Week Two Construction and Downsizing Update

Week Two Construction and Downsizing Update

I think there is an inverse correlation between the frequency of blogging and how busy someone is. The silence here should be indicative how exactly how insane the last week was for the both of us. However, as far as making progress on our dreams, this was the best week yet.

We started off at a fairly calm pace. Mark and I did a large quantity of tree pruning, replaced one wall of paneling on the old detached garage and finished getting the porch squared up and ready to go. Grace continued getting ready for our estate sale which was scheduled for this last Saturday.

My house painter, the excellent Kevin Jefcoat (if you are looking for someone), got us squeezed into his tight schedule and started making great progress on the house exterior. We were also able to get a yard crew in to do some serious rehabbing on the yard, long neglected by yours truly.

It wasn’t till Wednesday night that Grace was finally able to pound it into my thick head that we owned a lot more stuff than I ever understood. Thus began two very long days and nights of hauling, sorting, stacking and pricing.

It has been less than a year since our last garage sale and I had thought we had already made a lot of progress. This time around has taught me a bit about my personality that I really am not fond of. I’ve spent an enormous portion of my life collecting an incredible amount of what could be politely described as detritus and more accurately be termed as crap.

Some of this is your standard consumerism stuff but a lot of it is my obsession with old oddities. In this group, there are true oddities such as weird balances for measuring the specific density of substances, fossils dug up on childhood camping trips and WW I trench lighters. But, there were many more perceived rarities which turn out to be anything but. One example was an extremely beat up old copy True to the Old Flag, by G.A. Henry, a history of the American Revolution from the British point of view. Turns out this book is well known, has never gone out of print and is available in any number of formats.

No matter what, I think it will be extremely important for me to put my “Ooh, that’s odd” and “Ooh, that could be useful someday” natural attitude to acquisition in check if I’m ever going to make living in 200 square feet really work.

However, this first extremely large pass at downsizing went well, if at a frenetic pace. We were able to get the vast majority of stuff ready to go for the sale. Even better, we were able to sell a huge quantity of it in a massive one day sale that started at 4:00 AM. I owe an especial level of gratitude to the many old and new friends that made an effort to come by and pick up a few items!

By the end of the day, we were more exhausted than I can remember, but felt extremely satisfied that so much progress has been made towards this big change in our lives. Grace commented today that the emptier house is her first indication that this is really going to happen. I can second that motion.

Today, we were kind of forced by soreness and sleepiness to work at a much more leisurely pace. We mostly spent the day attempting to put the remaining house back into some semblance of order, assisting in the pickup of some of the larger sold items and to start boxing up the rest of the items that will be donated to charity. Of course, all we really wanted to do was to be like Opie on a nice sunny afternoon . . .

Color photo of our cat sitting in the sun.

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