On the rainy Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I spent a long chunk of time in the parking lot of a storage facility. I was waiting for the delivery of my stuff from Germany.
I shipped eleven boxes of stuff to Regensburg in November of 2011, and brought back eleven boxes and a carpet. I have no earthly idea how I managed to keep the number of boxes the same, because quite a few things were bought and sold in those three years.
Yesterday, I moved all the stuff I had stashed in my brother’s storage unit into a second storage unit which contained my shipment of stuff from Germany. Once I was done combining all the stuff into one storage unit, I had a good look at what was there. This photograph shows everything I own, save for a small closet’s worth of clothing, my laptop, a coffee table and mirror still at my brother’s house, and my car.
Everything I own, aside from the car, can be placed into a five by ten foot storage unit, with room to spare. It seems a little light, doesn’t it?
The old me, the version of Steven who existed before living in Germany for a few years, would have lamented that it seems like I haven’t accomplished anything. I even wrote about packing and storing my belongings in an introspective post just two years ago. Now that I’m back to staying in my brother’s spare bedroom, it’s going to be at least another two months before I’m ready to snag an apartment of my own. For now, the majority of my stuff will remain in that storage unit. Old Steven would actually be kind of depressed at the situation.
That was then, and this is now. In the last three years, I visited 23 countries I had never visited. I made friends all over Germany. I may not have collected much in the way of personal belongings, but the experiences I’ve collected are irreplaceable, even if my terrible memory means that I will have to re-read my blog to see just what I’ve accomplished. Today is my 42nd birthday, and starting right now my repatriated life is basically a do-over. I bought a new car nine days ago. I finally have all of my belongings in (more or less) one place, even if I can’t pull them out of storage just yet. I’ve got a stunning new (but not really new) girlfriend. In another two or three months, I’ll be ready to get a new apartment and start filling it with stuff. (I’ll need a bed, a desk, and an internet connection. Everything else is negotiable.) Forty-two is gonna rock.
Since it’s my birthday, I reserve the right to fill the rest of this post with random stuff from my recent comings and goings. First up, my Thanksgiving dinner plate. I’m not sure why everyone takes pictures of their Turkey-day plates, but I’m no outlier here. Clockwise from the upper left, it’s turkey, yams and marshmallows, cranberry jelly, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and some stuffing in the center. Yes, that’s the cranberry from the can. Shut up, I love it that way. I even love the little can-shaped ridges that show up in the sides of the cylinder of cranberry.
I’ll go for the bonus points here, and also show you my dessert plate. On the top row, there’s a chocolate and cream cheese brownie which is more cream-cheese than chocolate, “twisted and evil.” Next up is a tiny pecan pie. A pie-lette, even. And on the bottom is a slice (and I use that term loosely) of chocolate pudding pie, a family tradition. There was also pumpkin pie, but I can have that almost any time.
I mentioned the new car in the last post, but I didn’t have a proper picture of it yet. Here’s one, taken in my dad’s driveway. His driveway gives good photo-angle. You still can’t see the pretty blue color of the car though; that only seems to show up in photographs when it’s raining or overcast.
While we’re on the subject of the car, I took a photograph at a specific mileage because a) I’m twelve years old, and b) I knew many of my friends would also be amused. (Cara, I’m lookin’ at you here.)
That car was a birthday gift from me to me. My niece is turning four this weekend, and I bought her some Bavarian bears before I left Germany. I’m glad my shipment arrived in time.
Moving on with more randomness, I’m utterly fascinated by the things people decorate their houses with in South Florida. Amelie were walking through the neighborhood the other day, and we stumbled across a house where the owner was proudly flying an FSU 2013 Champs flag, and had decorated their tiny front lawn beneath the flagpole with… well, it’s better if I just show you.
On that same walk, we attempted to photograph a very friendly cat. As you might expect, this was the outcome:
I’ll leave you with this video of the Turkey-day fire on my sister and brother-in-law’s patio, as observed by someone who just figured out that his phone has a cool slow-motion mode. Check it out!
How was your Thanksgiving? Did you film anything in slow motion?