During the months that I travel my worldly possessions shrink to the size of a small carry on bag and an even smaller bag on my shoulder. I have never been one to own a lot of clothing or shoes or jewellery so choosing what I will take is not hard.
I travel I decant everything down even further just to the essentials. I carry the lightest of loads and am always happiest then. I love to travel. I have a tried and true system. Once my checklist is compete and everything is stowed in its smallest form, in the correct position in my bags, in the little bags that fit inside the bigger bag, rolled and tucked, reduced and light, once I am again mobile; then I am strangely content. I can grab anything I need in seconds. I can put everything I own on my back and I can move fast.
I miss people and animals when I travel not things or places. And my family is spread through the world so I am always missing someone. There is always the knowledge of their absence from my hands.
Now I am back on the prairies, at my home address and my bags, for the first time in months, are emptied and stowed away for next year. My husband and the dogs are relieved to see this. They want me to spread out and settle down. But I still feel small and mobile. Nimble. Alert. Honed. It is a flux time for me. My hands still in either world.
I love the inner cities. I love navigating them and moving through them fast. I love the depth and eternal light of the country. I love the smell of planes and dodging through airports. I love the sky and the miracle of flight. I love being able to sink into the folds of my family. I love to dress in layers as I move through time zones. I love the anonymity of crowds, how you can look through a sea of people their eyes downcast as they shuffle through and then meet the eyes of the only other person within hundreds who has his head up and is watching too. I take a million pictures with my eyes and seldom raise my camera. I am alert and quick.
Now I am home within walls, the dogs sit in their accustomed places, watching me waiting for the movement and sound that means we will begin work for the day.
But I am looking into the corners and through the wardrobes throwing things into recycling bags. Lifting and weighing and judging and hiffing and chucking out. This is the time when I sort the chaff from the wheat in cupboards and wardrobes and corners. The junk is obvious to me at this point in my year. All this extra stuff feels so heavy. I need the accumulation of rubbish OUT. I have to lighten my life so I can live back in it for the summer.
It is hard for me to settle back down after travelling. I do not do well with rooves and doors and gates and latches and walls and stuff.
While I was away this time the dog’s water in the heated water bowl ran empty. I found That Cat asleep in there so as not to waste the warmth.
A big chore yesterday was stomping thick ice out of the unheated water bowls and refilling them. It is cold right now as I write, 15F/-9C so I will be doing the ice smashing all over again this morning.
Sheila had a bit of a moan about her North door being shut when it was snowing while I was away. She had managed to push her frozen water bowl right into the door bending it outwards and she took me down to this so I could sort it out for her.
I let the cows out for a wander on the field even though there is no grass out there. My animals are like me – they hate walls and gates and latches too.
However if the grass is to grow (when the weather warms up) the cows will have to come back up into the concrete yards and feed from my dwindling supply of hay while it gets a head start.
Luckily for their minders the pigs did not escape while I was away. But they are used to the parameters of their big field now. They have settled.
I will soon too. It is natural to be unsettled at first. But I will settle down again, as the routine of my life takes hold. I will work hard so I do not have the energy for flight.
This is the coldest day for a while. Maybe the last cold of the season but we cannot be sure. Today our high will be 42F/4C.
Thank you so much to our guest writers. There is a lot of work in creating a page for someone else and I do appreciate it. And I love how you, the readers, all embrace our guests. The Fellowship really is such a wonderful group of people and I thank you for being my constant companions.
OH I ALMOST FORGOT to tell you. I felt Molly’s babies yesterday. She lays down on command, and I was able to sit with her for a while and feel a number of piglets jumping about in her belly. No sign of an udder yet though so she has a way to go. I am guessing three weeks.
I hope you have a lovely day.
This is so interesting to me as I have just bought a tiny block with a water view and am now planning to build a tiny house on it. Less is more atm.
Oh yes! This would be a dream for me. I would like to design your little house like a sailing boat – with a space for everything you absolutely need and no more. Congratulations! c
Your description of packing for trips reminds me of this George Carlin routine about his stuff. Pardon some raw language. https://youtu.be/MvgN5gCuLac
Thanks Jim. I am not adverse to raw language – I use it myself on occassion.c
3 weeks till piglets! How exciting 🙂
I think so – I wish i could put your hand on her belly so you could feel them – it is an amazing sensation.. c
I bet! It must feel really weird to a pig mother, having all those little piglets moving inside her.
Clever kitty. Are you already starting to plan your next trips or will that wait until after summer?
Stuart is doing a hiking trip in South Africa with his family at the moment and I must admit I am stating to get a bit of cabin fever.
