…and finally she emerges from beneath the pile of rubble.
I’m not sure how many details I’ve given in this space, so I’ll start from the beginning and try to be brief. I am the third generation of my family to own my house. My grandparents owned and lived in the house for 30+ years. My parents bought the house from them and lived there for 20+ years. My brother and I grew up there and inherited the house equally when my parents passed away. My husband and I bought out my brother’s half-ownership in 2004.
When we first bought the house and started preparing to move in, we got rid of 40+ boxes of books, 30+ bags of clothes, and three truckloads of miscellaneous other stuff. Since then, we’ve eliminated at least a couple thousand pounds of trash (building materials, tires, appliances, etc). You may think I’m exaggerating, but sadly I am not. So what remains, you ask? (Or maybe you don’t ask because you’re so sick of hearing me talk about this stupid house and all the work that needs to be done and all the crap in it and you are really thinking would you stop whining and just suck it up and deal with it already and…ahem…sorry, you went off on a bit of a tangent there. Back to the subject at hand…) I’ll tell you what remains — it’s the big stuff, big in size and significance. My parents bedroom furniture, some of their dining room furniture, enough slides and slide carousels to choke a horse (don’t ask me why a horse would be eating slides), family photographs, 30+ years of cards and letters, two generations of yearbooks, military memorabilia, jewelry, childhood treasures, kitchen wares…and more. Much more. It’s this stuff that keeps me awake at night (among other things…) wondering what to do with it, keep it or unload it, give it or sell it, and on and on. It is within this context that I set to work whenever I get the chance. The good news from this past weekend’s work is that I made it out relatively unscathed, meaning I didn’t end up a sobbing puddle on the couch (not too much anyway), nor did I end up paralyzed with indecision. The bad news is that I didn’t get nearly as much done as I would have liked. I sorted through some more clothes, a box of cards/letters, and my mother’s table linens drawer — all that resulted in two medium-sized piles of things to get rid of (know anyone who wants some Irish linen place mats and matching napkins?) which feels somewhat anticlimactic. I have to keep telling myself that this is an ongoing process. I can’t expect to finish it overnight. It took many decades to accumulate. But it’s really overwhelming and all the uncovering/sorting/unloading makes me miss my parents all the more.
Though it can sometimes feel scarce, there is progress to be had — check out the retaining wall we had built last year, and the lovely not-so-new-anymore bathroom floor, and the re-painted dining room stripped of its hideous wallpaper. Bear with me if you’ve seen these pictures before — a girl has to grasp onto some hope where she can find it, ok?
Also, know anyone who wants some Corning casserole dishes?