My husband and I have moved 38 times in 45 years. That’s not a typo. The great thing about that is I’ve never had time to collect clutter. When we left for Ecuador to teach ESL and volunteer at orphanages for ten years, we left all our priceless possessions with our sons. I chronicled every detail of our lives in photo albums. There were lots of them.
On a recent trip to visit our kids, we noticed two of our blue totes in the garbage bin. Oops! We salvaged as much as we could and the rest we threw away—priceless family photos. And then I realized, I’m a doer—not a collector. Giving away things has always been cathartic for me. I don’t even own a wedding band or engagement ring.
That’s not to say I haven’t collected a “few” pictures while we were in Ecuador. We traveled to the Galapagos Islands twice—once while I was receiving chemotherapy in 2018. I wasn’t going to let a “little” thing like that stop me.
When we arrived back in the States—last year—during the pandemic, we left everything behind again and started over. But since I am what I do, not what I collect, we wanted to land in a spot that would be like a vacation day 365 days a year. Anna Maria Island is as close to a perpetual vacation as I can think of and the water reminds me of the Galapagos Islands—emerald green. And now we get to share this place with our kids and grandkids. Memories that will last a lifetime!