D-Day in Three Months / by Alan Strathman

I am excited that it is only 3 months until the day I leave.   Until about 10 days ago I thought that most of the things I have to get done I could only do at the last minute--selling my bed, dishes, car. About 10 days ago, though, I realized that, in reality, most of the things I need to do before I leave I need to do now. 

So I have been very task-oriented. I got together all the paper documents I have that I need to keep (e.g., tax returns), organized them and then sent them off to be scanned and shredded.  I reasoned that I could not afford the room or weight in my luggage for tax returns and they would do me no good sitting in a box in  2500 miles away. So when I leave for the PC I will be paper-free.

I also need to sell a set of bagpipes. I have always wanted to learn how to play.  And I played for a while in a local pipe and drum band, though I only played the drones when we were in parades because I had not yet learned any tunes. I did think, however, that I looked very good in the kilt. But at 51, and about to spend at least 27 months in the Caribbean, which is not Scotland, I think I may have to give up the bagpipe dream.  Other than not learning to play bagpipes, playing hockey is the only other thing I have accepted I won't ever do again.  This will be hard to give up because it is something I have done since I was 5 years old, and it has always been a part of my identity.  I may never have been an outstanding goalie but I loved playing more than I loved doing most anything else.  So that feels like a big thing.

I don't think anyone has left for the PC without making sacrifices and, no doubt, in the grand scheme of sacrifices giving up playing hockey may not seem like much of one.  But I think we can agree that giving up something that has been part of my identity for so long is not nothing. I am confident, though, that it is a sacrifice for a good cause.  A cause that starts three months from today.