Less than six weeks to go…
At this stage of the preparation game, what can be done for the actual trip has been done. Now we are starting to pack up and prepare the house for another family to move in. The cracks in the walls have been plastered, the loose tile in the bathroom has been re-grouted, the toilet that continually blocks has been replaced and the dead grass replanted. Even the beautiful hand prints on the hallway wall will soon be covered in Haymes’ “Pearl Lustre”. The tiny little hand prints that are the surviving evidence and constant reminder of one of my crowning mother moments – the day my 3 year old nephew and 4 year old daughter put red, blue and yellow hand prints on the wall and instead of losing my head, I dressed them in old shirts and said ‘go for it’. That was 5 years ago – I’m sure I’ve had some other good-mother moments, but none that I am reminded of every time I walk down the hallway to my bedroom.
The decluttering of the house started with a garage sale at the end of March. This event served not to make us enough money to finance a few nights at a flash resort in Thailand (maybe a meal at nicer restaurant!) but it did get lots of stuff out of the house, and then on to the op shop. Now, as I look around at everything that is left to pack or get rid of, I wonder what we will actually want when we get home. The girls will have had 2 birthdays away, so they will have moved on from Littlest Petshops and Furbies. Even Zoe – the youngest – will probably have grown beyond the toys that entertained her older sisters when they were her age. All the books we’ll keep, but clothes will be too small. What will they be like, my three little girls, when we return from this odyssey?
I feel a sense of an ending as I pack up our little house. When we leave, it will become someone else’s. The things we put in boxes will come out again in a different location, to be put on a different shelf. They will also, in 18 months, be seen through different eyes. I know it is also a beginning. I can’t think about that just yet.