Town day yesterday. About 450 pounds schlepped back to the house. Haven’t been to town for a month or so due to small supplementary infusions of goods from guests who visited just as some things ran out. Guests with good larder-timing are especially appreciated. But we were overdue for a lot of things. So, it was hard to complain about the day. But I did anyway. Whinged and groused all day like some old geek.
One of the parcels was a small crane. It weighed 100 pounds. One hundred pounds has never been light but neither has it ever been too heavy. But getting that puppy off the boat, up the beach and onto the deck was an age-determining experience. I guess I measure my age now by what I can carry up hill. And I am definitely getting older. It is not only annoying and limiting but it can cause aches and pains. Worse, there is all that whinging and grousing.
But it is interesting…the timing of the lower funicular is getting more pressing. We can both feel it. We are going to need the assistance. If we had to, we could do the basic schlep for five more years and likely ten if we developed some kind of now-and-then delivery system in addition to the big barge. But the lower funicular will make that ten years a piece of cake. I can feel the urgency in my lower back and see it in Sal’s growing reluctance to choose the heavy boxes. We are going slower, packing smaller boxes and have developed unconscious and conscious habits that minimize extra or unnecessary effort but we have to do more. The writing is on the wall.
When we were younger and had a two story house, Sal would put things on the stairs. Puzzled, I’d ask, “How come there are books and sweaters and stuff on the stairs?”
“They are there for when I was going to go upstairs anyway. No sense in making an extra trip.”
Well, we have taken that ‘be-efficient’ mentality to sophisticated levels. We shop with that in mind, we leave things at half-way points, we eat up all the leftovers and even buy with ‘leftovers’ in mind. It is amazing how efficient one can become with supplies, not out of sacrifice or skimping, but simply from doing the most with the least amount of town effort.
I was reminded of that this shopping trip, of course, because every trip is an exercise in efficiency. But also from a note from the newbies to the area; “We took a small load over to the property and then went home and stopped for a bite to eat. We were exhausted. You’re right — everything gets handled at least six times! And then you ache the next day!”
When we do a town day, I buy half a rotisserie chicken and some deli salads with the groceries for dinner later on. Every time. Why? Because we don’t have the energy to do any kind of from-scratch cooking and even heating leftovers is a pain, BBQ chicken is our fast and convenient go-to, last second dinner.
Over time our town trips have become more efficient–our packing more efficient, our movements more efficient–and we have developed systems to increase those efficiencies. The shopping itself becomes more efficient as our menus result in less garbage, our bulk-buying becomes second nature, re-packing in the parking lot to get rid of non required packaging becomes a habit. Even things such as Sal’s growing reluctance to buy anything liquid because we should be able to find the same product dehydrated and not have to carry water starts to show up.
Strange – but this is a different meaning to the old saw, less is more. In our case, we get more so as to carry it less often.