Making Memories

Our moving date is inevitably drawing nearer, although I’m doing a pretty good job of banning the reality of it from my mind. Goodbye parties and coffees and brunches have come and gone and still I haven’t uttered a single goodbye to anyone, settling instead on vague I’ll-probably-see-you-next-week’s instead.

I’m terrible at saying goodbye.

What has kept me from getting too depressed is the simple fact that I’ve been incredibly busy.

Those parties and brunches have had to be organized.

Pictures from those parties and brunches have had to be processed.

Course descriptions and grades have had to be requested from school.

Powers of attorney have had to be signed at the consulate so that new houses can be bought.

Cars have had to be sold.

Cars have had to be deregistered.

Doctors’ records have had to be requested and picked up.

Termination notices have had to be sent to all the service providers.

Appointments have had to be scheduled to follow up with the service providers to confirm cancellations.

Things that could have just lasted two more weeks have gone and broken down on me, as they have a habit of doing when Noisette isn’t here to fix them (assuming that he would indeed fix them if he was here).

And about a million blog posts are waiting to be written, because leaving is somehow almost like arriving: you see everything in a slightly different light, and your emotions run sky-high. Which are perfect ingredients for creative writing. If only THERE WAS MORE TIME!

It’s just as well that we are moving to a new place where I won’t have any social life to speak of, because I’ll need about three months holed up away from mankind writing non-stop to catch up.

And to do my own laundry again.

But I digress. I wanted to write about making memories. One reason I’ve found myself so busy these past few weeks is that Noisette (on Thanksgiving break) and I have been revisiting some favorite places. And new places we hadn’t had a chance to see yet. I’ll be writing about some of those in the coming weeks.

Okay, I lied. I probably won’t be writing about anything much in the coming weeks, seeing as the packers are arriving soon.

Did I mention we’re also approaching Christmas? People, if you ever move and have any choice in the matter, please think twice about whether you really want to embark on an international move at Christmas time. Okay, there are benefits. Like you can totally blame the lack of a Christmas tree on the fact that the tree will be packed in a container. (The cheesy fake tree you broke down and bought in year two because the real tree you went and found in year one looked even more plasticky than a fake one). It’s packed deep inside of 40 feet of crammed-together household goods tracing their way back via God-knows-where, if our shipment along the reverse route a few years ago is anything to go by. Packed away along with all the ornaments.

And the presents too, come to think of it.

Still, Christmas adds a lot of extra work. Did I ever mention Advent calendars? Well, let’s just say, if you are a soon-to-be or new parent, think long and hard about ever committing yourself to such foolish endeavors as custom-made Advent calendars just because your husband’s mom used to make them and he thought it was a cute idea. And you can’t blame the lack of Advent calendars on the move. Not when some of your kids look at you with big teary eyes and wonder out loud whether St Nicholas won’t be confused where to deliver the goods with all that moving going on.

You could argue that with all this stuff happening right now, I needed yet another project on my list like the plague. And yet it is precisely with such a project I’ve busied myself with these past few days. On one of my recent haven’t-seen-that-yet outings, a friend took me to a shop called Amatuli, and I was instantly smitten. They simple have everything Africana there, arts, crafts, furniture, cool decorating props, and none of it tacky. The luxury game lodges get their stuff from them, but regular people like you and me can go shopping there too, on all three vast floors of it. I could spend hours (and a lot of money) in that place.

In fact, you should probably add them to your Christmas Shopping list. I’ll be writing about them more in a dedicated blog post.

When I spotted this old steel window made into a photo frame there, I knew I absolutely had to have it. And quickly, because the packers are coming next week, did I mention that?

Hopefully in a few days I’ll be able to show you a similar frame with our own pictures in it!

The way it works is that you bring them your photos, cropped and printed to the size of each opening, they will put them in, add glass and some kind of backing as well as strong picture hooks, and voila, there is your very unique wall photo frame.

Sounds fairly easy to do, except going through the last year of photos and figuring out which ones to pick, and then cropping everything to the right size and doing the things one gets sidetracked doing in Photoshop is not exactly an endeavor accomplished in a half-hour. Thank goodness for strong coffee to tide me over from about midnight to two in the morning the last few nights.

When it was finally done, I took a memory stick with the pictures to Detlev at the place I always take my pictures to, because they are professional and fast and by now know me by name. I can highly recommend this place, they are called Photon and are in the Leaping Frog Shopping Centre. I chatted with Detlef for a bit while he was uploading my photos and making sure all the resolutions were good, and might have complained a teensy wee bit about being so busy and having to move and now running around for such unimportant errands such as printing pictures.

“But you ARE doing the most important thing,” he said. “You are making memories!”

He was right, of course. From the day we set foot in Africa, we’ve been busy making memories. It’s only fitting that we should end our adventure by preserving some of them in print.

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