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A Post from the Road

August 31st, 2006

Well, it has been an eventful week – not much related to our move, though. But I will try and find a connection. I am writing this from California, where we are visiting my son Michael, who is a student there. We flew out and we will be driving his car back to Missouri to get it inspected and licensed, he is flying in next week and driving it back. When he comes home, it will be his last chance to go through the house and rescue what he wants before we sell it all. And that is the segue, I guess – we ARE selling pretty much everything.

We agonized over what to do, at least I did – try and move things down there, put everything in storage or sell it all. My son and I are more attached to “things” than my husband – he has always been into selling it all. It was harder for me to reach that conclusion, but what made me decide was a concert, of all things. We saw Jesse Colin Young last Fall – a singer/songwriter from the 60’s and 70’s – used to be in the Youngbloods and one of his most famous songs is “Ridgetop”, an amazingly beautiful song about his home up on a ridge in northern California. It still ranks as one of my most favorite songs, ever.

Well, a number of years ago the Ridgetop house burned in a wildfire and Jesse lost everything, including his studio and his master recordings. As he was talking about it at the concert, he said “The worst thing that ever happened to me was the Ridgetop house burned and I lost everything”. Then after a dramatic pause, he said, “but the best thing that ever happened to me was the Ridgetop house burned and I lost everything”. He then talked about what is really important in life and of course, started singing “Ridgetop”. It was quite moving for me – first because I never thought I would hear that song live and second, because I realized that selling all our stuff would be ok. Of course, Jesse now lives in Hawaii and sells his own brand of Kona coffee for $20/pound, so it worked out well for him, too : )

We are putting a minimum amount of things in storage – stuff I just cannot bear to part with. Pictures, of course, and artwork, and assorted little items that have an emotional attachment – gifts, primarily. We don’t have a lot of family objects anyway, so the sentimentality is pretty much of my own making. The vast majority of what we have is old – I love antiques, but they are not high end antiques, just comfortable things that brought me pleasure. Heck, even our refrigerator is almost an antique, I bought it before my son was born – it is almost 25 years old! So I will finally get a new fridge in Costa Rica – THAT is exciting : ) We have already taken a load of some things to a St. Louis auction house, and are in the process of packing up the rest of the stuff – waiting for Michael to decide what he wants before we send everything else saleable to the local auction house. Clothes – and do we have clothes! are being culled to the bare minimum and the rest will be donated to a local charity. Books, what Michael does not take, also will be distributed amongst charities and friends. That will be a hard one for me – I am a reader and have emotional attachments to books as much as I do anything. But it is freeing, too! I wonder how much I will miss or if I will even miss any of it? And I guess that will be a blog post down the road…me whining about what I miss : )

2 Responses to “A Post from the Road”

  1. Mark Reinhold on August 31, 2006 11:19 pm

    I am reading this, and I am thinking about life. My father was from St Louis, and I visited there several times.

    I too lost almost all my old family stuff in 91 for several reasons.

    We were going to Costa Rica, but are now thinking that today Panama, near David, it would be better for several reasons.

    But bottem line, the US is not a place for retired people to live anymore. After 30 years as a CPA, I am redy to move to Central America, and My wife is ready too

    Thank you for sharing this, since it has me thinking about the past, St. Louis, Seal Beach, Ca and the Bay Area, CA.

    But I am still very readmy to move south for a lot of reasons.

    Keep posting here

  2. Nora on September 4, 2006 9:01 am

    Thank you for reading, Mark! Moving is making me think about my life, too. And I hope I can make it informative for others thinking about a move as well..

    Best, Nora