Phew! The past 7 days have been full! A trip that involved planes, buses, rental cars, crazy shuttle drivers, and to top it off, 3 KonMari Basics workshops the day after we got home!
Carly and I went to Bakersfield to attend a memorial service for my Aunt Margaret, and while we were in Southern California (where we lived before moving to Arkansas several years ago) we were also able to see lots of family and friends. It was a wonderful trip, and using the packing cubes we recommended in the packing blog post a month ago made it much easier to stay sane while moving from one destination to another. It was super simple to pack and unpack, and just having one bag while we traipsed through the airports and waited out rain delays was really lovely.
During the first leg of the trip we stayed with some friends in Dallas who used to go to our church. They were kind enough to kick their teenage son out of his room so we could sleep there the night before we flew out. They homeschool their children and keep their nature journals in a basket that sits on this bench made by Lori’s great, great grandfather. I just love things like this - it wouldn’t mean much to anyone else, but this bench definitely sparks joy for her.
Next on the agenda was a flight to LAX. By the way, Carly is an excellent travel buddy. She has the best snack jacket ever. Unreal the amount of goodies she stowed in those pockets. Our first stop once we got to California was San Diego. We got to celebrate my sister-in-law Laurie’s birthday with her family. They are hilarious and I’m so thankful they let us crash her party.
Next we headed up to Bakersfield for the memorial service where we got to see my mom and all 4 of my sisters as well as lots of other relatives. Aunt Margaret passed away after a short, fierce battle with cancer. She was like nobody else I’ve ever known. I remember her glaring at me and saying with venom in her voice, “Susie! You little pissant!” Then she’d throw her head back and roar with laughter. She had the best laugh in the world and it came easily and often. I knew whenever we got a chance to see her we’d all end up in tears because she was so funny. When I graduated from college my parents took me on a road trip to Florida and I asked if Aunt Margaret could come too. I’m so glad she did. She was game to try anything - I still remember her screaming with laughter as we rode jet skis. She always looked beautiful and put together. I asked her to be a bridesmaid in my wedding and she made it a blast. Apparently she felt it gave her license to call my husband a pissant as well, among other things. He thought she was a riot.
At her memorial service, her daughter Janice told us that when Margaret was in the hospital recently, she had to have 4 operations over the course of 5 days. As the transporters wheeled her down the hallway (with my cousins at a discreet distance) Margaret would throw her arms in the air and sing, “We will, we will rock you!” No one really knows why. She didn’t know any of the rest of the song, but boy she made everyone turn and look at her. And they all ended up with smiles on their faces.
The world has lost a firecracker, but heaven has gained one.
The next day we got to hang out with my brother. He’s the best brother ever because he works at Disneyland and gets all of us in free! I went to Disneyland a couple years ago with Carly and one of her friends and sort of got tricked into going on a ride I was pretty sure I didn’t particularly like - Tower of Terror or Guardians of the Galaxy or whatever they’re calling it these days. Carly said, “You don’t have to go on it with us, but I’ll be so proud of you if you do.” Of course I went and I was right, I didn’t like it. I hated it. I screamed from the second it started until it stopped.This time when Carly tried the same ol’ guilt trip on me, I held firm.
After leaving Disneyland we drove back to LA to return the rental car then took a shuttle to LAX. And - oh my goodness - the shuttle driver who dropped us off at LAX!
Like I said, we’d just come from Disneyland, but none of the rides there held a candle to the harrowing experience of that shuttle ride. The driver careened the full-sized bus around corners, weaved in and out of traffic lanes, then raced up behind the cars in front of us and slammed on the brakes. She got so close to them I don’t think a molecule could fit between the bumpers. Then she’d lay on the horn until they frantically attempted to scramble out of her way in bumper to bumper traffic. She yelled at everyone who got on the bus, “You better hold on because I cannot catch you if you fall!” We tipped her extra because it was so entertaining.
We got back to Dallas at 3:30 am due to a rain delay and decided to drive the 5 hours back to Little Rock without stopping overnight.
The next day I had the pleasure of presenting 3 workshops for the Saline County Libraries. It was a long day after so much crazy travel, but the audiences were so kind and receptive that I thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. Sharing the KonMari Method truly sparks joy for me.
To make it even better, the next day I got some very kind emails from several of the participants. One of them said she went home after the talk and folded her t-shirts and even sent me pictures! She said, “The drawer is so much neater now and they all fit without having to stick my hand in and push them down to get the drawer to close!” That’s exactly the reason I love folding things into rectangles and storing them vertically. It makes putting clothes away so much easier!
I’m so thankful that the time the workshop participants invested was worthwhile to them. If you have a group that would be interested in hosting a workshop, I’d love to connect with you.
It was a long week filled with love, good memories, laughter, and lots of joy. I hope your week was filled with joy too!
Sue Fehlberg is Arkansas’ only Certified KonMari Consultant