Friday, November 27, 2015

From home to the trunk of our car

It was a tight fit but almost everything squeezed into the Honda this morning. 
The keys were left on the kitchen window sill and we closed the front door for the last time, 
ending an important 24 year chapter in our lives.

Our final stop before leaving town was at Java Jive 
for morning coffee and many goodbye hugs.

Miranda and Hunter joined us as we were leaving.

It was an easy, uneventful and quiet drive down the Coq to my sister's house in Burnaby. 
We were quite reflective along the way, processing the busy events of this past month.
Strangely, it felt much the same as past years when we have left the cold
to visit warmer sites for a few months.
I suspect that our jolt of reality will be when we face 
a"homeless" state after travels end next year!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The day before departure day

Another busy day as we finished cleanup at the house and delivered more stuff to the Thrift store and ran around with several hundred other things. Finally, with everything done, we took a walk around downtown and stopped for a relaxing afternoon tea break.

On our return to the Hotel at 3:00pm we discovered this character waiting on our bed.
He had borrowed John's glasses!

After a much needed rest we joined Brian and Diana for dinner at Andiamo. Joyce Lank provided beautiful piano music while we shared a delicious meal. It is so hard to say goodbye to good friends so we just agreed to see each other in 2016.

Tomorrow morning we'll load the car and head south.
There are many emotions at play this week! 
Haven't figured it out yet.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Time to rest!

The movers arrived at 7:10am and everything was locked in the storage unit by 10:00am...around 45 boxes and other stuff. We are exhausted...probably a combination of emotional and physical fatigue.

Before they arrived

After they left.

Tomorrow is another cleaning, vacuuming
before locking the door for the last time in 24 1/2 years.

View from our room at the Prestige Hotel.
We were upgraded to a balcony room....Hah!
Not much chance that we'll sit outside on the chaise lounge!
Happy to have some adjustment & relaxation time.

Monday, November 23, 2015

...still snowing

Made it out for lunch and back up the hill successfully. The plough just cleared the road and spread sand. Yeah! Expecting another 5-10cm of the white stuff tonight. Lois donated a lovely bottle of red wine to the weary packers. Many thanks!

Decided to leave a few of our chimes and hangings for the new owners.
They will provide some colour and music to their winter days!


I knew that everything was going too smoothly. Mother Nature had to interfere and drop a white blanket on our lives. Snow boots went to the Thrift store last week, snow grippers went to a friend on the weekend, shovels are neatly stacked in the shed!

We made it down the hill uneventfully, carried on to our appointment and successfully completed the search for "another box". Coming back up the hill presented another problem that I was not able to solve so John took the wheel and fishtailed the vehicle into the carport. Not sure when the plough will reach us after doing the main roads but we have other appointments this afternoon. Updates to follow.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


I managed to get a lot done today in the absence of my sweet man. He visited the gym and then spent two hours with a hospice client while I tackled the packing agenda again. It was a good day for both of us. Around 4:30pm we took some groceries over to our neighbour and shared homemade wine with wild stories of our experiences over the past two weeks. Returning to the house we discovered more "unpacked" items hanging on the back deck in the form of chimes and lovely glass hangings!

Entering the kitchen John also discovered three large bowls nestled on a shelf above the fridge! Yikes! At my height I didn't notice them! How many boxes will I need to complete this move?! I still haven't found the appropriate sized box for two pieces of glass that serve as night tables on top of large baskets on either side of our bed.

The freezer is empty...moved over to our neighbour's deep freeze so I will be able to clean the entire fridge-freezer tomorrow. All of the kitchen cupboards and drawers are empty. Closets are almost empty! Important reminder to other movers: keep the hangers!...that required another box!

There are now three fully packed suitcases...two for Mexico/Greece and one for Vancouver as well as a bag of meds, camera equipment and computers, European hairdryer and cell phone, baggies of various currencies, money belts, books, pens, shampoo, toothbrushes & paste, lotions, bug spray, jewelry, gifts, Xmas cards, writing books, art supplies, address/tel  book, etc. What to do with all the other clothes?...oh, right!...more boxes!!! And...don't forget to pack the phones and TV remote!!

OMG...just spotted the CD's!!!!!

Friday, November 20, 2015

..a little weird!'s starting to feel a little weird! Maybe too much has gone too soon? The couches went to a new home in Barriere today and the kitchen table & chairs also slid out the door along with hundreds of dollars worth of tools, nuts, bolts, nails and various other unrecognizable hardware stuff.

We pledged the two remaining beds to Adrian's friend with the promise that they would be picked up next Wednesday afternoon. So, we still have a bed to sleep in for the next 5 nights, a dining room table to share meals on, two chairs and a TV for entertainment, a BOSe for musical background in this emptying shell.

