I'm taking a 10 minute break from unpacking boxes. I think I've gone through about 25 boxes so far. I still have not found any of my dishes, my silverware, or my crystal wine glasses. I have not found any wine glasses at all , in fact. I did unwrap some nice bottles of Champagne, Makers Mark, and Pomegranate liquor that I forgot I packed. I found about 100 natural energy bars, so if I ever get back to running again, I will have snacks to refuel. I have enough energy bars to train for a marathon.
This got me to thinking about "what" I packed from the Texas house. I think I had about 15 boxes of kitchen things. As I unpacked most of it, I started to have this uneasy feeling that if I didn't use it in Texas, why did I ship it all the way to Africa? I thought about this a little longer and eureka, it hit me. I USED TO COOK. At one time, I utilized my kitchen on a regular basis. I fed 5 people for something like 20 years and I actually used all the stuff I unpacked today. The key here is "used to." I really have not cooked that much in the past 7 years. In 1999, when we returned from Germany; Dave left for California, Ryan left for college in Philadelphia, Angela was already at A&M in College Station, and I went back to school full time. For the next 2 years, it was only Laura and I, and I made small meals because we were both busy with work and school. After Laura left for college, I barely made anything more than a sandwich; unless I happened to be cooking for a date. The rest of the time I ate meals out or ate soup late at night after studying. I continued to bake cookies and breads and bars and that hasn't changed even to the present day. I really love to bake, and most of my friends already know this, as they have tasted the fruits of my labor in the form of mint brownies and banana bread. But cooking? I have not cooked any more in Africa than I did in Texas. I'm out a lot; learning about the country and the people here in Sierra Leone. So when am I ever going to use the 4 polish pottery baking pans, the crock pot circa 1978, the cappuccino maker that only Robert learned to operate, or the Pampered Chef deep dish pizza stone that never made it out of the box since it was purchased in 2000? Probably never. The polish pottery makes a nice colorful decoration on the top of my kitchen cabinets, especially since the ceilings in the kitchen are 10 feet high. Another crazy irony is that I brought tons of Tupperware. Which begs the question: If I never cook, how in the world will I have leftovers to put in the Tupperware?
All this reminiscing reminds me that I need to mentally update my life every once in a while. I need to discard what I don't use anymore; not drag it half way around the world. I recommend going through the spaces in your life and your house and get rid of things that are obsolete. I think we carry around way too many "things" that we have to manage. I don't mean shed everything. I really like some things I unpacked; the polish pottery being one. I smile every time I look at the pretty dishes I bought in Germany.
Now if I could only find those plates.....