After I watch the show I end up feeling the same way as you.

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