Relocating is always a challenge. Packing, coming to terms with releasing and making the final decision to purge the unwanted item or to save the memory in another form. Yes, because many of our memories are linked to physical reminders ( gifts, purchases, souvenirs, tools, clothing, found treasures….the list goes on). Our stuff is a reflection of us. It gives us comfort and identity. Of course it is hard to ‘weed through it’ but as we age we can only travel with so much ‘stuff’ before we feel we can’t care or carry any more. Check out this great documentary reflecting on the role of stuff 306 Hollywood I wish I had seen it before my mom passed away.

The Goldilocks Syndrome….My Elf King and I just recently moved for the third time in three years. Our first decision was to sell our three bedroom back-split on and move across the country to a 860 square foot condo.  Purge, purge, purge with the vigour of Marie Kondo. Yes, I lost weight and felt free. We moved with ten 1 1/2 cubic foot boxes, three large boxes and about eight large suitcases. Well after six months we decided it was a bit too small, especially given that one of us was recently retired and the other semi retired. We bought a new build, an 1860 square foot three story townhouse which was ready a year following. We were ready and excited for the extra space. Yipee! We spread our stuff, bought a few more things because we had more space and took on some of my mothers things after she passed away and welcomed our son to live with us. Live was good until our space felt too big once our son moved out and we decided to travel more. SOOOOO, you guess it we downsized again, purging through the stuff to a 1260 square foot condo on the eighth floor of a ten story building. Stressful yet much needed. We were shocked that we had in the span of three years increased our ‘stuff’ by about eight fold! ( Remember we didn’t move with any furniture, haha my rationalization for the increase). Now we feel content…..yes, we are sure…it’s paradise in the sky!

Renewal  has a way to refresh. Taking what one has chosen to keep and placing it in a new space has such an invigorating way of changing one’s perspective. Everything seems to shift. The way one appreciates the item in the new environment elicits new emotions and memories. Moreover, it’s funny that sometimes moving even challenges us to rethink an items value or importance and we decide to get rid of it after all. Or of course there’s the annoyance when one realizes that items have been lost or misplaced during the move, as I found out today, take a deep breath, have faith, say a prayer to St Anthony and trust it will eventually show up. BUT best of all when I am reorganizing my stuff I come across those special treasures that I have forgotten about. Those things that bring forth memories so deep that it’s hard to fight back the tears…this happened tonight.


I was looking at a scrapbook I made in 2009 after we hosted a backyard auction of my father’s art in hopes to raise money for a village in Kenya. My friend Deb Pendlebury had suggested that we do an auction with my dad’s art to help feed his sense of hope while he fought his kidney cancer. Money was raised close to $3000, if my memory serves me correct. For each of his paintings I wrote a poem. MY father was a devout Catholic, a fourth degree Knight of the Knights of Columbus. This is not the best copy of his simple yet powerful perspective painting of a chapel inspiring me to write  The Inviting Bell.

Reminiscing of a brilliant day, a joy filled, determined and creative father and a loyal wife and mother. Treasures in memories that get unlocked through the process of relocating, renewal and refreshing.

Let’s seize the day….it’s a beautiful journey, heralds the bong.