Martin and I have started the "what will we bring to Poland" discussion about 657 times. We have three working categories that we can fit just about everything into...
1st category: To take with us from day 1
- clothes/shoes/jewelry/personal daily necessities
- toys, small ones to tie us over
- few personal items like photos and knick knacks (i hate knick knacks so this will be like 2 things just to make wherever we live, until our final destination, feel more like home)
- school stuff for the kids
-few carefully chosen books for myself and the kids
- some newborn/baby items just in case...
- one wall hanging that has been with me since I was 17 and has sentimental value for both of us, it goes where we go
- children's baby books/keepsakes... might as well, if we have the space
2nd category: things to go into storage until our house in Poland is finished
- wall hangings we want to keep
- extra kids clothes we may need again someday
- perhaps 2 or 3 pieces of small furniture that are sentimental ( although I cant see moving any real furniture to Poland, just not worth it)
- books! so many books from college, especially Theology books which I can't part with
- keepsakes items like my great-grandmothers serving dish and baby blanket, my wedding dress, etc.
I see this category being about 4-6 boxes of stuff we will have to have shipped in a couple years once our house is finished and I have a place to put it all.
3rd category: everything else to give away or throw away...this is a hard category. Do we give away all our stuff? Furniture, T.V. appliances? What happens if we can't stay in Poland for some reason? Do we give it all away with the condition that we get it back if we come back? (obviously I'm not hunting down strangers for this but maybe family?)
It's tough... but our plan right now is to prepare as we mean to go on... get rid of it!
-T.V./ Blue Ray Player
-Furniture- all of it!
-Appliances/ anything with a cord like curling iron...
- large toys like the bouncy horse and wooden armadillo, maybe wooden blocks
- dishes- all of them
- all my cloth diapers...sigh...
We pretty much live in an IKEA show room. Someone out there is going to score big when we leave. Big.
I know some people might have a hard time parting with their personal items, their home decor, their favorite juicer ( it will be hard to part with this, and my hair dryer which I have yet to find a suitable replacement for in America, let alone Poland).
There have been items over the years that have been destroyed or lost that I had an attachment to.. But as I get older, I just don't care as much. Partly because we bought all our furniture when we got married knowing that we would have to part with it in 5-7 years so we didn't spend too much money and it's not that nice of furniture and partly because most of our stuff is baby stuff, and one day there will not be babies to use it and I would have to part with it then anyway. But mostly because all of it is just stuff. Stuff. Not people. I figure if I can so willingly give up the great state of Texas, I really can't be too quick to shed a tear over an Ektorp couch that we can easily replace in Poland at any of the many 2 story IKEAs that exist there...I'm not scurred.
And no, I am not made of steel, and God didn't forget to give me a four chambered muscle that pumps blood. I will probably shed a tear or two as I return my children's crib and rocking chair to my aunt or pass it on to family. And I will definitely have a hard time handing over the kids bouncy horse that was a gift to Hejjo when Felix was born. I will want to keep far too many baby blankets, and my grandpa's desk which I used in high school that now houses all of Hejjo's very special collections. I will watch these things leave our lives with a bit of a sad sigh and a wistful thought or two of "if we stayed we could keep all of it..."... Get behind me evil one!
I do plan on doing somethign cheesy like cutting scraps out of the cloth diapers and maybe a few of the other cloth items we aren't taking, in hopes that some day I actually get around to making a quilt out of it. People do this all the time, and I want to do it anyway, so it's a great excuse.
But, it's just stuff. It's not life. And we have our lives, and we have our future, and well, some of this stuff is just not going to be a part of it.
But, I will confess, there are two things that I will be keeping no matter what. Martin thinks I'm silly, in fact I think his exact words were something like, "out of all the stuff we have, THAT is what you want to keep?"
The first is the "bunny chair." Falling apart-vibrations no longer working- stained with poop and coffee drips- broken toy bar- bunny chair. It's the "bunny chair", it is as much a part of our lives as , as , well, I don't know, as your pillow, or your favorite ratty pair of house shoes, or your old robe or something. It's put in a lot of time for this family, soothed a lot of babies, given my arms much needed rest from time and time again...it's done it's part...I just can't let it go to the dump. Martin says "maybe we can take it if we have extra room." Oh, there will be extra room, gosh darn it, there will be extra room.
I don't have any pictures of Lina sitting in the bunny chair. Can you believe that? I know she did... but I can't find any... so here is an extra gratuitous picture of a cute baby not sitting in the bunny chair but in the bumbo (which I could care less about)!
The second is our changing table.
And I don't even want to hear how impractical it is to want to take the changing table *of all things*. I realize that it is huge, really cheaply made and not important or even necessary to life. I realize all of this. BUT, Martin made it himself right before Hejjo was born. It is pure practicality, it is the perfect height and depth. It has two plastic bins which sit perfectly underneath (per my design!) to house all my cloth diapers and necessary baby diapering stuff. It's perfection in a changing table. I want it to come with us. Martin has said "absolutely not." All I'm saying, is don't be surprised when it ends up mysteriously assembled and in place as a convenient planting station on our screened in porch at our future home. That's all I'm sayin'.
I *just* took this picture...look at that thing, sitting there, being awesome.
I don't know folks. A big chunk of our lives we spend surrounded by "stuff" and some of it just has a special place in our heart, for whatever reason. Other stuff we would gladly toss out today if only our family's would let us.
If you had to part with most of your stuff for good, and start all over, what would *you* keep, no matter how impractical?