I haven't posted in a couple of weeks. I can't believe I've been that busy but Mike and I looked at each other recently and said, “Aren't we retired? Why are we so busy all the time?” It was a good couple of weeks but I'll post on that later. This post is more serious. A lot of emotions are floating around in our hearts right now and I need to get this down.

Getting rid of 'stuff' can be hard.  As you know, we made the decision in December to retire and become full timers by April 1st.  We were renting so selling our home wasn't an issue.  In actual fact we had to have a lifetime of stuff gone before the end of February as we'd already made arrangements to be in Florida for the month of March.  Talk about a rush of emotions for the 2 months we were getting rid of stuff! 

We sold most of it via Craigslist & a Cafe list.  The first big thing to leave was hard (a grandfather clock purchased with some inheritance money after my mother died) - as was the last (my digital piano).  But once we had our 5th wheel and were on the road in April, I felt like this HUGE weight had been lifted off my shoulders.  Simple and frugal is oh, so much better. (Check out my blog post from January 18.)

We've spent most of our married life in New England but we lived in the Joplin, MO area the last 2-1/2 years - until we became full time RVers this Spring. (It's still our home base). Friends there were saddened that we were getting rid of 'stuff' but we kept telling them that 'stuff' isn't what matters.  God and people are what matters.

How that lesson was brought home Sunday evening with the tornado!

All of our friends in Joplin are safe but one young couple who hasn't even been married a year are especially in shock.  She is from Texas, he from Montana.  His work was in the Joplin area and they belonged to our ecclesia.  Initially, they rented a duplex in a lovely, upscale neighborhood.  They were robbed twice.  So in February they moved to a 3rd floor apartment, thinking it would be safer.

The apartment was right behind the Home Depot and Walmart in Joplin that no longer exist.  Their apartment is gone.  They have lost everything but were not hurt.  We are so thankful for that!

As I wrote to her last night..That which doesn't kill us, serves to make us stronger.  They must be getting really strong. (Actually, looking on the map at the damaged areas, I imagine the duplex they were in originally was probably destroyed as well.)

Events like that force us all to stop, reflect, and put things in perspective.  Yes, it was hard getting rid of our stuff.  Looking back, I wonder if it wouldn't have been better to just have had a big, one-day sale.  Kind of like just ripping off the band-aid and getting it over with. 

Then again by doing it the way we did, we know the big, sentimental stuff went to people who really wanted it and will take care of it.  That's kind of comforting, too.

I also know that having lived in our traveling condo now for @ 7 weeks, I'm loving the simpler life style. We had company for a BBQ Sunday evening. I did a major cleaning of our abode plus did the dishes all in 40 minutes. THAT was wonderful!

By the world's standards we are poor; right now all we've got is our Social Security coming in. Hoping that will change over the next few months as we find ways to supplement our income and still travel. But this is so much better than stressing over a house or rent payment and all the accompanying bills. Plus you think twice about what you're going to buy because you have to consider storage space and overall weight.

As sad and concerned as we are for that young couple, we know they will survive, pick up the pieces and move on with their lives. I just hope they've learned valuable lessons that we didn't learn until years later.

Yes, we need essentials but we're better off without all the extra 'stuff' that this present society seems to think we 'need'.

Til next time,

Gloria - The Internet GADabout


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