Insanity for a reason

So anyway, to recap my insanity. (and we will not go into the long involved story of “The Bet”, George’s loss of same, and the lack of decision as a result of where we will live when we retire). When one bails out, leaves or otherwise separates from the military (aka US Army active duty in my case) normally you are not particularly where you are going to eventually live. Especially if that last particular location happens to be in one of the ‘Stans. As a result, the government promises to move your “stuff” one last time, normally to what is considered your home of record – the rules about which have changed multiple times over the years.

I was technically stationed in the UK, attached to the US Army HQ in Heidelberg and on loan to the Medical HQ in Afghanistan. Taking all your stuff to a combat zone is neither bright nor allowed. Besides, there is no way to carry it all to Ft Benning. Instead you have your family mail you things, order what ever you need extra off the internet and wind up facing a whole pile of belongings at the end of a tour. Gee – bit of digression there. But that is exactly what happens to most of us over the course of years.

You start out with a couch, a bed, a kitchen set and a few pots and pans. Then you add a spouse, off spring and pets. The amount dragged along increases with every move unless you are super disciplined and burn everything before packing. Our last family move was in 2001 when we relocated from Munich to Heidelberg, buying a house in the process. The Eldest was already on her own but wasn’t in a permanent location, so we had her stuff as well. We also pulled everything out of storage (some of which had been dropped there in, oh, about 1993….)

Then there were the household things moved back from the UK in 2010 prior to that last deployment, additions from the kids over the years. Consider that our house has an attic and three storage rooms and you start to see the extent of the problem.

I like books. And yarn and wool and fabric and well …. fiber related toys. George also really likes books. The kids all have stuff….and I really think that possessions either reproduce or just gather up stuff of their own.

In any case – I can move 19000 # (US, not metric) back to the US at government expense. I would be stupid not to take advantage of that. The particular shipping offer has a limited time span. I received a couple of extensions, but this year is my last chance to ship. Use it or lose it – really.

The house in Berkeley will be tenant free mid Sept. I will have the Eldest and College Guy in the Bay Area for school. Add up all that information and you can understand why I am talking about shipping. Using up weight allowance on things that need to remain here would be dumb.  Hence, the reason for the sorting and tossing.

We will start with a couple of views taken in the livingroom


the living room window sill

the living room window sill

the yarn end of the living room pile

the yarn end of the living room pile

then move to the terrace


the terrace table - (note the pile of book boxes behind)

the terrace table – (note the pile of book boxes behind)

which is reached by walking out the door by the dining room table, currently covered by things for the flea market


all the lose, extra cables...

all the lose, extra cables…

and then I started tackling the back hall

part of the back hall

part of the back hall


tomorrow I will entertain you with piles of clothes, the studio and the hall bookcases

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9 Responses to Insanity for a reason

  1. AlisonH says:

    I feel for you. After 27 years in one house I can’t even begin to imagine trying to go through everything…

  2. Linda says:

    You have my deepest empathy for having to deal with all the stuff the family has collected. I am still digging out of just moving myself into a house last month. I can’t imagine dealing with a family’s worth of stuff.

    Sending lots of courage and persistence your way!

  3. RG says:

    Good grief. Your house looks like mine! Scary, isn’t it?

  4. Carmen says:

    Oh, now that bet sounds like quite a story.

  5. Kathy says:

    You have a job ahead of you! I do not envy you at all . . .

  6. Marie says:

    I know how you feel I have been try to sort one room with my jelly knees and it has taken me all of two weeks to do this. My sanity is going fast. Brian has said no more wool.

  7. Holly says:


    Not even if I bring it as a gift?

  8. Vicki says:

    Your writing is so entertaining, enjoy reading them.

  9. Holly says:

    Trust me, it is a serious lesson in humility!

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