I almost always plan and begin to pay off my next trip immediately. After that i settle properly. People like you and I with family far away are a bit like that – it helps us to know there is another pathway being prepared back to the children. Do you feel that too? c
Cats they always find the warm places. Welcome back. 😊
Heat seeking missiles.. c
Morning. I too, am learning to travel lightly. It is so much easier. Paring down stuff is a great habit. I am away all winter, escaping the cold, but my mind is turning to jobs I need to do this summer. I guess we use the changing seasons as cues for our activities to maintain house and home. I’m glad Molly is coming along and am impressed she will lie down for you. You have a knack for communicating with your animals. I wonder if that spirit runs through contact across a crowded airport? Welcome back.
Most people have their eyes glued to screens of some description in the airport – pretty easy to pick out the watchers.. c
Yay for Molly and new piglets! I am sure Sheila had a list for you when you returned. What a pig! All the animals look happy that you are home. I know what you mean about traveling and having a tough time settling when you return. I used to do a lot more traveling. Not so much anymore, with the farm!
I literally plan my farm around my travelling – lucky for me John hates to travel so he will always be home
I see you as this little tinkerbell fairy flitting joyfully around the world in your season, then a la Professor McGonagal style, morphing into this magic elf, working wonders in the cold reality, bringing love to anything and anyone that grows, until it is time to return for awhile to your true tinkerbell self. Welcome home!
That sums it up beautifully – though Tink was a sulky wee thing when crossed so i am told!
It’s all in the perception!
Squeals with piggy excitement. Piglets are coming – piglets are coming!! XOXO – Bacon
Welcome back my sweet friend. <3
Horns? on Who? That Cat is one smart Cat – I would take advantage also.
I love airports! I too watch the people while smiling – occasionally you see a fellow traveler that is reveling in the experience you they smile back. Especially children! Many are afraid or nervous – so if you can make some eye contact and give them a big smile – I think it helps them. Anyway – who can’t use a kind look and a smile in any situation!
“you they smile back. ” oh my – I had a phone call and forgot to check before posting…. and they smile back. 🙂 Is it Friday yet? I went to see Tony Bennett perform last night – and I am dragging today!
Tony Bennett – I hear he does a good show
For 90 – amazing show.
The horns are on Lady Astors bobby.
What a great time to “sort the chaff from the wheat in cupboards and wardrobes and corners,” after you’ve been traveling lightly and know it’s time to send some of the ‘chaff’ on for others to use! I have been on a ‘remove the chaff campaign” (I love the chaff terminology!) since reading the book ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. I haven’t done everything like she suggests, but have sent lots on that hopefully others can enjoy. And I feel lighter and freer! The guest writers were wonderful! So great to be able to peek into the lives of others in the Farmy Fellowship! xo
She does have some interesting rules – mine is from that wallpaper guy – – paraphrased- either very, very useful or very, very beautiful (read beautiful to ME) otherwise – off with its head!
William Morris – and I think he was absolutely correct – “if you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”. It’s amazing how many times both descriptions can occur in one item. I love old china dishes – how beautiful and useful. I have a beautiful book about Morris that I’ve never “read” in the common sense, I just keep dipping into it and finding amazing things. I’m beginning the purge at my house – I’d rather my daughter and granddaughter don’t have to do it. It will feel good to be lighter. Welcome home from your travels.
Chris S in Canada
There is a lot to be said for getting your house in order.. I am glad you see it that way – I certainly do NOT want my children to have to go through my things and throw out the trash – best that I do that.. agreed
I think Miss C that somehow you are a complex person..you settle in the countryside and long for the city an dyet in the city you look to the fields….I suppose many of us are like that. Living here in Bulgaria I am used to being without my daughters even though I miss them..its just something you do. However I look forward to seeing them in May but once in the uk for 3/4 days I am waiting to go home again….life is strange bur exciting..love to you xxx and welcome home
Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 2:05 PM
I think longing is maybe too strong a word – I am just where i am when I am there – and happy as long as i can keep moving when I choose.. this is why my animals all farrow and calve later in the spring – so I can be away
This post was pure poetry — your description of packing, traveling, moving through a city, then trying to settle back into home — just lyrical, thank you! (And welcome home)
You are welcome – I am sure you do a bit of this too with all your relative far away
It sounds like your traveling serves many purposes, on many levels. So glad you have traveled safely. Sheila seems happy to see you.
Old Sheila – she is such a dear..c
You and I feel the same about traveling. I carry a little more luggage when I travel. I have to work on that.
To get out of here I have to drag bags through trains and city streets to other trains and I LOATHE being over burdened..
I hear you. I go on trains and I am down to two smaller manageable bags.
