Delusions of Simplicity

Happy Chickens

We like to believe that we live a simple life. We are self-titled “corporate refugees” who collect eggs from the chickens who follow us up and down our driveway. We wake up to an extraordinary view every morning, one that is even more exceptional when it snows.

Vermont, February 26, 2012

However, like most Americans, we are pack rats. We have generations of stuff. As we start to organize our house for the move to Jordan, I’m amazed at the things we’ve held on to, and can’t seem to get rid of, even now when we’re moving to the other side of the globe.

Some of the most recent finds:

  • My paddle tennis team sweater from Westminster School (pretty sure it wasn’t supposed to come home with me when I graduated in 1986!)
  • My Colby sweatshirt, circa 1987, stained and threadbare
  • My father’s Penn sweatshirt from 1952
  • My grandfather’s Princeton sweater from 1932
  • Our marriage certificate, my mother’s death certificate, and the title to my car (ok, none of those finds are pack-ratish, just indicators of horrible disorganization)

And the books! The mountains and walls of books! At least 20 floor to ceiling bookshelves are overflowing with a lifetime of beloved reading materials. Not to mention the piles next to the bookshelves, on the desks, under the desks, and stacked on bedside tables. Obviously, these won’t be coming with us, but we are incapable of parting with them. Every time we’ve sold, donated or given books away, we invariably re-buy them once we realize how much we miss them. Sad, but true.

Fortunately, clothes aren’t an issue (except for the historical pieces mentioned above). When the devastating flooding hit Vermont this fall, we donated virtually everything that we weren’t wearing (Literally. Weren’t wearing right that minute–if it wasn’t on a body, it was stuffed into a garbage bag and carted off) to the relief efforts.

But still. We have so much. So many have so little. Hence, the title of the post. Our simplicity is truly delusional.

xo from VT

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