I once read a bit of blogger profundity that the size of a full timer’s storage facility indicates their commitment to the full timing lifestyle. If the storage unit/building/shed holds all the comforts of home, full time living on the road will not hold an equally promising future. As much as I have loved the full timing lifestyle over the past year, I hope my 8 ft X 10 ft “personal time capsule” is not indicative of the longevity of this lifestyle.
I am not the only one. Everyone in my family has their own personal storage shed down on the farm. The only difference is, I do not have a house to go with mine.
Immediately following my divorce in 1993, I packed up everything I could fit into an apartment the size of a postage stamp, and applied for a job transfer to Manhattan. Some would say “running away,” but I say “running to,” as I had always felt the lure of the city. Okay, well, maybe the recurrent dreams that somehow the divorce had failed – that some detail had been overlooked preventing it from being “official,” leaving me still married to the SOB may have also had something to do with it.
There were lots of fights during the time spent untangling our lives. The two biggest items we fought over were a Queen Anne Mahogany dining room suite and our camping tent. By threatening to go after his brand new bass boat, I managed to get both. The tent fell apart six months later on a 10 day camping trip through Alaska with my brother. It rained on us five nights in a row. We had little choice but to put our tents in the dryer at the Laundromat. After this kind of abuse, the tent which I had won in the war was now lost in battle, and went into the trash bin at the Anchorage airport.
The other consolation prize after 8 years of marriage, the Queen Anne dining room suite, was not so easy to release. It became like that ridiculous over-sized stuffed giraffe that you drag around all day after winning it at the County Fair. You really don’t want to haul it around with you, and you really don’t even want the toy. But at the same time, there is no way you are going to let it go after all you went through to WIN it! Too much skin in that game.
There was barely room for a kitchen table in my Manhattan mouse-house, so I spent $10,000 over the course of 10 years storing that dining room suite in a climate-controlled storage unit while living in New York. By this time, I was vested. I couldn’t let it go.
When I bought my house in Atlanta, Mom and Dad drove it out in a U-Haul, then spent the entire Thanksgiving weekend renovating the “converted carport” so I would have a room to hold it. By the time I dusted and vacuumed around it for another eight years, I was finally ready to let it go. It had become my albatross. A symbol of something dead in my life that needed to go. I told my realtor, if anyone shows the slightest interest, they can HAVE it!
After the painful shedding process that took me two full years, everything I own, with the exception of what’s in the Winnie, now fits into this 8 X 10 storage shed down on my parents farm. Do these things bear any indication of my future plans for the full timing lifestyle? Nope. There are very few “creature comforts” stored here. Worse. It serves more as my own “personal time capsule” holding items with which I just can’t part yet. Barbies and Kens and their tiny outfits handmade by my Grandmother. Roller skates with pom-poms. A Magic Carpet that I dragged all over Turkey. Sketches and watercolors that I mailed home from points along the RTW tour. One day, these too may resemble the giant stuffed animal won at the County Fair, in that the effort in procuring and protecting them far outweighs their purpose in my life. Someday, the family farm will sell, and then I will be faced with liquidation versus relocation. But for now, although they are not necessarily something I would return to, I am not ready to let them go just yet…
Besides, the shed is only half full. 😉