Exactly – i travel with only what i can carry happily – I am so over lugging something huge with my face going red and trying to get it up stairs and onto escalators – nope – over all that
my hubby says that I come back with a edge from traveling, a energy, a push, that it takes me weeks to slow an settle on the farm after being gone.. Everyone is so happy I am home but they have to wait a bit yet for that calm to come back 🙂 Stay warm, and congrats on your new babies to be
Oh that does sound like me too!! c
Good to see you made it safely through all the atrocious weather in your part of the country. I am always longing to travel as my soul is a gypsy that now wants roots. So hard to have a foot in both worlds. I could take some lessons from you about traveling light. I hope you see warm soon.
there was not much snow down this way at all – i think the worst of it went North..
“He who must travel happily must travel light” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of The Little Prince. I think you probably have it down to the finest of fine arts….
One of my favourite little books.. c
When we arrive in Spain or England after an absence, I enjoy the first few days just reconnecting with home. Planting my little roots and sniffing the air!
I am doing a bit of that today too – though the air is still frigid. c
I’m not yet enrolled, but I love to audit your classes on planning for travel. “Could you do an A-V demo on how you get everything into those two little bags,?” I wanted to raise my hand and ask, but thought better of it. I’ve been stuck for years thinking “survival and comfort” rather than “freedom and adventure.” Maybe it’s age. I’m following along with My Dear headed to the Everglades on Sunday, and having a devil of a time packing.
No, sorry, it’s me, Albert,. Also wanted to say that the photos today held my attention, especially the branches dripping icicles and the fresh carrots laid out in the snow. But I kept returning to Boo lying on your shoe– a message (“you’re not going out there without me.”
I’ve been home from India a month now, and still have that not here, not there feeling. One minute restless and fidgetty, the next languid and immobile. Wouldn’t swap the travel for anything though. Welcome back and I love the ‘back of Bobby’s ears’ shot.
Welcome back Celi!! I too am restless when I return from my travels. It’s always hard to get back and reacclimated!! I love how you described navigating through every part of your travel experience. You’re the best!!
Good to see you back safe and sound! Oh, I must admit to being different: am an inveterate hoarder with beloved items in hand even from my high school days! Glorious real memories . . . Nought ever seems to depart my homes: I just might want it ten years down the track 🙂 ! Love cosy interiors, each item in ‘its’ place, love closed doors and windows and knowing that is ‘my place’ !! Arranged ‘my’ way !! Absolutely adore travelling but have never ever been sorry even for a nanosecond when a beloved home again embraces me . . . Oh, yes, and Eha definitely does travel with more than one suitcase 🙂 !!! . . . .
Hee! Your black bobby with the horns! Looks like somebody woke him up with that straw in his hair and all mussed up! Reminds me of my brother….had cowlicks (horns) on each side of his forehead, and his hair was ALWAYS mussed. Carrot red/orange it was. Welcome back, Ceci – missed you greatly! I’d like to thank all of your guest writers throughout the winter for the wonderful, informative tales and pictures they shared. Hugs!
Welcome back Cecilia 🙂
I know exactly what you’re talking about. That strange feeling whenever you come back from a long trip, the new perspective on everything around you. It is as if a little distance somehow makes everything clearer and priorities easier to sort.
Isn’t it amazing how much”junk” we can accumulate in a year! It seems so important before we leave and so trivial when we come back
Trivial is the perfect word.. I just don’t want anything that will wear out or become useless in my lifetime now –
“I have to lighten my life so I can live back in it for the summer.” You have such a way with words. Do you think this is very animal like to think this way? Take birds who work so hard building nests then don’t look back when done with them?
Cats are smart and will not waste a warm spot. Everything does better with sun.
And that last picture – this could also be a caption for that? “I will work hard so I do not have the energy for flight.” We are not so far removed after all.
Glad you have returned brining with you a recharge and joy of what was and is.
Hmm – good point about the birds – I must ponder on that.. c
welcome home! We missed you even tho we had lovely guest writers!
Thank you Kathe – yes it is good to be home and back to work
I have always longed to pare down my travelling clothes and shoes but no matter how I try, I always end up with a very packed bag, almost 50lbs!!! I’m going to Florida with a girlfriend for a few days in April, I will take only a carry-on. I’d love to see a list of what you call essential, it may help me. We are also planning a trip to the Windy City in June/July around our holidays, I’ll connect with you, Kristy and John about getting together. XO
Yes, love to see you. One tip I have is to take clothes that can be washed all together. I usually just wear black and darks so that is easy.. c
I love to travel light. I can do it, but often I don’t and then I curse my suitcase. We are off to Greece in May and I am determined to take almost nothing.
Lovely images Celi .. welcome home. How lovely to feel those piglets .. 😃