(and yes, it's normal for Filipinos and Jamaicans to knock on your door to do a job---there are more Filipino and Jamaican Nationals here than Americans. They've been doing the manual labor jobs on the base for years---and at a small fraction of what Americans would make for the same job).
We took a look and thought, "that doesn't look like THAT much stuff." Then one of the deliverymen said, "By the way, we have six more crates at the warehouse."
The first eight crates. . . the goal is to have this much or less total for the next move.
So as we are waiting for the crates to unload, we keep waiting---and waiting---and waiting for the large rug that goes under all the den furniture. It's hard to arrange and rearrange furniture and boxes when you're trying to make room for a large rug. And you know the saying about a special rug:
Want to guess what was the very, very last thing unpacked out of 14 crates---14,000 lbs---of HHG?
Yep, the rug.
Anyway, we are STILL unpacking. Still haven't found the following: bedroom lamps (although I did find the shades), glass shelves for china cabinet (everything is sitting around it, waiting to be displayed), Gray's electric guitar, and Pedro, my white-trash, yard-art chicken made out of a 55 gallon drum from Mexico. If I ever find Pedro, I will make sure he gets a picture on the blog.
I know they are here, because a)all the crates were nailed shut and sealed from Texas; and b) we still have 50 or so boxes of assorted sizes to unpack.
I really thought we downsized before moving here.
We have a long way to go on the road to minimalism.
For instance---books. I still can't believe the amount of books we own. We got rid of so many---are these things multiplying while we are sleeping? I could start a bookstore in my house. But want to guess what was the first thing I set up? Before I set up the kitchen or bathrooms, made the beds, etc., I had to put my books up. And I'm a little obsessive over them---they have to be sorted by author, not alphabetically but by publication date, with non-fiction in one bookcase, fiction in the other (you'd think I'm a librarian or something). I don't expect many people to understand how happy my books make me (thankfully, my husband gets it---or at least tolerates it), but I feel best when I'm surrounded by them. I'm such a big nerd, I bought a ream of mylar and a bone tool years before library school was in my sights because I love my books that much. (And you, too, are a book nerd if you know what mylar and a bone tool are). My 1st CANADIAN edition of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale (signed!) made it----if that sentence just gave you chill bumps, you are, indeed, one of my people.
Just a fraction of the books, next to the infamous Dude Chair.
Some things I have found that made me happy: Rodney, the stuffed squirrel (yes, a real taxidermied squirrel that is older than I am) that's been in my family for years (since there are no squirrels in Cuba, he may be the only one on the island); lots of canned and dry goods you can't find at the Commissary (yay!); and my bottle tree (and accompanying box of bottles I carefully collected for a year---none were broken).
The delivery man who brought the bottle tree to the back yard asked the husband what it was. As he tried to explain, the guy interrupted and said, "Ah, yes, we have these in Jamaica!" and asked if I put blue bottles on it. He so gets it!!! I could have hugged his neck. Nobody in Texas seemed to understand the mystique of the bottle tree. Bless their little Texan hearts. Mississippian Felder Rushing has a great website that will explain all things related to the bottle tree, if you are curious and uninformed.
What do you want to bet mine isn't the only bottle tree in Cuba? Maybe Gitmo, but I know they probably exist elsewhere on the island.
A few days ago, some of the deliverymen came by to pick up our empty, unpacked boxes. I came out and talked to a couple of them about their Christmas. Can you imagine working in another country, away from your friends and family, your favorite food, and your culture, missing holidays and birthdays and weddings and funerals, maybe for years? Americans here can take a hop back at least once a year to see family, usually with their work picking up the tab. These guys (and ladies---they are outnumbered, but Filipinas and Jamaican women do work here, too) work hard and send money back to support other family members, much like Mexicans do in Texas. And like the Mexicans, they do hard work for a paycheck no American would accept.
My kids have no idea how lucky they are to be born where they will never have to leave their country to support an extended family doing a manual labor job.
Gotta keep unpacking---tomorrow morning at 0700 (that's 7 am, OUCH!), a Filipino crew is coming to replace the A/C unit in our house.