Just Waiting to Move to My Next Home

Day -2, Grand Asia 2018

Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, Chicago:

Today is my last day in Chicago until Christmas. Tomorrow I fly to Los Angeles before boarding the MS Amsterdam on Sunday for the Grand Asia 2018 cruise.

Being “homeless” since selling my house has really meant that I have multiple homes. Or at least I pay rent in multiple places. One is a bedroom in my sister’s home in Plano, a suburb of Dallas. My cats live there, and I plan to spend the winter there again this year.

I have a small apartment in Chicago, where my nephew lives along with his girlfriend and their newborn son. Last summer, I finished out his lease after they moved to a larger unit in the same building. I loved Chicago so much that I came back this summer. I think I will return again next year.

Technically, I guess I also pay “rent” for my storage unit in Plano. Next year I plan to rid of a lot of the things I thought I needed after selling my house a few years ago. I may move the few things I keep to a small storage unit near my other sister’s home in Fort Smith, Ark., where the rates are much lower.

And finally, I can almost say that my other home is on the MS Amsterdam. I spent almost three months there last year and will do the same this year. (If I decide to book the Holland America World Cruise in 2020, I will live there for almost five months.) Last year Holland America greeted us on the Grand Asia cruise with a large “Welcome Home” banner. It does feel like home.

I’m ready to go. Today I’m just filling time, spending most of the day in a coffee shop with my writing group. All I have left to pack is my carryon bag and a backpack with electronics.

I may go as overboard with electronics as I do with shoes. My list includes laptop, iPad, iPhone and assorted cables and accessories. I’m a bit nervous about my drastic decision to leave my DSLR camera and lenses at home. I’ll use my iPhone 8 and two Ollo lens attachments. Instead of lagging behind on tours to get the perfect shot, my intention is to lag behind while quickly sketching the scenes.

And that brings me to art supplies. Last year’s watercolor instructor Jack was generous with supplies. He had ample paint palettes, brushes and paper for our use in or out of class. We will have a different instructor this year, so I don’t know what to expect. Therefore I packed my own paper, paints, brushes and pens.

I’m eager to get on the “dam” ship already. Waiting isn’t my strong suit.