March was quite a month.
in preparation for downsizing later in the month. She gave me many of her beautiful linen and haberdashery items she has treasured over the years, some of her artworks, and other lovely and/or useful items. Some of these items are yet to find a home at our place, there are still piles of things for me to deal with here.
Laura and I stopped off one day at our favourite Mona Vale park on the way to the chiropractor.
Laura grew beans on the kitchen bench as part of an experiment. It's official - water is better for growing plants than coke is.
At (almost) the last minute we decide to take another Japanese homestay student. We had such a good time with Hikaru last year and agreed to have another girl, this time for almost twice as long (10 days)
Laura gave up her bedroom for the guest, and moved into my newly cleared craftroom for the duration (and was serenaded the first night by Steve on the violin).
Akiko was lovely, willing to do her best to speak English, helping in the kitchen and generally being a very easy guest. She was tired in the afternoons, often sleeping, and it was a busy time for us, especially once Steve's mum and I started meeting with real estate agents and really getting ready to put the townhouse on the market at the end of the month. But we had some good moments, making origami cranes, playing with boomwhackers and teaching Akiko some of our favourite games.
Some of our highlights of her stay were ...
An afternoon at Palm Beach
with lots of space for Laura's gymnastics ...
being a "family" of five for a short time ...
... sharing our everyday life, and having cute Japanese clothes on the washing line,
and enjoying a nice dinner out.
Soon it was time to say goodbye.
With downsizing in full swing with Steve's mum, I crashed in a small heap at this point, but only long enough to take breath for the final week of decluttering at the townhouse.
Other things this month were ...
saxophone rehearsals with an accompanist for Emily
and many assessments and exams for her, she has worked so hard,
a free ticket for me to a seven-harp concert at North Sydney
Laura conquering a new braid
and getting new reading glasses
some new organisation for the coffee table (small things, right?)
a fun day of shopping for me, once we'd finally got the townhouse ready for sale -
every.single.item. from a lifetime either given away or boxed up ready for a garage sale.
The open houses are happening this month, and an auction in a few weeks.
Both Steve's parents are comfortable in their respective new abodes, (one in aged care and one in a small apartment) although it has been so hard for them to give up their independence and so many possessions. For me it has been an eye-opening experience regarding life and possessions.
So, March with it's constant stream of things to do and places to be, has well and truly ended.
I'm thankful that Easter and the school holidays have arrived, a pause before the next chapter,
wherever that may take me.