Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Packing Grind

These are not, I fear the days of great blog posts but bear with me as I have to use the material I have to hand and these days it's all about choice. Does it come with us? Do we store it in the locker in Miami for future use? Do we sell it? Do we toss it? These are not thirty days that shook the world, but I will tell you this need for continuous unending decision-making gives you a taste for how much of our normal lives we live on autopilot. I took a break to read Bad Land by Jonathan Raban. I read his book Coasting years ago when I lived on my boat in Santa Cruz and absorbed sailing by proxy. Webb Chiles recommended Bad Land when I talked of crossing that part of the country to drive to Alaska. The lives of English √©migr√© would-be farmers is stark and a fascinating review of the immigrant fables as told as part of the myth of westward migration.
Unfortunately it doesn't take Layne long to finish her project and we're back at it. A complete set of pots and pans to be photographed for instance, is the next chore. She posts them on Facebook. On Sunday she sold our outdoor furniture to a man with an SUV who hauled away what was in effect our dining room in two trips. Our first Instapot is sold. The utility trailer used to haul motorcycles is sold. On and on the list goes. My preferred method would be to get a dumpster delivered and toss everything off the balcony. But I would be wrong; I think we might have made enough to keep us in Mexico for three months this winter so there's proof positive I'm an idiot. An impatient idiot.
We bundled our winter clothes and packed them alongside proper walking boots in a space not instantly accessible under the bed. The idea is when we reach frigid regions we will pull out knit caps, scarves, long underwear and heavy socks to deal with the cold, but until then we shall exist in an optimistic Spring of not too heavy clothes until the weather tells us, by force, we are no longer in the Keys.
My other clothes, and I do own some long pants by the way, are reduced to four bags which required some decision making. Do you want this or that...? I am the despair of the fashion conscious.
Happily the bags fit in the overhead bins on my side of the back of the van. The two bins on my side are smaller because the original dimensions mean I couldn't sit up so we went back to Custom Coach Creations in Deland for a re-do, and they rebuilt the boxes a little smaller so my seated frame will fit underneath without giving me a headache. $600 well spent. The little green patch masks the join where the liner was cut behind the old bins. They do a nice job in Deland.
As we demolish the house we practice storage for the van. Luckily we took the time to vacation last year in Michigan and those experiences gave us a chance to test ideas we had. Layne has been revamping her pantry as a result. And I am carrying boxes of spices and sauces up and down the stairs. One important thing for us to remember, and we sometimes forget, is that unlike sailing we will be traveling this time right past supermarkets and all manner of stores as we go, and we have to curb our tendency to picture ourselves away from stuff and thus overthink what we need to carry all the time. 
We pause too in the business of cleaning up when we come across certain stuff, including my old travel wallet (now for sale) with a strange assortment of small bills from Albania, Bosnia, Croatia and Nicaragua. Completely random. Layne says we may well use them and they have gone in the foreign currency drawer, wherever that is. I think it may be a few years before we get to spend two hundred Leks again but I certainly wouldn't mind driving Gannet2 through Albania and seeing what has changed since last time. 
But first we have to pack.


Flora said...

Not to worry. I, for one, still enjoy your blog posts even as you despair of them being mundane and (gasp) boring. I find each post is akin to me sitting in a lawn chair with my feet up and a sweet tea in hand, watching your cleaning and packing endeavors while you chat away. It's entertaining. I don't have to lift a finger to enjoy the show while you do all the work.

Kudos to your wife for taking the effort and time to sell what you no longer need. Like you, I'd rather just order in a dumpster and toss stuff to be rid of it. More worthy stuff I would cart to a thrift store and let them deal with selling it.

MyamuhNative said...

Layne is my hero!
I tend to donate or find homes as best I can for my unwanted stuff.

As is usual, your post was the first click for me this morning.
I have coffee with you every morning and have from the beginning of your blogging.
I've been wondering about your internet options on the road ahead.
I found a Facebook (ugh!) page a while back , Internet for RVers or something like that that recommended having two phone carriers for internet options while traveling. I didn't join their paid library but the free portion helped with my internet connection question. I imagine Layne has already found these folks, but just in case....
Also, I follow a couple that is sailing a Cat around the world after spending four years RVing. Despite being the dreaded " influencers" I find them interesting. They use Surfshark as a vpn. Its a workaround for internet problems while outside of the US. Seems pretty interesting. Btw they are Gone with the Wynns.
Anyway, I'm hoping to follow your adventures as long as you are willing to share them!

Dave said...

I know the feeling but Im sure you two will fare well. Although you always could purchase a little cargo trailer (Gannett III) And drag that around until you eventually get rid of your stuff! Ok not a good idea! Im very happy for you both. New adventures await!

Conchscooter said...

For Internet we bought a Verizon JetPack with several hotspots available at once. We considered splitting our phones with one served by AT&T but Layne. found the service plans so restrictive we said screw and stuck with Verison. I don't have details but she went around looking grumpy for a day so Verizon it is.
I actually tried Surfshark and could not make it work. I wanted to listen to BBC podcasts for British listeners only so I figured here was my way. Never did get it to work. My fault probably and if I get desperate I will have to try again.
I'll tell you this about a. trailer...we started out thinking we'd have a cargo box on a hitch at the back or even the front of the van. Herself nixed that, she knows the advantages of traveling light, of being able to park on car spaces, and keeping things our of sight on the road so we nixed the cargo box.
Anyway I'm glad this unraveling is worth reading so I shall keep at it. From my laptop at home. Thats a nice change.

Anonymous said...

I keep thinking that someday I will downsize and move to the beach; your packing posts give me hope. But I'll need to find someone like Layne to sell some stuff for me (otherwise it goes to the thrift store that supports the local animal shelters).

Conchscooter said...

Start by throwing away the crap. The stuff you are keeping for someday.
I hate selling stuff but if she weren’t here the throw away rate would be
enormous. A yard sale will get rid of the last of the sales le stuff.
We have a date in two weeks with the Salvation Army coming by to pick out what they can
Use. After that it’s the dump.
It’s easier than you think after you start but the physical work is tough.

Shawn Stanley said...

Great news about Layne's diagnosis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SonjaM said...

Oh, this reminds me of the weeks, no make that months before our immigration to Canada. We desided to travel small, and sold, donated or tossed almost everything. We had left some boxes "to wait for our return". Well... meanwhile they are gone, too. It's a good feeling to let stuff go. I'd do it again in an instant, well... we rather did it again after we moved back to Germany and moved twice since ;-)

Enjoy your freedom to roam!