Friday, June 29, 2012

Hindsight: What We Shouldn't Have Brought

There are quite a few things I wish I’d brought with us to Scotland, but there are also several that I wish I’d left behind. For instance, my Mom urged me to get laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets to put into my shipment, because she said the products here aren’t as good. Laundry detergent quality must be in the eye of the beholder, because before our shipment got here, I was really enjoying the little all-in-one detergent packs that you toss into the washing machine. Now, I'll agree with my Mom that they may not be of the same caliber as the detergent in the States, but I'm all about convenience, and these little guys give it to me.
They work really well, don’t weigh anything, don’t require measuring, and take up half the space of my economy size detergent buckets. But now I have 4 giant detergents and fabric softeners that I suppose I’ll be using for the next year in order to free up some storage space. Dryer sheets are a bit trickier because at first I couldn’t locate them at any of the stores. I ended up spotting them at Tesco though, so I have peace of mind that when I run out of the two boxes I brought, I’ll be able to find more.
Also, we brought 2 cases of black beans thinking that we wouldn’t be able to find them here. They aren’t at every store, but I have been able to locate them at two different spots so I didn’t need to buy them beforehand afterall. Also, salsa and taco seasoning. There has been an explosion of Mexican food items available in Aberdeen so tortillas, salsa, and taco seasoning are usually available at any grocery store.  
Less specifically, we just brought too much stuff in general. If I could do it again, I would just bring my furniture, kitchen supplies, wardrobe, and a few food ingredients for my Tex-Mex and Cajun recipes.
I think I just took for granted how much storage space we had in Houston. Yes, our house there was smaller than our current home, but we also had 2 hall closets, a garage, an attic, pantry and 4 bedroom closets. Why not hang on to that rice cooker that you’ve never used if you’ve got the pantry space to accommodate it? Having things neatly put away mislead us to believe that we didn’t have that much junk, but when the movers started rolling in 154 boxes, it got pretty overwhelming pretty quickly. And then there are things that I swore we donated.
Things like these vases we bought at Kirkland’s when we were broke newlyweds. It wasn’t until we got them home that we realized they emulated naked African ladies and I have been trying to get rid of them ever since. Yes, I’ve been trying to off load these for 4 years, yet somehow, someway, they are sitting in my house right now. How does that happen? I’m convinced it’s either a horror story or a practical joke that Jon is playing on me.
And of course, I’m wishing we didn’t tote our non-living-room-fitting sleeper sofa all the way across the pond just to get rid of it in a fire sale for about 1/10 of what it’s worth. Speaking of which, any Aberdonians interested in a brown leather pull out couch? Entertaining all offers! Oh wait, it won't fit in your house either? Figures...
Time will tell: These are the items that I’m unsure of how much use they will get while we’re in Scotland, but would definitely be useful in several other potential locations.
Two sets of patio furniture. Two sets. Of patio furniture. In Scotland. Since 90% of the time it’s raining and below 50 degrees outside, I doubt these will get much use. But you never know. Every once in a while Scotland will surprise with a week straight of sunny skies and mild temperatures which are perfect for barbequing. Even so, it’s doubtful we need both sets, and for now, our garden looks a little bit like a white trash backyard. I'm predicting a theme party pretty soon.
We’re just waiting for a sunny weekend to get it set up properly. Judging by the current 5 day forecast, that might take a while.
My elliptical machine. We originally bought the elliptical machine so that I wouldn’t have to join a gym in Houston. The traffic there was so bad that I knew I’d never get in my car to travel to a gym, and I definitely got my money’s worth out of this exercise machine on days where it was too hot to jog outside. Now that we’re in Aberdeen, it’s never too hot to jog outside, and on rainy days, I can always catch a Body Pump class at our health club.
As of now, our elliptical has not even been turned on in Scotland. I think it may get some use in the winter months, especially if there is snow on the ground. I’m already bad enough at driving on the left hand side of the road, so I doubt I’ll add in icy roads en-route to the gym to complicate matters. And also, the elliptical is definitely something that we would use the heck out of if we were to move to a place like Bangladesh where it’s just too hectic to run outside. 
We’ve already donated 3 giant trashbags full off stuff, and thrown out 2 more. We’re making a donation and recycling run tomorrow to off load the next round. I will make sure that the African vases are out of my posession once and for all.  After that, I think the junk will at least be manageable.
I wish we’d taken more advantage of storing sentimental items with our folks. Jonathan brought enough memorabilia with us to start his own museum. We obviously can’t get rid of his whole life history, but it’s hard to carve out a place to keep it. I had one tub of old yearbooks and photo albums that I left at my parents’ house, but the rest I just had to chunk.
I never would have guessed that Jon was the more sentimental of the two of us, but I’ve got the evidence to prove that he is.
It’s actually really sweet. We had a pow wow on the floor where he showed me all of his old football photos and high school photo albums. It kind of made me sad that I couldn’t pull out my own for show and tell. But at the end of the day, I’d rather have a de-cluttered house then one filled to the brim with sentimental objects that I might pull out once a year when I'm feeling nostaligic.
An attic or garage would be a simple fix, but it seems the Scots have a thing against storage space. For now, we're just having to use a spare bedroom for storage, and we're very grateful to have that.
But man, oh man, what I would give for an attic. Or a garage. Yes, Mom, I know: you told me so.  


  1. Oh but Laine I am so glad that the rocking zebra made the cut :)! Miss your beautiful face!

  2. Laine - we don't have a garage or attic either, its horrible! I feel for you!

  3. I love these posts! And I love those Kirkland Vases, bahahahaha!!! Not enough to take off your hands, but it is a funny story.

    The one thing I have family send me is American foods/candy. I do miss it, but it isn't like they don't have food here in Scotland.

    We have an unfinished attic in our flat. Surprise surprise! That's the whole reason we took this place. Now, we don't have closet space but beggars can't be chooser's right? The Scots must have something against storage space.

    We stored our memorabilia in our family homes. Sometimes I do wish for old items to look through, but I know they are safe and sound in my sisters attic.

    I laughing out loud with the 2 sets of patio furniture. Ha! You should definitely have a party. Use those babies up!

    The elliptical will be nice in the winter! I'm jealous! I want your leather couch.

  4. Woah Woah're suppose to put those packs directly into the washing machine?!?! That explains a lot. I've been putting them in the tray for normal detergent...and finding about half still lining the bottom of the tray when the load's done! I've even resorting to popping the bag before putting in the tray. I'm so disappointed in myself...hahaha!