Three things cause stress

 Somebody once told me the three things that cause the most stress between spouses are raising kids, taking a family vacation and moving.

Who knows whether it’s true. For some people, including Tiger Woods, there probably are other things that cause more stress. Enough said about that one.

In our family, we’re on the downhill slope (hopefully) on the issue of raising kids. Our high school senior, Joe, graduates May 28 in Florence, Ala., and will head off to college in August. For Joe, deciding on a college was stressful. But now that the decision is made, we’ve got the summer to get him moved out and moved in to a dorm.

And our two 34-year olds have their own families and our grand kids in Pittsburgh and Ashburn, Va., just outside of Washington, D.C.

Taking a family vacation hasn’t been the source of any stress the last couple of years. That’s because we haven’t had one. Maybe we’ll get a chance to try a little of that stress sometime this summer.

Moving is another story. Atlas Van Lines Saturday unloaded all of our household goods in New Albany. Boy, has it been stressful. And we’re not unpacked yet.

With professional movers packing and moving everything, what could be so stressful? a friend asked.

The key word in that last sentence is “everything.” We’re downsizing the square footage in our house by nearly half as we prepare for life as empty nesters. 

The problem is we haven’t downsized our stuff by half.

It sure seemed like we did. For weeks Jenny has been sorting, selling and giving away stuff. There were two garage sales, two trips to the Salvation Army and a successful plea to my sister to take away an antique bedroom suite that belonged to my grandfather.

Last week movers arrived at our house in Florence, Ala., packed up our things and took them away, all while I was working here in New Albany.

The big shock was early Saturday morning when I heard the truck arrive outside our new house here. 

When I opened the door, there were TWO trucks sitting in the street. Our belongings wouldn’t fit in one, they said.

In five hours, they hauled eight-and-a-half tons of furniture and boxes into our house. Well, actually, about half of it went in the house. With no more room, they piled the rest up almost to the ceiling in the garage.

The movers joked that if we had had three more boxes, the garage door wouldn’t have closed. 

At least, I think it was a joke. Maybe not.

We were reunited with stuff from our attic that we hadn’t seen in years. Joe was a little embarrassed when a three-foot-tall plastic Crayola crayon bank was deposited in his new room. Not too embarrassed to shake all the coins out the bottom, though.

Now, we have set two new goals. Number one is to pare down enough to be able to get our cars in the garage by Christmas. The second is to stay married while doing it.

We’re in good shape on number two. 

I wouldn’t even bet you a lunch on the first one.

 

T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by e-mail at publisher@New Albany Gazette.com.

About Chris Elkins

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