So, with photos from my archives (as I am still without a camera), of corners of our home, I will start with what is most currant for us here in the Milkmoon household: you may recall this post about our looming Leave-Taking.
But I have questions. For example, how does one begin to pack up a house? Accumulated belongings of more than sixteen years, times six people.... Let's just say I am somewhat overwhelmed by it.
Where does one start? Is there a system to it? We've never had to do it before. The last time we moved, we had a two roomed apartment, no furniture, and just ourselves and a four month old baby to pack up. It all fit into the back of a car.
We have become extremely adept at finding excuses to not do it. It's not that we don't want to move, although there is a reluctance to leave this beautiful place, of course, but it's more just the sheer enormity of this mountain we have to climb to get ourselves to the other side of it.
We are hoarders, of sorts, the waste-not-want-not kind of hoarders, the rainy-day kind, and while Jay would deny he is one in any way, I admit I am the worst of them. For example, what constitutes my 'studio' is a haphazard mountain of shoe-boxes, jars, bags, curvers, baskets, all stuffed with bits of fabric, ribbons, buttons, threads, haberdashery of all kinds, as well as postcards, photos, magazine cuttings, letters, and teetering piles of books... you get the picture. And four children means an accumulation of toys, partly because I have a penchant for antique/old-school toys, which are impossible to get rid of, right?
And books, oh my, the books. One of the things I valued most, growing up, was my Dad's extensive library, which I truly discovered in my late teens, early twenties, when I read as many classics as were there, poetry, plays, biographies, you name it. It truly was a significant part of my education, one which had a bigger impact on the adult I was to become than any other singular element. And so, without being conscious of it, I have since spent my adult years building a Library Of Significance for my own children. Add to that the fact that when we moved into this house the bookshelves were already full, full I tell you, of someone else's, very long, life's collection! I cannot begin to estimate just how many books we have, but I can say it runs to the thousands, with bags and bags of them stuffed into cupboards too. So you can imagine, can't you, the task in that department alone. Clearly I can't bring them all, so there will have to be a culling, won't there, something I am dreading.
I also love teacups, and saucers, and teapots, and jugs, and I adore antique furniture, the bigger the better, I hold on to clothes that one lad grows out of, so the next lad can wear them, even though there is three - five years age difference between them, baskets and cupboards full of every kind of art and craft materials for the children, oh I could go on...the list is random and endless.
Now don't get me wrong, I am actually really looking forward to a new, simplified, pared (a bit, anyway) back, beginning in our new house, which no, we have not found yet, but are now wholeheartedly looking for.
However, first we have to get through the dismantling, sorting, packing, moving, bit. And that's after making a decision on whether or not to go after a house that ticks some very important boxes, but does not tick other very important ones. Is it possible to get everything you want when house hunting? We did last time. Literally. To such fine detail it would give you goosebumps and instant Faith In The Universe. And I want with all my heart to believe we can do it again, because to us our home is not just bricks and mortar, it is a beloved part of the family, and therefore must be something we can love. Oh! the responsibility! the expectations! the enormity! of it all. Plus the fact that there are now six of us, all with different needs and desires and hopes.
It's a very fine juggling act we are now involved in, and I hope we get it right.