Around every corner I discover something else that needs to be packed. The Roxi Hermsen clay piece in the bathroom was hiding until today! Finding the right sized box for odd items is a challenge. Example: do we donate the paper shredder or do we search for yet another box? Do we need all those cushions? What will I do with my 25 foot long knitted root?

Also, when is it appropriate to pack up the dishes, utensils, pots, pans and refuse to cook another meal? Should there be a feeling of ceremony around "The Last Supper"? What about the freezer food? Can I use the plums to make a dessert cobbler for the next five nights? Do I want to?

The moving company called yesterday to get an inventory from us in order to prepare the movers. The response was "WHAT? That's all you have?" As long as I don't find anymore hidden things, our remaining possessions should fit in the 8' x 10' storage unit.

Yesterday the community benefitted from donations of crutches to the Red Cross, old towels and blankets to SPCA, outdated meds to the pharmacy, clothes to Mental Health thrift store and a full carload to Churches thrift store. We love the feeling of releasing all this stuff  but the adjustment to an emptying house with blank walls is a little disconcerting! Maybe that's why John has gone for a nap!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

purge...early and often!

Our lives are disappearing in the form of objects and furniture leaving the house. Some things will be rediscovered when our boxes emerge from storage at a future date. Others will be gone forever, hopefully to create pleasure for new owners.

Many personal items were accumulated over our combined 150 years in this world. Still more were inherited from our parents and grandparents. It is a challenge to release precious items into unknown hands. Although we understand that "it is just stuff"... there is still an emotional attachment.

Yesterday I watched three young men load my drafting/art table into the back of a truck. That table had been with me for 40 years. In the past it provided support for my graphic design business. Its surface held and supported the creation of my attempts in the art world on its steel frame over four decades. One of the young men who loaded it into the truck turned to me and asked "Are you an artist?" I nodded and he told me that he was an oil painter about to open a small studio in town. That was when I knew that my art table was going to the right home.

If I could share any advice or wisdom from this exercise it would be to "start purging early and often"! I know many people in their 80's who have not taken the time to reduce their household collection or have not wanted to tackle the challenge. Maybe they don't want to face the thought that we will all leave our earthly existence at some point. That is a guarantee! Releasing our possessions  doesn't get easier as we advance in age but we should not leave the task to our children or others. That just isn't fair!

So, as our possessions walk out the door...heading toward thrift shops, landfill and other homes...I rejoice and look forward to being free of the weight that accompanies the burden of "stuff".

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Brunch at The Hive in Canoe
and a sunny walk on the wharf
before Adrian boarded a Greyhound
for the trip back to Vancouver.

It was great to have his help!
Now it's back to the packing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What do we do with...

The purging, packing and emptying was going really well
until we counted the artwork...only the 2 dimensional pieces!
What do we do with 114 pieces of artwork?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Weekend "purging" crew

Got a lot done...
...still a lot to do!

The weekend "purging" crew.
Thank you...thank you...thank you!!
Adrian is staying to help with removal of larger obstacles.

The last cooked breakfast at 630-9th Street S.E....
fritatta, potato-bacon hash, fried green tomatoes (from Marg's garden)
and toast with homemade jams!....Yummmh!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Help arrived!

Heather, Chris and Augie arrived last night to help with the purging, packing and disposing of our accumulated treasures. Two loads to the landfill, two runs to the recycling depot and seven boxes to two thrift stores. Whew!! All accomplished before 1:30pm.

After lunch we visited the Art Gallery so that Augie could nestle in the knitted tree roots.

And then it was nap time for Papa!

Thursday, November 5, 2015


The waiting is over.
Our home will move into other hands
on November 28th.

It has been a challenging eight months with 46 showings. Each time we vacuumed, cleaned and attempted to present our home in the best light possible to complete strangers with the hope that someone would love it the way we have for over 24 years. There were glitches and stumbling blocks along the way. We discovered (through a survey at the cost of $900) that our back deck encroached on City land by 28 inches. We considered reducing the size of the deck. That would have cost an estimated $5000. The City would not give us an easement. Finally, after much discussion, we decided to leave it. A buyer could decide to reduce the size if or when it was necessary...probably never. Our road is not located where it should be...actually it isn't even shown on City maps! The likelihood of the road being moved is extremely unlikely. It's been in place for at least 35 years.

So, the future will be a new adventure. We have no idea where we will relocate. We will be homeless over the next few months while visiting Mexico and Europe. Eventually a decision will be made and a new home created. Keep posted!

Monday, November 2, 2015


and not knowing...
is so hard!

Sunday, November 1, 2015


On our walk this morning we spotted the first snow of the season on the Fly Hills.
Winter isn't far behind!