Six suitcases and a messed up wrist

Kinda sounds like a drinking song?

So real quick…my wrist. Yesterday I was packing and purging…MOSTLY moving things out to the garage for my upcoming moving sale NEXT WEEKEND (holy shit where is time going!). So I’m moving along, moving along, music playing, I’m working through some of my “feelings” by sweating and punishing some boxes 😉 and all of a sudden – POP. I heard it. I kinda felt it but it felt more like I had bumped into something really hard. I instinctively started flinging my hand up and down because I hurt it, and of course cussing something about a mother or something…and I’m flinging my hand when I realize my arm is about one second ahead of my hand. It looked like my hand was detached! It didn’t hurt but it was disgusting. So off the the urgent care I go, they head me over to the ER and they pop it back in (THAT hurt like a MOTHER). They give me some iv pain meds, wait for them to wear off, and I go home. Now it’s in a brace but the brace hurts too. Whatever. It was actually funny before it started to hurt. You should have seen the faces in the waiting room. Good times. Good times.

But what I REALLY want to talk about is Six Suitcases. Literally and philosophically, spiritually or whatever. I would give almost ANYTHING for mass participation on this post, because I am really, really interested in what everyone has to say.

six suitcases.jpg

So, back to it. Six Suitcases.

Six Suitcases Part 1: The literal meaning.

I am flying down to the DR with the president of the rescue down there, and we are taking all of my dogs on that flight (in cabin with us). Each of us can check 3 bags. I can also pay for another 2 bags. He will be using 1-2 bags, so I may have one of his baggage allowance. Plus my 3 and I’ll pay to check 2 more.

So that’s six suitcases. That is what I have to condense my entire life down to before June 20.

Well not forever. I can store some things. I will be shipping some things in a container but that may take a couple months to arrive. I can have some things brought down later with friends, but that’s trivial. So, I have to put everything I need to live on a day to day basis into six suitcases.

Now, one of those suitcases (EASILY one – MAYBE 2) will be devoted to dog stuff. Their beds actually. Then I have yoga mats. Bella needs them or she will slip (permanently dislocated shoulder from the floors 😥 Did I tell you that?). I’m thinking okay, maybe i can fit the yoga mats and the dog stuff into two suitcases.

That’s four suitcases left.

One suitcase is going to be devoted to Michael’s things or other things that are very important to me and is non-negotiable.

Now I’m down to three.

It sounds silly maybe, or perhaps materialistic – nothing could be further from the truth as I’m getting rid of everything – BUT there are some items, home kind of stuff that I need with me. I just do. They mean something and I need them.  And my dad’s minerals. I can’t take them all, and will store them until I can get them down in trickles, but I need to take a few of those with me. Other “hard” items like A coffee pot (they’re really expensive down there). There’s another suitcase gone.

Down to two.

I keep whittling down and whittling down. I keep putting more in the moving sale than I intended to. I keep adding to the goodwill pile. More and more and more is going, so it’s not an issue of me letting things go. I’m really looking at each item and letting a lot of things go. By the way, looking at each item and going through all of these things is exhausting, depressing, and in general just defeating. Seriously.

I just don’t know if I need to reprioritize.

For example: Do I just suck it up and buy new appliances down there even though they cost more? Momma needs a coffee pot. NOT negotiable. Do I strip the dog beds and take JUST the covers and find new stuffing down there so they take up less room? You KNOW I need to make this move happy for them. All just me thinking out loud questions.

So, enough about me. Six suitcases. PLEASE tell me, WHAT WOULD YOU BRING? This is the REAL LIFE version of desert island. PLEASE play!


~ Lisa


9 thoughts on “Six suitcases and a messed up wrist

  1. Rather than buying down there, is it an option to buy here and have it shipped to you there, after you arrive? Perhaps shipping is too expensive. Just a thought.

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. So, I recently went through this on a much smaller/different scale. I needed to purge my house because I simply couldn’t handle all the “stuff” in my house anymore.

    If I was condensing, here’s what I would say:
    Photos, mementos, important paperwork that is not easily replaced (birth cert, ssn card, marriage cert, etc.), my bedding- including pillow which could be in a vacuum bag, dog items (can those be vacuum-sealed as well?), coffee pot (since that is non-negotiable for you), small electronics (laptop, cell, chargers, international adapters, camera, memory cards), all the critical items from Michael (in my case, Sophia- and, these would be going in my carry-on because I couldn’t risk losing them), and bathroom items.


