On the eve of departure


Tomorrow we depart for our fourth sojourn in Spain. We’ll spend a day in Lisbon on our way, and then work as quickly as we can to find an apartment before El Guapo begins teaching.

Our thoughts are tempted to switch entirely to working away on those things, but we’re still stuck taking care of loose ends here. Some of them are very loose, and there are so many of them!

Mostly, though, it’s all the stuff. There isn’t very much stuff that we’re taking, just what fits in a suitcase, a carry-on and a “personal item” apiece. But then there’s all the other stuff that we’re packing up to prepare the house for someone else living here.

Each time I’ve moved in the past (during our first eight years of marriage we had eight addresses) I have reached a point sometime during the process that I have hated my stuff. That is the point where we currently sit. I’m thinking about millstones, remembering Jesus using the image of a millstone around someone’s neck.


And I’m thinking, too, about the trash gatherers we’ve seen on each of our visits to Istanbul–guys collecting enormous quantities of what I assume are things they can recycle for cash, crammed into giant bags that have some sort of wheels attached. It’s a remarkable sight.


Whenever I go into a different room I confront some pile of stuff I haven’t yet packed away, and I think about the weight of a millstone, or what it must be like to try to drag a bag big enough to fit eight or ten people inside.

Of course it’s not that bad–we’ll get it done, and then we’ll get on a plane. And I’ll vow to work harder at de-cluttering so it won’t be such an onerous task next time. I’ll just have to be wary of other pressing concerns threatening to bury my good intentions. That has been known to happen before….

[Images: theluggagelady.com, Craig Wilkinson at Flickr, El Guapo]


2 thoughts on “On the eve of departure

    • Our first view of Lisbon was grey and chilly, but in fact later the sky lightened, though it didn’t really get sunny. But today in Valencia we do have sunshine, and we’re in our old neighborhood at an AirBnB, and in some ways it feels like we never left. Now for the apartment hunt!

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