Monday, June 11, 2018
A peck of dirt - Part One
Yes this is supposed to be a a blog about quilting or at the very least - cycling. But please bear with me for this week as I get through something that many of you have probably already gone through and that’s cleaning up a parent’s home. There is a story about a quilting treasure near the end of this post. Check it out!!!
After the torrential rain yesterday morning that included hail, we loaded up our supplies and we were off. There was no need for defensive weapons this trip. Can you just imagine taking a loaded gun to clean out a house in the city? Well, the country is quite the wild and strange place.
My sister in law joined us yesterday and it was great. The boys tackled the old house, the girls tackled the newer house. We had discussed that it was way better to work room to room of which we had done more than half the previous visit in the old house. And they made great headway on the remainder. You see, we’re not dealing with just stuff, but EMPTY stuff. My Mom kept EVERYTHING including bar codes that she had cut off of whatever. Bar codes??? Why??? Because it might be valuable. We realize that after we left home, she got worse and as she had more space to spread out, she collected more.
But that is in the past - she is now in the giveaway/let it go mode and that is all that counts. At least when the time comes to go though where they are currently living, there is significantly less stuff and it’s pretty well organized and it’s relatively clean. I get the feeling that the more my Mom is exposed to “town” and various other people than her hoarding family, she’s realizing that it’s OK to get rid of stuff.
The amount of dust that we breathed in yesterday would be enough to make our lungs as black as if we were working in a coal mine. At one point, I was pulling something off the top of a closet shelf. It slipped and fell on me and I was literally coated in dust. It was totally gross to say the least.
But we opened boxes, sorted and stacked and moved those boxes around. The bottom line is that we all feel much better about what is there which is something that has taken years. But it’s obvious that my Mom has selective memory. A couple of items she totally denies exist and yet she tortured us children with them is one example. It’s not worth going into but my brother found them yesterday and at dinner, my Mom “knew nothing about them.”
We now have to make a number of phone calls on her behalf. She says she promised certain items for certain people. OK - I’m good with that, but we’re thinking that she “thinks” those items would be coveted by the people she has mentioned, but whether they want them or not is another thing. So we need to check that out as she won’t let it go until we do and my Dad would never do that and neither would she. It’s just a vicious circle. Those phone calls are for tomorrow.
All in all, we feel pretty amazing about what we’ve accomplished.
Oh - here is my quilting story for today. My cousin (who is here to visit his father who is not doing well) works in the garbage industry in Alberta. He (like all of us) likes to check out some of the stuff that is thrown away. He found a black box one day in a dumpster or somewhere. He knew what was in the box and brought it home for my aunt (his mother) who is a VERY AVID quilter. Can you guess what was in the box?? A featherweight sewing machine. Not just any ordinary feighterwight either - it was a 222K which is the free arm machine. And the box was in pristine condition, no smells. It looked practically brand new. That is a rare treasure indeed to get that free arm model. It was thrown out probably by family members who had no idea what they had found. We’re not letting that happen here, but alas, while we’ve found numerous sewing machines (I think, we’ve found 5 in total), none of them are really worth anything. I did find a Kenmore that was so heavy, I could barely life the darn thing. Does it work?? No idea. That’s not our priority for this trip.
Let’s just say that I slept pretty well last night. I was tired - physically and mentally. Today we’ve got a busy schedule - getting to the lawyer to sign some papers. Got to make up a list of other questions to ask the lawyer and then off to the funeral of a great aunt who has just passed away. Great timing on her part as we’re all here.