November 17, 2009

Off the grid

I have been away from the tubes of the internet, and it has been good.

I spent much of last week at the house. I was meeting several people who had responded to my 'for sale' and 'giveaway' ads, and it just made more sense to stay there and avoid the drive each day. The house has been pared down quite a bit, but at least there is still a bed to sleep in.

There is no internet or tv hooked up at the house to distract or escape to during the evenings. I brought along a movie or two to watch on my laptop, but spent quite a bit of time digging through boxes I haven't unpacked for the last few moves. Three or four of them were cards, letters, announcements and the occasional picture I have saved over the last 20 years. I spent more than one evening sifting through the souvenirs of years of friendships and relationships.

It still seems odd to describe things in decade-size chunks. Most of the time I don't feel old enough to have 20 years of adulthood to look back on. There were cards and notes from my high school girlfriend, letters from people I used to work with, wedding and birth announcements, lots of birthday and Christmas cards, and some other random objects. Objects that would mean nothing to almost everyone, but for me are talismans representing events at different points in my life. It was a mostly fond walk down memory lane. We'll deal with the more recent boxes sometime later.

I came across a note from my Mom letting me know that she and my Dad were getting remarried. I also found a wedding picture from their first wedding tucked away with a couple photos of me around age two. I found things from a couple of friends I haven't seen in more than 10 years. By some coincidence, one of them found me on Facebook a day later. We are hoping to get together sometime soon, and looking through the cards reminded me of what a great friend she was. Having had this memory refresh it will probably be even more surprising to see each other after so much time.

I am a sentimental pack rat, but I tried to thin out the things in those boxes. Birthday and Christmas cards went into the recycling bin unless they had special meaning. There were several wedding invitations, but if the marriage didn't survive, the invitations didn't either. All the letters made the cut, and after all the sifting, I probably only cut things back by a quarter. Still a sentimental pack rat, just with a fairly open-weave filter.

I was largely offline for the week. I went to a few coffee shops to update ads and respond to interested buyers, but there wasn't any blog reading or random surfing.

Then over the weekend, a couple of friends flew me down to Arizona. I have been visiting my friend Bill for the past 10 years since he moved to Tucson for work. Scott and I head down to watch a little football and play a little golf. We missed last year for financial reasons, and because Bill was expecting his first child.

Scott and Bill chipped in to make sure I made it down this year. They felt (knew) I could use a little away time with the boys. We didn't go to a football game, but did catch the Seahawk's loss on tv. The weekend was otherwise very low-tech. We caught up on our lives over rounds of golf, morning coffee, and lovely dinners at home. Their almost one year-old wobbled around the living room showing off her new walking skills. She slowly warmed up to Scott and I, but still wasn't sure if we were OK after three days.

I dragged my laptop down in case something was needed for the home sale, but didn't ever turn it on. It was a wonderful weekend off the grid, spending time more wisely - sharing it with friends.


Holly Linden said...

Really nice.

tami said...

Glad you had fun at your much needed guys weekend.