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(Flashback to 2013.)

We are moving.

Again. (And no, we are not military.)

Sixteen moves in thirty-eight years.

I swear this is the last time.


I’m sitting on a cardboard box in the basement. Contemplating stuff I’d dragged over three continents. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of those closed boxes that left South Africa in 1981 is still waiting to be opened.

There are boxes within boxes within boxes.

Half-finished projects of knitting and cross stitch and more.

Photo albums. Dating back to my school days.

Well, yes.

Keepsakes. Mementoes.

I feel sick just contemplating the task ahead. I can’t leave this to the professional movers.

No, the basement is my problem. Thirty plus years of my life.

Where do I start?

What do I keep?



Houses in Florida do not have basements. If you dig deep enough next to your house, you’ll probably find water.

Garages are reserved for cars and gardening paraphernalia. Essential stuff.

Totally overwhelmed I decide to go for a walk.

I run into my neighbor. And indulge in a whine fest.

This lovely lady tilts her head to one side and says –

“How do you eat an elephant?”

Huh? I’m a little hurt that this is the sympathy and support I’m getting.

“One bite at a time,” she said. “One bite at a time.”

The expression was new to me, a non-English mother tongue.

Back to my boxes I went. Light of step and a smile on my face.

Thirty-gallon trash bags at hand, I tackled one box at a time.

  • Maybe I trashed stuff I should’ve kept.

  • Maybe I kept stuff I could’ve trashed.

That “final” move was five years ago.

But I learnt something that day in the basement.

One bite at a time.

  • The jungle that was my garden after six months away from home.

One bite at a time.

  • The goal I set myself of losing five pounds.

One bite at a time. (Or non-bite!)

  • The change I wish to see in our country of people working together.

(That elusive word “bipartisanship comes to mind.)

One bite at a time.

  • My goal to write every day.

One bite at a time.

And as I walked the dogs this morning, irritable and overwhelmed for several reasons, the Serenity Prayer came to mind.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

I realize again that I must be the change I want to see.

I have to work at it –

One Bite at a Time.



Photo by Pixaby.

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