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What do you really need?
Old 04-18-2010, 10:43 AM   #1
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What do you really need?

Gal & I had to do a sudden trip to SoCal - flew out with 2 carry on bags and a laptop and have been in a couple motel rooms since the 25th of last month. We (she) are cooking 3 meals to supplement hospital food. Motel has a small frig & microwave, we borrowed a cooler chest and hot plate. Flew back up to Oregon last week to get my car out of airport parking and drove back the next day with a frying pan, pot, and a couple utensils. That allowed us to return the rental car.

Thing is, we've adapted pretty well to this as normal life - we have a routine of restocking ice in the cooler and cooler bag and meal prep for the next day when we get home at night and life goes on. Do miss the DVR and being able to choose a tv channel from a menu. Be good to see the cats again - they expressed a certain loneliness when i made my zoomy trip through retrieving the car. A tad more room would be nice, but the trade off is maid service . Wonder if being a delayed gratification type makes life without all the doodads more doable.

Think what i miss most is not knowing what the immediate future will bring - could be here a few more days or months - not being able to plan is very irksome.
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:03 AM   #2
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In my opinion it's one thing to do without for a few weeks or months, knowing that your stuff is safe and waiting for you back in another state, and it's another thing to have fewer things.

For example I felt pretty shaken and half disoriented during my first Hurricane Katrina evacuation, having taken nothing but two days' change of clothing and my laptop, and no car. Yet I have traveled with as little and had no problem, but then when traveling I knew all my possessions were safely waiting for me at home and this time I didn't.

So, I think I need more than two days' clothing and a laptop. I felt much better during the Hurricane Gustav evacuation, having taken my car stuffed completely full of the stuff that is on my evacuation list. So, for me I would say the stuff I need will fit into a car.
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:39 AM   #3
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While it's fun to shuck the possessions, and the taking care of them, temporarily, there's a reason why we accumulated possessions in the first place. We like possessions; they make us happy. If forced to "simplify" our lives, we would certainly work like mad to re-accumulate stuff to replace what we got rid of.

But that's just us we're stuff-people.

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Old 04-18-2010, 12:27 PM   #4
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I'm sorry you're tethered to a hospital. That uncertainty is just too much stress to allow any pretense of a "normal" life.

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Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
Think what i miss most is not knowing what the immediate future will bring - could be here a few more days or months - not being able to plan is very irksome.
But now you're psychologically ready to deploy to the western Pacific!!

I haven't gone to sea in a serious way since 1991. Yet nearly 20 years later I still find myself comparing almost every contemplated purchase to my ability to live for six months out of a storage compartment that's six feet long, 28" wide, and 4" deep. (I slept on top of it.) Seems kinda silly to claim that I "couldn't live without" something today when I lived perfectly well under those conditions. Lord knows that our spawn is tired of hearing those "good ol' days" stories.

Back then I had a lot less stuff to take care of, too. I find that a larger home/yard is really just acoustic insulation against the neighborhood and slightly more control over my mobility.
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:47 PM   #5
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I'm sorry you're tethered to a hospital. That uncertainty is just too much stress to allow any pretense of a "normal" life.


But now you're psychologically ready to deploy to the western Pacific!!

I haven't gone to sea in a serious way since 1991. Yet nearly 20 years later I still find myself comparing almost every contemplated purchase to my ability to live for six months out of a storage compartment that's six feet long, 28" wide, and 4" deep. (I slept on top of it.) Seems kinda silly to claim that I "couldn't live without" something today when I lived perfectly well under those conditions. Lord knows that our spawn is tired of hearing those "good ol' days" stories.

Back then I had a lot less stuff to take care of, too. I find that a larger home/yard is really just acoustic insulation against the neighborhood and slightly more control over my mobility.
Should note that we're doing on site care and advocacy for the gal's Mom - two of us are doing just fine. Have done a few of those WestPac cruises - doesn't take much stuff if there is something to occupy your time.. One or both of us are in the hospital from 7:30 to 8pm or so every day. All that extraneous stuff just sloughs away. Oh! A major enhancement compared to Big Gray Boat trips is having a bunk-mate -
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:51 PM   #6
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Very interesting - the first time I went to Germany for six months, I took two duffel bags and a backpack. Ended up being a 1 year trip and then was permanently moved out to Germany-all my stuff :-) It was liberating that first year, but Amethyst is right, I was accumulating while there.

Lately, I'm ambivalent and buying much less - I look at what I have and realize I don't use much of it. Much of the stuff is a memento of an experience - I guess they are memory triggers as I sit at home.

I agree, also, knowing that your stuff is somewhere is comforting. Not knowing the status of your stuff can be stressful. Happens every time we move - you never know what will happen along the way. Had one colleague whose stuff was flooded - when they opened the crate, a bunch of water poured out....she spent the next few years replacing or repairing her stuff.

Calmloki - I hope that the hospital foray is a short one and the outcome is a positive one.
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:09 PM   #7
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In Dec 98 we moved to Denver to be close to the hospital. At the time we didn't know how long we were going to be there. It was a nice place 900 sq ft. I had a friend who had just combined two households and let us borrow a few things. I rem thinking we have all we need and a full house of stuff back home. Stressful time but we lived comfortably. It is amazing how quick we adjust. In 06 we stayed at the Ronald McDonald House for 3 months. Again we adjusted quickly to our new life and focused on what was really important.

I think about when the kids are grown and we move to one of our rental townhouses (1100 sq ft) vs the 4700 sq ft house we have now. Reality is we probably don't need 20% of what we have now. I do think it will be nice to have a home base with "our stuff" to come back to as we travel to different parts of the world. Looking forward to a simpler life.

Hope you are able to get away from the hospital sooner than later.

Tomcat98
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
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But that's just us we're stuff-people.
My name is bbbamI and I'm a stuff-person too.

On camping trips I have what I need...a few articles of clothing, shelter, food and water. But after a while, I'm ready for my bed with the fluffy pillows, long hot baths, a full refrigerator and all the familiar comforts of my home.
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:42 PM   #9
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Think what i miss most is not knowing what the immediate future will bring - could be here a few more days or months - not being able to plan is very irksome.
dh2b and I went through this type of situation a few years back. We ended up buying cheap clothes at KMart and doing a lot of simple restaurant and grocery store takeout, in single meal portions to split. It's amazing how much non-perishable food you can get from the grocery store without killing your diet.
We were lucky enough to be able to use his mom's tiny apartment with the tradeoff of sleeping on an inflatable queen size bed.
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