Okay, here's the situation. There are three kinds of packing going on in our house right now. First, what goes into our shipment at 89 cents a pound to get it to Ukraine. Second, what should we keep out to pack in our suitcases that go with us----two suitcases each, 50 pounds allowed in each one---all basically warm heavy winter clothes. Third, what can we live without for at least two two years and leave here in storage.
Our big problem right now is how to get our books there. Books are the tools of our trade, we need these books to do our work properly and to share with others on the field. Books are very heavy. Our shipping company has said that each box we ship cannot weigh more than 66 pounds. We're using fairly large dish boxes that we bought at U-Haul, a nice size and sturdy for shipping. The first box Frank packed with books in the bottom weighed 100 pounds. Okay, unpack it and start over. The problem is that the boxes are too big for only 60 pounds. When we reach that amount the boxes are only half full. After several attempts to unsuccessfully get the weight now and fill the box at the same time, we decided to consider sending the books through the postal service. You can fill a big postal bag with packages of books and send them by sea mail, which means we won't get them until February or March, but that's okay. Frank has to check to see if our local post office here in Yukon will handle that sort of thing, or even if the service is still available.
We've basically done all the shopping we need to do to get things to send to Ukraine. Major items that we definitely needed to take with us include all the vitamins and minerals our doctor wants us to take, as well as 12 months of my prescription for Evista, which prevents osteoporosis (did I spell that right?). We went to Sam's last week with Laura and got all the vitamins, etc., as well as popcorn, granola bars, and some heavy warm woolen socks. I don't need to take a lot of kitchen stuff because the apartments in the Ministry Center are furnished with a lot of things already in the kitchen. So I'm only taking a few things for that. Food items: among other things we are packing peanut butter, Crisco, spices for Indian cooking (we need our curry fix every now and then), Pam for easy cooking, minced garlic and onion, and ziploc bags which are useful for everything. One thing I am taking is my small sewing machine. It isn't in a box yet, but it soon will be.
I've decided not to take my quilting stuff with me. There's just too much that's involved with that. But I'm sending all my bags of yarn that has accumulated over the years. It doesn't weigh a lot and it's a good filler in packing. My knitting needles, crochet hooks, and some patterns are going too. Fortunately, there are tons of knitting and crochet patterns on the internet, so I don't need to take a lot of those. I'm also taking some of my cross-stitch materials and threads. I have a lot of cross-stitch kits that I have bought on sale at Hobby Lobby through the years, so I stuck some of those into the shipment too.
We asked our church to help some of the kids in orphanages and some adults with warm winter clothing, so we have that to pack as well. Several coats, a number of nice sweaters, and some hats and gloves have come in for that. And Frank needs to put in some tools that come in handy now and then around the house or apartment. And I have some CDs and DVDs that we're taking with us too.
We need to get this finished early in the coming week and take it to Tulsa to a shipping company which ships only to Ukraine and takes care of customs, etc., and delivers it right to your door. Much easier than having to take it through customs yourself and then make arrangements to get it home afterwards. Busy week ahead. We have always looked at our going to Ukraine as a new adventure for the Lord. We need adventures to keep us young and excited about life in general. I think the adventure has already started in all the issues of packing!