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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Oh consumables closet, how I miss thee

A few days ago, Brandon asked me where we kept the extra toilet paper.  I directed him to one of our closets, the catch-all closet that serves as laundry room, toy storage, rubbermaid bin depot, stroller home, paper products repository, and Eleanor's bedroom (but only at night).  He came back a few minutes later, empty handed.  I sent him next to search our bathroom.  Nothing.  The children's bathroom - none there.  Finally he came back from the toy room bathroom with two rolls of toilet paper - all the toilet paper we had in the house.

We're now down to about three quarters of a roll, split between two rolls for two bathrooms.  Sophia just came out of her room to request the other roll that floats between their bathroom and the toy bathroom.  I go to the store in three days, but I don't think we're going to make it that long.  We do have kleenex, however.  And plenty of paper towels.

My mother raised me to always keep backups, and I took her seriously when we moved to Baku and had to take two years of backups with us (although, ironically, we did run out of toilet paper there too).  Whenever we ran out of something - chicken stock, chocolate chips, wheat, Pam, q-tips, toothbrushes - I just had to take a little trip to the third floor and get another one.  I never worried about running out because I had spent a lot of time, money, and Brandon's health making sure that I wouldn't run out.

But now I've gotten lazy and don't remember to check my TP stash before going shopping.  I don't know how many times I've realized that I'm out of some essential household items just after unloading my bi-weekly shopping haul and squirreling it all away.  One memorable evening I went to Target not once, but twice to get something I had forgotten.

Soon enough, however, it will be time to gear back up again.  We leave in four months, and we can ship our 2,500 pounds of essential American products two months before we leave, so that gives me only two months to get everything in order for two years of toilet paper, brown sugar, toothpaste (we got through that a lot quicker than I thought we would), wheat, black beans, and printer paper.  Friday morning I was researching the cost per square foot at various retailers for Charming Strong and cost per ounce of Colgate whitening toothpaste.  When you're buying a two year-supply of those things, costs add up so it pays to do your research.

It still feels like we have forever to go before we head out - we just passed our halfway mark after all - but it sneaks up on you when packing your suitcases is just the last step in a months-long process.  All of our passports expired in June, Eleanor doesn't even have a passport (but she now has a birth certificate as of this week), we have to get visas and shots, schedule flights, schedule hotel rooms in Germany, purchase and schedule a shipment for all of that toilet paper, our UAB, the HHE we've picked up in Virginia, and oh don't forget four days of traveling.

And in August we have a week of beach, Brandon's friend visiting, his brother's wedding to attend in Seattle, and somewhere in there Eleanor has to get blessed and Kathleen baptized (for which I ordered the fabric to make the dress yesterday).

But in the end it will all get worked out as it always does.  Even though I like to complain about all of the to-do we go through in our migratory lifestyle, secretly I wonder how stationary people live their lives without regularly scheduled excitement to break up the monotony of every day life.  If I ever sigh to myself about some aspect of my life that irritates, I always perk up and remember that if I just wait long enough it will change.  And of course it does.

One day, however, I'll actually settle down and then I'll have to remember to buy my Charmin on a regular schedule instead of in two-year increments.  That might take some time to get used to.

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