It's Christmas! For the first time this month! I predict two more. Actual Christmas. And the delivery of HHE number 2. Today, my UAB and HHE number 1 were delivered. The UAB was packed recently, so I knew most of what was in there. I was excited to see that I put my Wii and Wii Fit inside, in addition to my blender and all my linens. My bed is now fully customized. I have my memory foam and better-than-down mattress pad, 1200TC sheets, a better-than-down all season comforter, egyptian cotton blanket, and my amazing down duvet with damask stripe cover. Plus two better-than-down pillows and two better-than-down plus memory foam pillows. Plus my body pillow. Plus my panda, a large stuffed animal I've had since high school. So while my bed is overly warm and Brookstone and Macy's own my first-born, I am now sleeping in a cloud. So wonderful.
The HHE is all from storage. I haven't seen some of it since July 2009. I haven't seen most of it since 2004, or even before then. I shipped more than I needed to, with the intent of getting rid of a fair amount. And though I've only opened about ten boxes so far today, I already have a good pile to give away and a huge trash pile. All of this stuff needs to be inventoried, so I'm taking one box at a time and doing it right. My spare bedroom is floor to ceiling boxes, but it's not as bad as I first thought. The little bit I've done today has already made a huge difference. I am appreciating how much of this is packing materials, the environmental concerns notwithstanding.
My cats have never been happier. Packing materials are like catnip. They're alternating between jumping out of boxes to scare each other, purring at my side to tell me how happy they are I brought the boxes into their lives, and chasing each other through the maze that is the spare bedroom.
What else have I discovered. Let's see. A gorgeous jewelry armoire I bought in 2005 and had yet to unpack. Lots and lots of beautiful hand-hooked wool rugs from my tenure working retail. Dozens of CDs that have yet to be imported onto this laptop, including my favorite Christmas album and three Lyle Lovett CDs I'd been looking for. Books galore, including high school and college yearbooks, all the copies of computer magazines I wrote for in high school, the last three Harry Potters, and a bunch of unread novels. I am really glad I switched to Kindle, though the lingering thousands of pounds of books I own still exist. I know there are boxes and boxes of Christmas ornaments. I worked at Hallmark for ten years, so my collection is large. All my decorative and functional items from trips over the last ten years are in the boxes; I can't wait to see some of them! I have an entire collection of guinea hen stoneware and related items from South Africa. (I am somewhat obsessed with guinea hens.) I found the few boxes of things from my grandmother when she sold her house and moved south a few years ago. This includes an exquisite tea set; I don't yet have a safe cabinet to store the pieces in, so I only unwrapped a couple and gushed before safely storing them again. Six million photo albums. Stuff from my college dorms that will probably mostly get thrown away. And many, many boxes of miscellaneous 'stuff'.
I have been planning my dream kitchen my whole life. Most of my dishes, glassware, serving glassware, electronics, pans, and gadgets are in HHE#2. A few gadgets were in my UAB, which was fun. And there's kitchenware scattered throughout HHE#1. I'm hoping to find my silverware somewhere in there. Haven't seen it since 2007 or so. Not entirely sure it made it into a shipped box. Hoping it did. So I'm gleefully packing away the welcome kit items as my own, far superior, items arrive.
Lots of framed photos and art are appearing, which is great. When it all comes in I'll have a fun time hanging it all. For now, fun to look. I am beyond thrilled to have found a duplicate copper wall plate of the one hanging in my parent's kitchen, which I bought in Bosnia in 2001 (Erin: Mostar). I've always loved that very simple plate and completely forgot I bought one for myself. A $10 purchase, but I am so excited. Sand paintings from Lesotho. Acrylics from a friend of my host family in Hungary. My own attempts at artwork from elementary and high school.
So while I'm angry at myself for shipping so much, frustrated by the small housing at post (a long story), overwhelmed by all there is to do and unpack, I'm excited. And I have motivation to keep plugging away at it - the drawer where I'm storing my Christmas presents sent back with me by my family is currently blocked by boxes.