When Husband and I were getting ready to move from our home in NJ to this little island 1500 miles southeast of us, we were ready. For reasons too long to list right now, we were ready. So ready that we emptied out our apartment and threw out, discarded, removed, got rid of, or donated anything and everything we could. With that being said there is still entirely too much stuff making a home in my mom’s attic and my in-laws’s basement… and attic… and back room.
We packed our whole life into 6 suitcases:
We cheated a little in that my mother, through Latina connections, had discovered a shipping company that would pick up our caja – our box – at my mom’s home, ship it to Santo Domingo, and deliver it straight to our doorstep without any of the hassle of aduana – customs – which is usually so corrupt that you end up spending more in “tipping” than you would on shipping. We packed our other necessities (car seat, high chair, baby swing, etc.) into that caja. But overall if we didn’t need it, truly need it, then it wasn’t coming. IN restaurant talk it was 86-ed. Out. It was nerve-racking to arrive to your new home with so little except for the clothes on your back but it was also liberating. A chance to start new.
When we arrived, we purchased essentials. I am a creature of mood lighting so lamps for me are essential. A must. I yell at Husband whenever he takes the easy way out and turns on the over head lighting. “It looks like a hospital in here. Can’t you just turn on a damn lamp!”
We have to eat and unfortunately can’t afford to eat out every night so we bought pans, pots, utensils, plates.
We brought one set of sheets with us in Suitcase 6 so that when we arrived we would have something to put on our bed and we bought a comforter when we got here from Jumbo. A caramel colored, scratchy, polyester-ish comforter.
We were living very minimally and I was fine with that. But every time I walked into our bedroom, a room I
like need to feel cozy and luxurious, I felt not cozy and not luxurious. My bedroom has ALWAYS been my retreat. It’s where I retired to as a kid – without anyone asking me to – to write poetry and sit pensively. It was my favorite space as a teenager because let’s face it, teenagers like to be left alone. My bedroom is my retreat. And this bedroom was not that. When I figured out the first step in what I would need to begin building my retreat, I called home urgently to tell my mother to throw our duvet cover/down blanket in the box.
“Take out whatever you need to take out – the baby’s car seat or high chair if need be – but that duvet comforter gets shipped in that box ASAP! Got it, Ma?”
It arrived. It was everything I remembered.
(flashback) Husband and I were shopping for our first apartment together with my mother who was as excited about our new place as I was. As usual, Husband was in anxious mode, “Only the things we need, Jen. Only the things we need.” At first sight, I knew this comforter was one of those things. “Do we really need that, Jen,” Husband probed waiting for my usual response, a response where I was talk downable, “Well, maybe not need.” But my answer this time was firm, “Yes. We need it. And I’ve already bought it in my mind. So move over. This duvet cover leaves with me.”
The duvet cover is silky smooth and the down blanket marshmallowy soft. Relaxing white with calming light blue and pale lavender flowers. Cozy. Luxurious. And reversible. Did I mention reversible? I love reversible. Subtle change and more bang for your buck? What’s not to love?
But mostly I loved that the change was instant. My room went from defeat to retreat in 300 thread counts.