Sunday, April 17, 2016

Things I can't take with me

People often ask me, "Val, how do you stay so calm and cool when there is such chaos around you? You just sold your house (in two days) and you're moving to another country. Another country! Won't you miss EVERYTHING? How DO you do it?"

I smile graciously and reply, zen-like, "For everything that must be given up, there will be something to take its place. Memories are yours to keep and cost nothing to ship. You must learn to bend like the willow or else you will break like the oak" and other such nonsense.

The fact is, life moves on, and there are tears and goodbyes and regrets along the way. The highs and lows make up life's rich tapestry (I've got loads of aphorisms, don't I?). So I'm concentrating on those free-shipping memories and looking forward to creating new ones on a different canvas, because I can't take everything with me.

I can't take my grandmother's rocking chair, which I've been fortunate to have in my possession for ten years. Now it will go to my sister or one of my nieces.

I can't take my fantastic rotary dial telephone because it won't work in the UK. But I'll sell it for as much money as I can milk out of it.

I can't take my sister, but I can look forward to showing her and my brother-in-law around Wales and England when they come to visit. And my sister and I will always be connected. Not least because I'm chaining her down.

I made this necklace for her because she told me she liked this saying, which she saw in my post at Christmastime. I also wanted a necklace with that saying, so I made a matching one for me that continues the phrase, connecting the sentiment.

I had some little jewels, which happen to be our birthstones, and I added a bit of lace from a pillow our grandmother embroidered. Mine acquired some bubbles while the resin was drying. I'm calling it wabi sabi - beauty in imperfection. Just like life.

And all manner of thing shall be well.



  1. I've been MIA from blogland for a while!!! How exciting for you to be moving out of the country!!! Exciting things are def happening, but it seems like the good kind of chaos :)

    1. Becky, nice to hear from you! Yes, it's a good chaos because it's our choice. I look forward to getting settled, though!

  2. You have a good philosophy. Seriously, that phone is amazing (and the rocking chair!!!!!). That is a really nice necklace to share with your sister- clever you and thoughtful you!xx

  3. mwahaha, love your 'zen' approach to moving, with a twist!, and love your attitude about things and stuff, and how you created something special for your sister and you!, embracing little imperfections seems to be my next Big Project!

  4. You are very zen about this. I need to bookmark this page in case I should be moving in the next while.

    I'm glad your Grandmother's chair has a good home. It is always sad when items with such strong memories attached cannot be passed on and wind up at some thrift shop.

    Love the necklaces. Very sweet.


  5. I would have the sis store that tricked out rotary dial phone.
    I admire your calm. At least you create on a relative small scale, so your art supplies must be fairly portable.
    Good thing the chair is staying in the family ~
    Look forward to hearing about your cross continent move.

  6. I like that saying as well - concise and simple and yet very comforting. The matching necklaces are a lovely idea! I love your blinged-out phone; I still have my first rotary dial phone (it's boring black) and can't bring myself to get rid of it as it still works. Too bad about having to leave the rocking chair behind, but it will still be in the family and will give comfort to another set of bottoms ;)

  7. Letting go of things is so hard! I miss my rotary phone.

  8. What beautiful sentiments and beautiful necklaces xxx

  9. C'mon! You can smuggle all of that. Just get in touch with a Columbian drug lord. He can show you how!

  10. And all shall be well. Love this post, it could be about so many changes we have to or choose to undergo. You're a poet. xox


  11. What a lovely idea to link with your sister by way of a shared mantra. I'm not good at letting go and moving on so I'm full of admiration for your attitude.

  12. Hi Val, I've also been MIA from blog land too but just had to say all the best with your move, how exciting. I love the necklaces you made for your sister and yourself xx

  13. I'm another who is attending blog land in a very spotty way. I'm excited for you about your move and I know just what you mean about chaos being okay if you've chosen it yourself. I'm glad your grandmother's chair can stay in the family. I think it makes it easier to leave things behind if they go to someone who will cherish them too.

  14. A great attitude, Val! And the most glamorous phone ever to go with it :-)

  15. Indeed - a very calm, zen attitude. I do love that saying: All shall be well...and all manner of things shall be well.

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