  3. Things that bring me joy or are irreplaceable. A favorite sweatshirt, that one outfit that makes you feel amazing, a favorite blanket, my dogs favorite toys, pictures, a couple of my favorite books. Personally I would bring my camping gear because it packs tight, lightweight, and is utilitarian…like my lightweight cup, multitool, etc…and electric toothbrush 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve moved more times than I can count, including international. Go to each room of your house and pick the things you use the most. Put them in a pile and then start to eliminate. On international moves, otc meds have been really useful. My own pillow. A favorite blanket. A drip coffee maker is a must. My wedding photo and two pics of my kid and my dog. You’ll find that you don’t actually need as much as you think you do!

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  5. Are the yoga mats negotiable? Could you buy more down there? (Or the non slip rug pads might be good/cheap)? I think I’d buy appliances there and maybe the average Dominican makes coffee differently (without an expensive pot)? I think bringing sentimental things, clothes and everyday items that you can’t replace. And now that I am thinking about it, I’d bring dog bed covers. But not all the dog beds. Seems like valuable space and I bet the dogs will be so happy with you they’ll be ok if their dog beds smell the same but feel a little different 😉 I don’t know. This is coming from someone who’s moved across the country multiple times, with a dog. And spent extended time in the DR with locals. But you know your needs and what will make you feel the most comfortable and at home during this adventure. And you’ll make the best decision for you…and the dogs 😉 Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I hear ya, girl. It is difficult to wade through your life and have to pick and choose. Having recently done this I feel your pain (not the baggy wrist thing). Dog beds here are pretty much crap. They are either made with flimsy fabric or the covers don’t come off. Crazy. I brought ours with us in their crates, but that was 2 1/2 years ago and they are on their last legs. The covers are ok, but the insides are just gross. I bought a 2 pack of bed pillows at Playero in Sosua for $10 and put 2 in each cover. I can take them out and wash them in the washing machine. It works like a charm and withstands so much more wear and tear than that weird stuff the manufacturers put in. There are so many talented seamstresses here, too. You can have anything made.
    On to the appliances. A Black and Decker coffee maker is about $30 here. They take up too much real estate in your luggage and we can easily have one set up and waiting for you. I hear you about the coffee. MUST HAVE!! There are so many expats leaving the island at this time of year that FB is full of their ads for household items for sale. Join “Everything Sosua” and “Everything Cabarete” on FB and you will see so much stuff for sale and it’s already here. If you can’t find the pages I will send you an invitation.
    The vacuum bags are fantastic (Walmart). They will turn a big stack of pillows or clothing into a skinny flapjack. Towels here are a little pathetic, but Debbie goes to Pricemart in Santiago fairly often and they have nice quality towels. I used towels for wrapping precious things and stuffing in the corners of the luggage. Again, valuable real estate.
    As for mementos, I brought a few photos and some irreplaceable things. I only just brought back my precious Christmas ornaments that were stored at my Mom’s. They are the things my daughter and grandson made in school and really are treasures. This year they will go on a tiny tree that a friend here gave me.
    It is different for all of us expats. Everyone has their own story and that’s one of the things that makes this place so fantastic. You will be just fine here and anything you have forgotten can be found here. The fun is in the search. Breathe, little Chica. You already have a wonderful bunch of friends here and we are all here to help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love it. I don’t think I’m panicking about the downsize as much as making sure I choose wisely! And you have convinced me that the appliances ain’t coming with. Just tons of good info here. Thank you! And get those clippers ready cause something’s got to give. LOL


  7. Personally, I would invest in the compression sacks for clothes, dog beds etc. I could get all fabric items into a suitcase, leaving more room to pack other important items.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Michael’s ashes, Michael/Lisa molded hands, dog items including bed covers if you can get beds there for cheap, if not, dog beds, yoga mats unless you can have them bought there and waiting for you, personal items including medications, meaningful jewelry, coffee pot, toaster, momentos that bring you peace and strength, computer, cell phone for contacts, any important papers you want to stay safe, items from your dad, sheets in your vacuum thingy, more I’m sure!

    Liked by 1 person

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