In 2010 we drove to Oregon from Richland Washington for the weekend. It was one of many trips we took during our ten-month work assignment. We had a small rental house and most of our belongings were back in Mississippi. I didn’t realize it at the time, but we were temporary minimalists. We had a couple pieces of furniture, a few clothes, and just enough kitchen ware to eat and prepare meals. With nothing more to care for we spent every weekend exploring neighboring cities and states. Over Thanksgiving, we scored a cheap flight and vacationed in Hawaii. More about that in a later blog.
We arrived in Oregon just as the sun was setting on a Friday night. It was our first visit to the state. I was shooting some pictures and I turned and my heart stopped for a split second. I fumbled with the camera attempting to make the shot better and snapped. I knew if I didn’t grab it quickly it would be gone. What a beautiful scene, the person I love, standing in front of an awe inspiring sunset, his reflection perfectly captured. It reminded me of one of those travel commercials for tourism. Today knowing what I know now, I consider it the best sales pitch for minimalism that I have ever witnessed.
I dream of many more sunsets, more travel, and less debt. I can picture it all in my mind so clearly, but the show is still on, the commercial break hasn’t yet begun. Sometimes it’s hard to see how it is all going to play out. This week we have been focused on improving the big house and making it more attractive to potential buyers. The downstairs bathroom is nearly finished. The walls are up and painted and there is even a loo in there now. The old bathroom was outdated and very unattractive. I have been doing just a bit of minimalizing this week, paring down the Tupperware and my scrapbook stickers. I’m still on the first run through those items. Usually, by the second run through a box or drawer, most of the objects leave. The first time through is a practice session where I gear up for the real event to come later.
As of now, I have only three states remaining to visit, North Dakota, California, and Alaska. Alaska will be our 20th Anniversary trip if all goes well. That leaves California and North Dakota. Many states we have merely passed through on our way somewhere else, so they are unexplored territory. Travel has its benefits, and I hope we are able to participate in more of it. What I am really looking forward to though, is the most simple of things. Having a cup of coffee on a screened porch, with my husband beside me, while a thunderstorm is brewing off in the distance. Now that is a real commercial break.