Updated: Sep 3, 2019
Once the “eviction” was done, my next step was to start the process of going through all of our stuff and deciding what was being sold or donated, what was going to be stored and what would be put into the condo. This has at times been completely overwhelming. My family has a tendency to hang onto things. I blame my grandmother for this. She was an absolutely amazing woman who could find multiple purposes for items. In her mind everything had a value and could be used. She lived through the Great Depression, so I think this mindset was a byproduct of that experience. In any case, that mentality has in various ways been passed on to all of her kids and subsequently on to me. It’s really difficult to deal with your internal guilt when you are in the process of unloading massive amounts of stuff. At times, I just have to take a step back and be done for the day. It’s also produced some feelings of anger and sadness. I acknowledge these have on more than one occasion been unfairly directed at my husband. It’s like I want to blame him for making me do this, when I am fully part of this decision. I’ve tried to tell him not take it personally, but I think that would be hard for anyone. He’s handled it pretty well, all in all. He comes from an entirely different mind set. He’ll pretty much throw anything away. This difference has caused quite a bit of friction between us throughout our marriage, but we’ve found ways to compromise. However, I have to admit that this move has caused it’s share of “discussions” regarding what we are keeping or not.
One of the big discussions was over family pets. I’m a big animal lover and also feel a huge responsibility to my pets. The dogs were non negotiable, although he did throw out the idea of just taking one and leaving the other with our oldest daughter. His thinking was logical. It’s not because he doesn’t like animals, he is just a little more practical in some ways. It’s easier to travel and rent with just one dog. But I don’t like the idea of separating them. They are attached to each other and I think it would be sad. So the decision was agreed upon to take the dogs even if it causes a bit more difficulty. I do think that might have been more of an argument if my husband hadn’t been successful in locating a rental property in the first location we are going to move to. Thankfully he was able to line a great home for us that would allow both dogs! Another Win!
However, the guinea pigs are a different story. I will admit that I’m a little upset with him over this one. A little back story…. which I think is a little humorous in retrospect. Back in March, one Sunday, he started feeling a little unwell, to the point that I brought up taking him to emergency. He has been dealing with some health issues ever since his father passed the previous year and emotionally it’s been hard on him. It has also dramatically impacted his blood pressure to alarming degrees at times. We had taken a trip to the Emergency Room a few months before for a similar episode where they diagnosed him as having a TIA, and there are concerns over his risk of a heart attack. I’ve been very worried about him and this has also played a part in the decision to make this life transition. Well in the midst of all of this worry, my husband declares “I’m not going to die without buying my kids a hamster!!”. If it seems complete random to you, you are not alone. Did I mention that my husband is a borderline hypochondriac with a flair for drama? It’s true that the kids had in the past asked for a hamster, and our youngest has been lobbying for a bunny for quite some time. However we’ve always been able to put them off, and agreed that it wasn’t what we wanted at the time. And yet here he was, without any prompting insisting on a hamster! What was he thinking? Against my wishes, he piled us all into the car and off we went to buy a hamster. I tried to talk him out of it, I truly did, but once his mind is made up you might as well try stopping a cruise ship with a rubber duck. At this point the only thing I could do was to try to gain some control over this situation. The kids were ecstatic! I think the pet store saw us coming. We ended up walking out of there with zero hamsters, and not one, but two guinea pigs dubbed Fudge and Skylar, two large cages and enough hay, pellets and bedding to last us months. No control was gained over the situation. I told him that we couldn’t have any more of these “near death” experiences, especially if it was going to spur him to make these kind of decisions. I can’t take it!
So, back to the current situation. There is no way we can travel with guinea pigs and the condo doesn’t have room for us to keep the guinea pigs there. Not to mention we would have to have someone feed and water them daily and clean their cages at least once a week. It’s a big ask. We realized that Fudge and Skylar would have to be re-homed. I hate this. It makes both me and the kids sad. While we haven’t had them for long, I think they are so cute and lovable, admittedly messy, but also good in teaching my kids to care for animals. So I started the dreaded task of asking around to see if anyone was interested. I even posted on Facebook about looking for a home for them, even asking if someone would “host’ a guinea pig. Let’s just say I didn’t get the results I was hoping for. Finally, a close friend of ours with a daughter of similar age said they would take on one the guinea pigs on a temporary basis. It wasn’t until I was discussing the remaining guinea pig dilemma at my Dentist office, that I found a home for other one. I felt sad and relieved. Two days ago I dropped off the one guinea pig, Skylar, to his new home. That was a very sad drive. It happened to be my daughter’s guinea pig, so she has been very upset as well.
My husband has admitted in recent days that if there was an Olympics for bad ideas, getting the guinea pigs took the Gold. I wouldn’t go that far.. maybe a Silver.