Sunday, August 2, 2009

Deconstructing Life in Riverside

I want to use this blog to chronicle, what I consider to be the biggest adventure of our lives: Packing it all up and moving to another country, specifically, the "nation" of Taiwan. I say "nation" with quotation marks because there is debate in some circles as to the independence of Taiwan. But this isn't going to be a political blog, at least not all the time: Some things can't be avoided, you know how I am. Well some of you do anyway. I want this to be about my family and life in Taiwan. I also will share all that happens as we labor to build the church in Taiwan. That's going to be an adventure.

They say a journey begins with the first step. But I don't think that's right, the journey really begins with the making of the "To Do" list. The first entry on that list is the beginning of the journey because that's when the dream begins to be a reality. The list is done and the journey has begun, so I want to begin here at the first tasks on the list: Deconstructing life in Riverside.

So let's start with getting ready to leave...The first step on the Taiwan Adventure:


There are a million things that need to be done in order to set us up to move there. One doesn’t realize the enormity of the task. Over the years we have accumulated an enormous amount of what I would classify as junk, but what my family insists on calling treasures. What do you do with all this stuff? How much can you really sell? How much would anyone but you want?

My plan included calling up the local Waste Hauler and renting a 40’ debris box and tipping the house over and allowing it all to spill out into the box. This, I feel is the most efficient method of packing, however, when I ran that past the committee, they were not impressed with my zeal for efficiency. So my life is full of boxes. Boxes that are packed and unpacked, repacked and stacked, and set aside until someone remembers that wonderful treasure that is hidden in a particular box.

Then there are the yard sales, people trampling on the lawn, buying stuff that should have, by all rights, been thrown away, leaving the good stuff, so I have to do this again. We sold old dishes; we sold little knick-knack stuff: Dust collectors, if you will. But we couldn’t sell the antique accordion, the powerful dissecting microscope; the stuff that really might be treasure. I know what you’re thinking right at this moment, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” You couldn’t help yourself; I must have heard that expression 4,000,000 times at the “Sale of Sales.” But I think it’s still junk, and that’s all right, as long as it’s now somebody else’s junk.

The packing continues and it’s going to take a while, I think. My wife is an excellent and competent woman, and I often marvel at the things she manages to get done. But this process can seem overwhelming. She looks at the garage and says, “I have to go through that and find what I can get rid of.” She really wants to do it right, I know she does, but it takes so long and there is stuff in there that I haven’t seen since we got married. Then there’s the stuff in the house and it all has to go somewhere, so the process will continue until it’s done. Meanwhile I think I’ll keep the waste hauler’s number handy. You never know…hell could freeze over.


  1. That's hilarious Chris! I can only imagine especially with "tween" girls! When exactly are you leaving? I found two Storm Warning cassettes and wanted to send them to you if your interested. Didn't want to contribute to the "stuff" you need to get rid of. Let me know. Melissa Arps

  2. From Jessica(LIU Ying): What you have done
    and will do is amazing. Think you will have
    good luck in Taiwan and thank you and Brand
    all the time and effort to our English study.
    We will remember all the happiness together.
    And also hope oneday we could have a reunion
    in Taiwan or the mainland~

  3. Hey Crissant, Brenda and tribe!!!! Im so excited for you guys. I will be following your blog and supporting you in all your Adventures. Have fun!!! Love you all