Time flies by and we are trying to keep up. Back in April, November 28 seemed like along way into the future until we leave but almost half of that time has passed. Our time has been used up with papers to fill out, preparations for our house to be left, our business affairs and family. We are not in panic mode yet but we do realize that our time to prepare is getting shorter. A measured approach is what we hope to accomplish.
We are packing. At first it seemed strange to consider packing everything up when we still had so many months left to go. But we are making progress. We are all but done packing our books and there are a LOT of books. Some we have given away because we will not use them anymore, some were duplicates but most are resting comfortably in approximately 40 heavy boxes. Only a few family history books remain to be packed away but that will be later as I am still using them from time to time.
Next week we will start stripping the walls of our pictures and then the little knickknacks we have around the house. Already it is beginning to seem empty with no books on the shelves. Then we will move on to the dishes we do not use regularly. All along the way we are discarding or giving away items we do not need anymore but we also do not want a huge expense of replacing items when we return home. So there are lots of things to think about.
It is a strange feeling to be packing things up. Memories surface as we come across items we have not handled for a time- like projects not finished. But the good news is that we are finding some things we had not seen for awhile which are now grouped as they should be. I found a bag with several envelopes and old family pictures that had been my mothers. I need to scan those pictures before they are packed.
And that is not to mention the dozens of boxes of photographs and negatives that need to be processed before we leave. And there are the books of family photos from almost 50 years of marriage. Yes, it is a big job!
My family history is in about 4 dozen binders, 4 drawers of files, other books and folders. And I have my mother's family history. Not to mention all of Steve's binders, books and files. I would imagine that we will have at least 30 boxes with all of that information. It will seem strange to put it all away since working on my family history is such a big part of my life. But that does not mean I will stop searching for my ancestors. I am grateful for my friends on Rügen who have helped me find so much information on my German family. I am always hoping there will be a miracle and more records will be found. It has been great to find connections through MyHeritage for both my German and Danish families. I am sure there will be enough down time while we are in Australia for me to keep my hand in the research. But I cannot bring all my books with me so I will have to rely on my computer files.
There is a list of recommended clothing for us to bring on our mission. We are supposed to present a 'professional' image to represent the Church. That means Steve will be in a white shirt and tie and in suits or dress slacks probably 6 days a week. I will be in dresses or skirts or suits as well. So, we have been on the look out for the clothes we need to bring. I have been finding items along the way as there does not seem to be a specific store that carries everything I would like. The past fews years my clothing purchases have been geared to our goal of serving a mission so everything does not have to be newly purchased. Steve's is somewhat easier since he just needs 2 suits, some slacks, white shirts and ties.
Have you every considered how many days he will need to wear a tie? We will be serving our mission for 23 months. There are 52 weeks in a year so 23 months will be about 100 weeks. If he wears a tie 6 days in every week that means he will wear a tie 600 days! Is there a term "tieology'? So we found a lot of nice ties for him. If he has 12 ties and rotates them regularly he will be wearing each tie 50 times! He may bring more than 12. We will see. At least they are not too heavy to pack. Here are the new ties we just bought.
The reason I said Steve will be in a shirt and tie 6 days a week is because we will have one day each week for shopping, cleaning, recreation, etc. Then we can wear our more casual clothing.
We are learning more about Australia, we are studying more of the materials we have been given. We are grateful for our opportunity to serve. I was thinking one day how important this mission is to us. And yet there are hundreds of other senior couples who have and are serving missions all over the world. So, in this we are not unique but for us this mission is very important. We love the Lord and hope that we can be able to serve Him and those He cares for in a way that will please Him. There will be a learning curve for all we are being asked to do. But I know that with His help we will be able to a accomplish what is required of us.