One of Johan's favorite moments comes right before one of his least favorites.
It is immensely satisfying when we finally have enough merchandise to complete
a container to be shipped to the U.S. He loves to see all of it spread out outside of our warehouse and begins to imagine how he is going to display it in our garden for our Container Sale video click here and here He smiles as he looks at all the pieces and brings to mind where he bought certain items and even remembers the faces of the people he bought them from. He admires the patina on some items, the craftsmanship on a piece of furniture, the simple and yet noble look of a rustic table, and wonders about those who designed, built, or owned a certain piece. He also wonders who will love and buy a certain item. He imagines their joy as they find the perfect little spot for it.
It's great to hear his voice when he calls me and says, "We have enough now!(yey!) It's time to load up!(ugh!)" And that is one his least favorite things to do: figuring out how to fit everything in the container. He has to figure out how to best pack everything so that there is no damage therefore procures the right packing materials and in some cases builds crates to protect fragile pieces. We have to use every nook and cranny. It's important to think about how to build up so that there are strong pieces to withstand the weight of whatever goes on top. You also have to consider the size shape and surface of some items to decide how to group them.
The list goes on and on! It is not only arduous physically, but also nerve racking trying to load up some of the heaviest pieces or getting on a ladder while trying to wedge in a piece that keeps getting stuck on something else. Add to that the stress of the documentation and other tasks of dealing with the transport companies, customs, etc. Packing and getting the container ready is definitely not something to relish and it always feels so gratifying when the last piece finally goes in and he can shut the doors! It took three days, working 15 hours a day to finish packing this last container which will be in transit tomorrow and arrive at the Port of Oakland on the last day of August. This means we can probably set the date for our Container Sale for the second weekend of September.
Stay tuned for updates on the actual date by joining our mailing list. You can do this by sending us an email, or can visit our web site where we post dates of events click here. While you are there, you can preview some of the items that will be arriving. Note: not everything that is coming is posted as we like to maintain the element of surprise and purposely not show some of the items to come. I myself sometimes do not get to see every item prior to the container's arrival and love to discover some wonderful treasure I had not seen before.
Some of the items Trinidad has not seen, like to keep some surprises
I always feel bad that I can never help in the loading of the container as usually when it happens, I have to be here to do my side of the business and fulfill my day-job duties. Now that I have taken a hiatus from my teaching job, I hope that I can go and help him with the packing of the next container. Johan is such a trooper because not only is he incredibly creative, but he's also always ready to roll up his sleeves and do the most arduous tasks. His hands possess both grace and skill to create, but also incredible strength to grasp, pull, carry, shove, and do everything that it takes to make sure all of our treasures make a safe journey to our place in Corralitos. I know by now you might be thinking, "It looks like Johan does everything! What do you and Martin do?" Well, stay with us, we will be posting later about the container's arrival and the drama that unfolds preparing for it, not to mention the unloading of the container. What takes Johan and his helpers three days to pack, we have to unpack it in three hours!
A few more things, secure it and close the doors.
Job is done!