To follow up on my post on Leaving ‘Home‘, we are Home again!
We did it! We did something different and had an adventure. Many memories made and treasured and very lucky to have 2 homes…
We cant really complain about being home, we do live in a beautiful part of the world – Maine. Freeport to be exact.
Re-entry has been pretty smooth. The actual day of travel ran like clockwork (I’d like to think that was due to my amazing organizational kills :-P)….travel to airports, pet check-in, people check in arrival in US and so on. As we had rented our home in the US for the last year, friends had kindly been in to manage any needs at the house before we arrived….also, some friends were under instruction to make beds, stock fridge and get pet food in for our return late that evening. Thankful for this as we rolled in late and could tumble straight into bed. Also thankful for the numerous friends willing to stay up late to collect us with our baggage. As mentioned previously, Icelandair has a generous baggage allowance. 2 x 23kg bags per person….so in all, we had 460KG of luggage (excluding ‘packed to the gills’ hand luggage x5!).
Despite my sadness of leaving England, its always good to be home. Nice to have your things around you and that settled feeling. The kids were excited to begin pulling their things out of storage. It wasn’t long before toys and books were unpacked.
I was anxious to get the kitchen unpacked. I had missed these items the most. Managing with just essential kitchen items in the UK had become frustrating at times. In addition to these, having appliances back! Dishwasher!! We’d been without one for 14 months. Obviously, a material luxury but the kids were thrilled to throw away that washing up roster 🙂 Fridge!! We struggled with a miniscule British fridge for about the first 5 months. I ended up buying another fridge in the UK as for a family of 5, the coolbox we had just wasn’t cutting it. Also having to get onto my knees to peek inside was getting old (just like my knees!) The UK is awash with charity shops so picking up a used fridge (Bosch no less) was easy and resale was even easier! Last, but not least, a tumble dryer! We didn’t invest in one on the UK (mostly as there was no place to put one in the house) and with it being one of the wettest years on record (2015), we missed the ease of drying the laundry. The days became a battle with the weather. Getting any laundry outside in the dry moments and dragging it all back inside for the wet moments. I could never get anything completely dry and I couldn’t stand laundry on all the radiators!
A non kitchen item I was pleased to see was my closet (wardrobe!). In fact, all our closets. The UK house had NO storage space whatsoever. What pieces of furniture we had, we packed full. In fact, we little storage in our bedroom, opting for some plastic totes to hold our items. Not ideal, but again, wasn’t worth investing a lot of money. Coming back to a huge walk-in closet was bliss. But now, we debated do we even need it? As you see in the photos below, the clothes shown is all we took to the UK. And then, we only wore half of them. So do we really need any more clothes? Or storage for any more?. As I write this piece, clothes we left in storage have been unpacked….and most have gone to charity. We have learned to live with so much less and its refreshing and liberating. Which makes us wonder…do we need all this stuff – clothes, things, anything? Life takes over and you accumulate and settle. We were happy and enriched with less and on the move. Time will tell if we ever fill these closets again!
Our home withstood renters well. We were lucky…..but the garden not so much. I didn’t take any ‘before’ photos but here’s a shot of one of the twins holding a weed she pulled up. Thankfully now we have it restored back to its former glory allowing us to enjoy the final days of summer and into the Fall.
For everyone in the household, they’ve slipped back to their old lives easily. Kids back in schools with all their old friends. Husband back in the office, pets back to their favorite resting spots in the sunny garden. What we do know is that despite being away, nothing really changed….except for us. Everything and everyone around us has remained constant. Reassuring and easy in some respects but I wonder if we will long for more change in our own lives. In this journey, we taught the kids that change is good and not to be feared. I hope they hold onto that as they grow into adulthood. For now, I need to live by my own words and be comfortable with the fact that I have not returned to the life I had prior. For me, the adjustment back home is greater. I no longer have an office to go to, colleagues to socialise with. Nor do we have the big trip to plan for. So what next? I’m not sure but happy to be home and so is Chester…