Friday, January 31, 2014

Stuff. And stuff.

We're moving. Again.

I count the number of times we've moved every time it happens. I'm too tired to think it through right now, but I'm pretty sure when I counted the other day, it was 15 in 9 years and 1 month of marriage, not counting moving into our first apartment. Apparently this is a family trait (Michael's side) because when I mentioned this number on Facebook several family members boasted very high moving rates as well.

We are practically experts. We've helped friends move using our moving expertise. It's annoying to move, like spring cleaning is annoying. But there's also something freeing about it. We throw away junk (or recycle) or have a yard sale just about every time we move. We accumulate extra stuff in a short period of time and moving helps us simplify. One advantage of moving so often is after awhile, there's not much left to get rid of.

We've learned that the bigger the house/apartment we're in, the more stuff slowly appears. One year we lived in a large house with several rooms, and we were surprised at the end of 12 months how much extra stuff had somehow filled the empty spaces.

10 months ago was our biggest move. We were sorting our belongings into 3 categories:

a) pack to take with us to Guatemala
b) pack away for five years
c) yard sale because it's not going with us and not worth saving for five years

We came to Guatemala with about 8 duffel bags, mostly clothes, toys, books, and necessary coffee making equipment. We moved into a house rented by MCC for years. Every piece of furniture, every plastic cup and fork and pyrex dish was here when we moved in.

Mennonites don't like to throw things away. I imagine the thinking goes like this:
This broken plastic water jug? I'm sure somewhere, someone could fix it. So, we can't throw it away. That would be wasteful. We'll just stick it in the shed until someone in the future wants to fix it.
Cleaning out the shed
Besides all the "fixable" broken or useless junk in the back, this house has been the collecting place for any MCC worker who comes and goes, so we have several extra sets of kitchen supplies, sheets, blankets, lamps, etc.

Moving is a bit different this time in that we are sorting through junk that we inherited, and that could be fixed and/or used someday. 

We are moving because the owners of this house who have rented to MCC for years are leaving the country. We knew this was going to happen, it was just a matter of when. The timing has been a blessing with finding a place to rent within two days of the house selling.

I've been pondering the process of searching for a home within the context of signing a contract to live simply, not to mention while simultaneously working on our program budget for the entire year. That's another post.

For now, I close with silly pictures of my oldest, who, while I was taking pictures of our stuff strewn about, said to me, "Mommy, why don't you take a picture of me?"
I obliged.