Monday, July 12, 2010

Slimming Down

Well, not my body, but we are definitely a bit lighter in household goods. We took our grill and rain barrel over to our friends the Schroeders, who have just moved a street away and needed both things. This weekend, our friend Allison bought Joe's car and drove it away on Sunday afternoon. The garage looks strange with only my old Corolla, and I am now the official driver of the family. Yes, Joe knows how to drive a stick, but my car is a bit crochety in its old age and I know how to baby it. We also sold our push mower on Craigslist, and I took my wedding dress to the Salvation Army when I noticed several stains on the skirt. Maybe someone else has time to play with laundry magic!

I took a preliminary stab at packing my suitcases this week and met with surprising success, so maybe it won't be so hard to get everything there. We also talked to a school colleague who taught for a year outside of Beijing and she had both good and bad news. On the con side, she strongly suggested bringing all our hygiene products with us; soap, shampoo, even toothpaste. She says the products in China are just too harsh for us delicate Americans. However, she also said that we can ship things in personal boxes and they will get through customs without a hitch. She was less enthusiastic about direct Amazon shipping, though of course the company assures me that they ship to China all the time (but they couldn't tell me about customs). We figure we'll pack a box with some less important items, ship it off before we leave, and see if it makes it to Shanghai via the good old USPS.

The rest of the packing is rather slow, but we are trying to do a little bit every day. We found a wonderful local handyman who laid our flagstone patio in our backyard (see my first photo upload?), freeing us up to take a video production class through our former school district. We are learning all sorts of useful things and have great ideas for videos we could do at our new school. Jack will be moving out next weekend when we go to Phoenix for our farewell parties there, and that will certainly be tough, but I've probably waited too long already. My mother has scheduled her knee surgery for the day before we leave, and that will make for a very exciting week for my sister Rhonda, who will then have four dogs and two people needing a little extra care, not to mention her full-time job! I guess if I get grumpy about things on my to-do list, I can just think of her. Thanks, Rhonda!

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