Today was a surprisingly good day – and by ‘good’ I mean our ridiculously large trailer full of ridiculous items were allowed to join us here in Mexico. This was a day I have longed for and worried about for a long time. Although I don’t believe your identity is in your belongings – I believe the total opposite – there is no doubt that after 35 years of marriage we have gathered many things that we love and that make us feel at home, especially when everything else around us feels so unfamiliar.
As we packed, we really did purge an awful lot. We sold lots, donated lots, pitched lots. But we also packed lots and our reasons changed throughout the process. After living here in Mexico for most of the last 18 months, I have realized the value of many of the things I wanted to get rid of. I see so many needs and realize that some of these things just might be exactly what someone else needs. For instance, I absolutely do not want to sew any more – but what if a young mom could use that old sewing machine to earn some income for her family? What if someone living up in the surrounding mountains, where winters are cold could really use some of the blankets I will never need? And the kid’s games and Wii stuff – how fun for our Manos de Amor children who sometimes come to visit. So we packed more than we intended to and spent these last few days pulling the monster trailer through USA, knowing that the border crossing might be difficult and scary. We had done it with the tools in September and were not excited to do it all again.
But today went much better. After getting the permit and approval from the consulate on Friday, we arrived at the Custom Broker’s office at 9:00 this morning. It took about 1 ½ hours to get a bunch more papers filled out and signed – for a country of very loosy goosy rules, Mexico sure does love its paperwork. We then headed to the Border, a few miles down the road. There we were sent through a giant x-ray and then told to back up to a loading bay. Unfortunately, they asked told us to start unloading the trailer. They wanted to see all the way up the middle of the trailer and along the right side. Apparently, there were recently two cases where people smuggled in video games and medication, hidden in mattresses, so security was tight. We had packed that trailer – twice – like an enormous Jenga puzzle. Everything JUST fit and there was not an inch to spare. So to unload it and put it all back was terribly frustrating for us. The good news is there were 2 guys to help – the bad news is they had obviously never played Jenga. After the inspection, we did get it all back in but I expect it to explode like a spring loaded jack-in-the-box when we open that back door. Altogether, the whole process took about 4 hours and then we were back on the road.
We now have 2 more long days of driving. It’s not over yet. But we are in. Our stuff is in. We have everything we need to make a comfortable home -and hopefully share some of our stuff with some new friends who need a hand. Mainly, we are just really ready to be at home.