25 January 2015

Common Sense is Not So Common.

I collect orchids. Now there are orchids, and there are orchids! I collect the latter. Not only the buy-'em-at-Whole-Foods Phalaenopsis, but exotic Oncidiums, Vandas, and corsage-quality Cattleyas. Ironically, it was after our first visit to Costa Rica that my orchid collecting began. Now as we're moving to orchid-land, it is time to say goodbye as they cannot be imported. Yesterday I sold 10 or 12 orchids, and a large plumeria in a beautiful pot, to a very nice woman from Hawaii. This gal knows orchids, so they'll be in good hands.

Today I cleaned-up the greenhouse . . . having all that extra space in the absence of all the orchids. I re-potted, divided, and tidied-up the other blooming plants that will come out after all danger of frost. Our back yard is lovely, year-round, with a variety of winter-hardy tropicals (palms) and seasonal color. But since the home will be listed for sale in just over a month, it must be especially breathtaking this spring.

Is Calloway's Nurseries merely a Texas-thing? Regardless, they're known for their beautiful planters, each unique but way, way over-priced. We own several. Actually, several is an understatement; and they're all large, fire-glazed ceramic. And big! Did I mention big? I can barely lift some, even when empty. Now let's remember that we'll have a large pool deck; and what would be more resort-like than a beautiful pool surrounded by tropical plantings (recall that beehive ginger)? So using a two-wheel dolly from the greenhouse out came the best of the best onto an area of items to go to Samara. I designated another area of garden items to be sold in a garage sale. Guess what was in the garage sale area? I'll say this: I could gather it up and hold it in one hand.

Here's the hard reality: we have budgeted $5000 to move everything we wish to take for a door-to-door move; and that figure must include the payment of duty on imported items. The cost of moving, using shrink-wrapped pallets, is $1.50 per pound . . . and that's merely from the Port of Miami to the Port of Limon, Costa Rica. Doesn't include over-land trucking from DFW to Miami, nor overland from Limon to Samara, nor duty. The cost of shipping with a container is prohibitive. Period.

And anyway, aren't you glad that I brought my crystal and Limoges? asks Baroness Von Blixen in Out of Africa. I, too, like my things. I want my copper and heavy Le Creuset, I want my German knives, I want my 1000 thread-count linens and Tempurpedic pads. I'll leave the crystal, but I want my KitchenAid with all its accessories. This is all about to come to a screechin' halt, as my mother used to say. 

So what gets left behind? We went to the grocer this morning for a week of standard supplies. I've never been so price-conscious as I was this morning. Milk! Crazy high. The Mexican crema that we love so much? Out of the question -- we'll take plain ol' sour cream. I'm too lazy, or too busy, or too crazy (or all of these) to make a salad for dinner, so I buy the salad kits. Kathy, do you want the single-serving $5 salad kit, or the 99-cent iceberg lettuce? I came home and ran for a Xanax.

Can I live without the beautiful planters? Well of course. Do I want to? No! No, no, no, no. I could eliminate Jill's toys -- yeah, there's about $10 saved. What do a plush fox, mallard, and river otter weigh? It's mind-boggling. Can I buy planters in Samara for the cost of shipping? Will I get a tenth of what I paid for the planters in a garage sale? Never. But somehow this will all work-out.

Hey, we're moving to paradise. Let go of the planters . . . and possibly even the 250 pound cast-iron pizza oven. I suppose it's time to make friends with Craig's List. Kathy, just breath. Lo que hay. My new mantra? This will all fall into place . . . somehow. Denial: It's not just a river in Africa.