Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag
And smile, smile, smile.
Don’t let your joy and laughter hit a snag
Smile boys, that’s the style
What’s the use of worrying
It never was worth while
So, pack up your troubles in your old kit bag
And smile, smile, smile.
Last week, was Thanksgiving and the closing on the first house we have ever owned. The week before that family came from all over to celebrate my husband’s retirement after 45 years in the ministry, so finally we have begun to pack in earnest. Perhaps with a little luck, we will actually even finish before the moving van pulls away from the manse.
Doug used to have a nightmare that recurred on Saturday nights that he would get to the pulpit on Sunday and wouldn’t have done or would have lost his sermon. Occasionally, it was that he had forgotten his pants and hoped no one would notice since he was wearing his minister’s robe! (Believe me, they would have!)
My latest nightmare is that the moving truck is pulling up and nothing is packed…or we are only half-packed. (Great motivation to get up in the morning and pack like a fiend!)
We moved to Edenton just a little more than 9 years ago, so how could I forget how awful packing really is? The only good news is that I no longer feel the need to exercise. Bending, lifting, and toting boxes of books, kitchen items, china, paintings, and miscellaneous do-dads are aerobic enough! I went to the doctor today and I had lost 4 lbs!
And as for reading and pretty much writing (except for a break in the evening before bed), my mental challenges right now are about how to encircle precious breakables with bubble wrap and get them in a box well enough that they are not reduced to shards of glass when they arrive at our new home…some so precious we are transporting them ourselves, just to be sure!
We came here from a house we’d lived in for 28 years. I thought we had really gotten rid of so many things then, but a few have hung on. The largest hanger ons in our lives have always been books. Doug got rid of many when we moved, but we still moved 100 boxes to Edenton. Thankfully, our Clerk of Session was a librarian, and he and another church member turned an unused room at church into a library for Doug – with wonderful hardwood book shelves. More thankfully still, while again Doug has given many professional books away to some young men about to go off to seminary, the church offered to keep Doug’s library and grant him visiting privileges!
But we have collected quite a lot of books at old bookstores in Cape Cod over the years, Journeys Through Bookland, old Harvard Classics, Collected works of Dickens and Shakespeare, American Heritage editions of most of the great must-read classics of English and American literature, 5 large bookcases full. So, while our paperbacks will go to the used book store, plenty will still go to our new home!
The hardest things to weed through are what my grandmother called cacko (chat-sko) or cacki (chat-ski), the little mementoes that connect to memories of people and places I have loved. I pick up a piece and before I can weigh out if it should stay or go I am off on a walk down memory lane, making it really hard to let any go. Hardest of all for me are items from my childhood, things that started as my mother’s treasures.
Even the twins suffered from this dilemma when I asked them to sort through the toys I began collecting when they were babies….they got very sentimental about quite a lot of them…and we kept all of those…a whole bin, in fact.
So long story short, this has to be a short post since I need to get back to work! Not much time for nostalgia or blogging. As quick as I can, I need to get back to sorting the real treasures from the “send to the Habitat for Humanity Restore” items, and still get as much packed into the old kit bag as possible.
Now, if I only I could decide if the hand-cranked beater my mom always used to make whipped cream has to come with me to the new house…such an odd little treasure. When I was a child we would take turns cranking and cranking the handle, listening to the crazy metallic whirring, competing to see who could turn it the fastest until we bent the handle , and…savoring the strawberry shortcake all the more for the work….
….what do you think…maybe there’s just a little more room in our kit bag for memories and a few more smiles?