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approaching lift-off, maybe

Here is a solemn declaration: When I return from my adventure and am forced to unpack the mountains of stuff squashed into corners and cupboards, boxes and bags, under beds and on top shelves and swamping the basement – the unbelievable quantity of STUFF that I have had to stash away to leave room for the family renting my house – I swear that as I unpack those boxes and bags, I will make a giant pile of at least half of the stuff and give it away. That instant. 

I will live more simply. I will live more simply.

Here speaketh the Goodwill junkie. Years of dropping in to find a treasure and then bearing it home in triumph – a pretty plate with a dog on it, an interesting scarf, a nice carry-bag or six, a nice coffee table book or twelve, three really nice jackets, multiplied by nearly twenty years, minus one fire which took care of quite a load. But it built up again, and now I am dealing with it. This must stop. I imagine living from now on in a simple little apartment with one plant on the balcony and six perfect pieces of clothing and a chachka or two. That’s it. Not this four-story junk store I live in now, and love so very much. 
So – lesson number one of this trip – don’t make it so hard to leave home. 
The goodbyes continue – my dearest friends calling, writing, dropping in. Wayson brought a copy of his new book for me to take with me; what a thrill. I took my children for dinner tonight at our favourite Parliament Street bistro, and for an hour, I forgot my list of things to do and simply enjoyed the company of the two most interesting young adults on the planet. No, seriously, I’m sure those of you reading who have children think your children are interesting, and I’m sure they are, but they’re not nearly as interesting as my children. I am absolutely positive of that. Not that it’s a competition or anything.
Spent part of yesterday and today trying, one last futile time, to get rid of the raccoons who like to sleep on my small second floor deck and also happily use it as a toilet. Yesterday, vigourous scrubbing with ammonia and application of chili powder. It rained, however, and today – there it was, evidence of my visitors. Today we tried setting up an electronic signal box that supposedly makes a high-pitched sound audible only to and hated by raccoons. But it was definitely audible to me, the high-pitched sound coming from the box right outside my bedroom door. Back to Home Depot it went. 
So – tomorrow’s my last full day, and then part of Wednesday. Some chores remain – getting Euros from the bank, finishing putting away files and papers in my file-and-paper-laden office, sorting and tidying, last packing decisions. I ordered a book at the library a year and a half ago, and they’ve just called to tell me it’s in. I don’t even remember what it is, but I’m going to try to drop by, take a look, and return it before I take it out. I’m going to try to get to the Y one last time, despite my cold and general state of total exhaustion. I have packed the peanut butter. Must buy Cheesies for my French friend. Must call my mother one last time. Must … go to bed. 

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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