30 June, 2010

Finishing off the first part of our move back to Japan

This morning we got up early after sleeping on a thin mattress in the echo-y room that used to be our bedroom. We ate breakfast on camping chairs in the room that used to be our living/dining room and quickly jumped into the final stages of our clean. Mostly a final vacuum, bathroom clean and MOP. I put this in capitals because it took me nearly two hours to mop our kid-friendly mostly-tiled house. As opposed to the professional carpet cleaner who began at the same time as me and was done in under 40 minutes!

While I finished off the mop my husband loaded our 8-seater van to the roof with all those last minute things you don't get to till the end - the dish drainer, door mats, toilet brushes and rubbish bins. We also had our mattress, folding chairs, kettle and a TV that needed throwing out. Finishing before 9.30 we then went to hand our keys in and found a coffee shop to celebrate our completion of this stage of our transition. We dropped some library books off, got some more (for our book-eating 11 y.o.) and visited the bank to change our address. As a final act before leaving the city we dropped our elderly TV off - so elderly that established second hand stores wouldn't touch it - at the dump.

This afternoon, after arriving back at my parents' house in Toowoomba, we spent the afternoon sorting through boxes we'd packed at the last minute on Monday. We were especially looking for the bolts to put together our queen-sized bed (it serves four out of five years as Mum and Dad's spare bed). It took all afternoon, but eventually the bolts were found, not in a box, but in our lounge which also serves as a spare bed/lounge 80% of the time.

Tomorrow we are left mostly with the task of sorting the stuff we have left and plan to take (most of) back to Japan and begging some extra kilos off the airline. Shifting a family across the ocean requires more than 20kg of luggage allowance! One of my sisters arrives sometime tomorrow, so my family will be together again for the final time in 2-4 years.

Our lifestyle, our calling is not without pain. The physical struggle to shift houses and sift belongings. The emotional pain of saying goodbyes when you don't want to. The balancing act when two different countries claim your passion. The social angst when people don't know how to say goodbye graciously. But on the positive side, in our weakness we get to depend on people, we get to experience receiving the care, concern and prayers of others. We've received that this week and are lifted up as a result. I started Monday in tears due to the careless words of people and within hours was lifted up into encouragement by the actions of people who care. The care I would never have experienced except that I was in need. Praise God!

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