Transformed: -1 house, +2 suitcases

I am grateful that our packing is as uncomplicated as it is, but it still takes me several days to organize all the things I want to take to the next stop as we try and get back into two suitcases mode. After eight months in one house, the nooks and crannies have started to fill with “stuff,” and paring down is not my favorite activity.

The studio is the area I pack first. Sorting my materials, findings, finished pieces of jewelry, and tools before I pack anything else, makes it easier to unpack at the next stop. We accumulated a surprising quantity of sea glass over the months, and we’ll deal with that, too.

My tables full of materials and projects condensed into two small boxes, a bag of tools and two packets of findings.

Rather than throw our beach-combing treasures and extra beach glass straight into the ocean, we took it back to the beach and built a little shrine on the low tide line. We hope the waves will wash it all back into the ocean and that other people will have a chance to find some of these interesting things once again.

Once my projects have been packed, I move on to the house. We have purchased household goods that we won’t use after this stop. Fortunately, our daughters expressed interest in adopting most of our unneeded items. Also helpful, Lily and Neil will be coming west to pick up our car and drive it to Champaign, IL. That will let them take a box or two of our things back to the midwest, where I’ll be able to sort them again and swap a few things before we leave for Peru for the winter.

Piles in the living room became piles of boxes in the car. Crammed in were a dozen plants. I enjoyed growing herbs and sprouting succulents, and am delighted that Amanda is willing to add them to her own collection.

Once we dropped off the carload of “gifts” at Lyra’s, to be picked up/dropped off to the other sisters at a later time, we had the rest of the house to pack. This interim phase is the biggest mess, when everything is out waiting to be put in boxes, and nothing is in its final location. Not to worry, 48 hours later everything was packed.

I completed restoring the upstairs to its arrival-date condition, minus the linens that are now in the closet.

Finally, on the day we left, I took photos of the entire house just in case any issues arise after we leave. California has lots of protections for renters, and I’m confident we’ll get our deposit returned minus the cleaning fee. (We were happy to let someone else take care of the final cleaning.) I always take photos, both to remember the house and just in case.

During our stay, we rearranged the living area so that the most comfortable seating was in front of the TV, rather than in front of the fireplace. We switched the dining table for a table that was intended as a desk, because the “desk” was larger. It all worked very well, and we easily rearranged everything before we left. This was a comfortable house that we’ll remember fondly as the place we rode out most of the pandemic.

Last but not least, a few photos that didn’t fit any particular theme.

Clockwise from upper left: Neighborly buck stops by to look in the window and say goodbye; Carmel Mission with my favorite bird-of-paradise flowers; “boot” of charred wood, Sand City beach; Flowers along Malpaso Creek trail; Jellyfish, Monterey Coast Guard pier; Historic Casa Soberanes garden path lined with old bottles; Cormorants and a sea lion in Monterey Bay;


Published by winifredcreamer

I am a retired archaeologist and I like to travel, especially to places where you can walk along the shore or watch birds. My husband Jonathan and I travel for more than half the year every year, seeing all the places that we haven't gotten to yet.

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