Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Dealing with hoarding is not easy

Thanks for all the comments on the blog yesterday. To answer them --- YES -- I know that hoarding is a symptom or is related to mental illness. That took many years for me to wrap my head around. I feel grateful for all the awareness in the last years to elevate that fact for me. I admit that for many years, I was very embarrassed about that situation and thought that it was totally intentional. While sometimes, her behavior is hard for me to accept, I now realize it for what it is, while my older brother is still having difficulties with it. 

Did my Mom run a store? NO. That was her thing. If she got into a hobby, she went full tilt. Nothing like me! OK -- so just like me, but I only had ONE, she had many. If someone expressed an interest in an item, then she needed to have 20 of those for sale. Even though she lived way out in the country on a farm, she taught ceramics and so had loads of molds -- I mean, why just buy greenware, when you can make your own. So there are hundreds of molds and loads of greenware. 

If someone came up with a crafty item that she thought would be a hot seller, she made hundreds of them, even though she wasn't really part of a craft market. We've found hundreds of stuff like that. I have some pictures and I might write a blog post once I get home with everything in a more organized way than I do when I'm away. 

Anyway, we've been trying to sell the ceramics for years and may have a potential buyer!

She saved everything -- and I mean everything! But there is a bit more that I would like to explore and then I'm done. I don't ever want to go back out there. But I've done all that can be done for this trip as I have a plane to catch later today, actually, my flight is tonight. I normally don't take the evening plane -- I like to fly in the morning, but I figured I could maximize my crazy trip this way. And good thing I did because with all the visiting I've done, I'm running out of time!

I visited with a couple more aunts yesterday and we had really good visits. One of my aunts has moved into a townhouse condo very near to my parents and so that is convenient and hopefully, they can rekindle a relationship. 

I hope to spend a bit more time with my parents today and then I'll be in the car and on my way home. I won't get home until very late tonight if all goes well, or early tomorrow morning. No luggage to check -- I won't ever do that unless I have no choice. I don't need much when I travel anyway so that just isn't an option unless I'm traveling for work. But for personal? There's no way I'll travel with checked luggage. I can't imagine what I would put in a suitcase that big - one pair of shoes on my feet, a change or two of clothes and toiletries and I'm good!

Between visits, I decided to take some "me" time and do some geocaching. The problem is that I'm a pretty independent person and of course when you live at home, you can eat when you want, drink when you want, and plan your entire day around yourself. It's a different story when you visit and I just needed some time. I found some neat buildings that I didn't know existed here and had a nice walk, although not the normal walk that I would do at home. I've failed miserably in that while on this trip, but I'm OK with that. I'll get back to it tomorrow and while I won't make up the distances, I'll be sure to get back on track. I miss that thinking time, although I hear it has been HOT back home. 

How many of you recognize this building? Yep -- that's the post office in Battleford and there are MANY like it throughout Canada, If they haven't been torn down. They picked one style or variations of it and built one in many cities. I remember visiting that post office almost every day when we came to school in town. I'd be mailing letters for my Mom (she was an avid pen pal) and buying stamps. 

The post office in Battleford

I have some paper stuff to sort out this morning. Things that I must decide if I want to keep, and then bring back with me. Don't worry - it's NOT much, but some of it might be too heavy for my suitcase and so I'll have to arrange to have it shipped. That's on the agenda for first thing this morning. What doesn't fit in the suitcase, will go in a box and be shipped back. I'm being very ruthless, but there are a few things that I want to take a picture of or deal with at home, and then -- it's gone. 

I can't wait to get back to my routine of one box a day to eliminate that paper. I'm HIGHLY motivated now as I do NOT want to be the kettle calling the pot black! 

We seem to be having a shortage of freezer paper back home. Like my Mom, I have a lifetime supply of the stuff -- OK - so I have 5 (maybe 6) boxes of it. I popped into the local Home Hardware store while I was walking and I spotted ONE box on the shelf. But in retrospect, if anyone asks for a box, based on my usage, I might be willing to part with one or two of those boxes at home. I mean -- how many does one need and I'm not a big user of freezer paper. If I were my Mom, I'd have dozens of those boxes. 

ONE box of freezer paper

One thing I love about their apartment building is that everyone is so friendly. And they usually have a puzzle set up in the common room. So between coffee time in the morning and working on the puzzle, they keep in touch with each other. My Mom is NOT the social type and so depends on people stopping by. I didn't even attempt to put in a piece of the puzzle, but it makes me want to dig out one when I get home. But there is no time for that as I have FOUR classes this weekend and none of them are prepared! Guess what I'll be doing tomorrow?

I guess I might have to break down and buy a lawn mower! My brand and my color! 

I hope that everyone is enjoying these long days. We've been sitting outside in the evening and it's so light until really late. I actually miss that when I'm at home because I'm in bed early! And I get up so early that it's dark, even for this time of the year. But it will be good to get back to a regular routine starting tomorrow! 

On that note, I'm out of here! I'm all talked out and I can't wait for that plane ride tonight. The girls are going to be beside themselves and I'll get to see what's happening with the landscaping. They are still working on that step. There are the stairs and then at the bottom, there's a big base step that works out into a patio and it's taking them forever to do the forms. Perhaps I'll get to see them pour the cement for that. 

And thanks for all the comments (Instagram, Facebook, blog) about the situation at my parents. It's a challenge, but honestly, I'm so over it now -- I'm just trying to get closure and close the door and call it done. In my mind it is, but there's still a crack in the door and I'm trying to pull it shut, while others are still willing to keep it open! We'll get there!

BUT  --- if you are in that kind of a situation, you need to think LONG and hard about what to do with the condition of your house. I walked into Norma's new house and it's beautiful, it's TOTALLY clutter-free and it was so refreshing. That's how I want my place to be and I'll get there. We're almost there! I know that I'm of sound mind, so I can recognize that I have an issue (a small one), but I would never want to leave that for someone else to deal with. 

Have a super day!!!  



  1. Hi Elaine - too bad you’re leaving tonight we could have met up and had a coffee. I’m sitting on a plane destined for Regina. Going to visit family for five weeks. My family lives southwest of Moose Jaw in a little town called Gravelbourg. I haven’t been home for three years due to Covid so it’s high time I get back for a visit. Glad you’re able to sort out all the family stuff while at home. That kind of stuff is never easy. Take care and have a safe flight back to Toronto.

    1. OH shoot!!! I know where Gravelbourg is. Funny how many of us are from out west! Have a safe vacation and you are much braver than I -- five weeks!

  2. If I didn't know better I would think that that was a photo of the Athens post office! I will take a picture of it sometime and send it to you....too stinking hot today though!