On the home(less) stretch

I have spent more time on hold listening to Muzac in the past days, than in the past months combined. This is because I am having to inform everyone official – from my dentist to the phone company – that I am of ‘no fixed address’. I now have something more in common with the homeless many of Seattle than a love of coffee. Not only do I not have an address, I too am relying on the kindness of others in the following weeks.

Currently I am living with friends, Shaz and Aido (the Aussie forms of their Irish monikers Sharon and Aidan), who recently bought a big house with room enough for a wayward friend. At first it was a little surreal waking up in one of their spare rooms, as it is filled with my furniture, given to them on permanent loan while I am in the U.S.  So, my room, but not my room.

The furniture situation, thankfully, suits Shaz and Aido, because they are frequently descended upon by travelling Irish folk – friends and family alike. It suits me, as I love the blanket box my Dad made me when I was 21(although as a side note, he referred to it as my ‘hope chest’ – or rather, my ‘hope I get married chest’ – remember when girls had those?), and I will get to have it back when / if Ben and I move back to Sydney. I haven’t really thought beyond that, but I suppose if plans develop and we stay stateside or move to Europe, I could send for it, packed tightly with my priceless memorabilia and photos.

Which brings me to my ‘Where the heck is my stuff?’ list. This is a list of the locations of items kind friends are storing for me. Some things are on permanent loan (that whole returning to live in Sydney thing), and I am happy for friends to use them. Some things are tucked away in attics, sheds, and garages, labelled ‘Sandy’s stuff’.

Stuff deemed ‘takeable’ is sitting on a dock in Sydney waiting to be loaded on a ship that leaves for Seattle via California in about a week. Packing these boxes was like constructing a three dimensional jigsaw puzzle. I spent two weeks creating a giant pile of stuff in the middle of my living room, and there it sat tormenting me, until a friend came over and said, “C’mon, let’s pack this stuff.”  So we did.

I constructed my jigsaw puzzles, while Patrice wrote down what went into each box.  She didn’t even raise an eyebrow when I called out, “Box three, hiking boots with egg cups.”  She has moved internationally, you see, and like me she knows that the inside of a boot is a good place to put something small and breakable.

So, the stuff has pretty much dispersed: given away, sold, farmed out, and packed.  At the moment, I have two suitcases full of clothes, a stack of paperwork yet to deal with, and a few personal items.  Oh, and a car.  A big, red shiny car, that needs to be sold in the next four weeks.  I am keeping positive on that front, as it is in good nick and looks brilliant post detail and polish.

Next week I move again.  After the nuptials of Yasmin on Scott this coming weekend, they take off for 6 weeks in south-east Asia on their Honeymoon, and I begin my stint of house/cat sitting.  Storm is a Russian Blue and only likes three people – Yasmin and Scott of course, and me.  It will be nice to have a cat around, as I do still miss Jessie.

After four weeks with Storm, I jet off to WA (Western Australia) for Christmas with my family, and then on the 29th jet off to the other WA (Washington State) for New Year’s Eve with Ben.  As I tick things off my many ‘to do’ lists, it is all sinking in, and I am getting very excited.

Ben told me that the other night he went up on the roof – there is a deck and outdoor furniture up there – and looked at Puget Sound under the stars.  In about six weeks, I will be able to that with him.  Yes, not homeless for much longer.

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