Another Sunday in The Park

Another Sunday, another ‘day in the park’, excavating Mom’s house.  Snippets… as i can barely keep my eyes open.  They are itchy, burning and raw from the hour i spent in the hallway closet, hauling out first aid supplies from the 1960’s, scores of mismatched pillowcases, and about two dozen tubes of EXPIRED toothpaste, still in the box.  That’s right.  Expired.  It lasts about 10 years.  Most of these expired somewhere between 2001 and 2004…

Overload:  Mom is clearly overwhelmed.  She’s resigned to the process.  She knows it all has to go.  We are being patient, and trying hard to let her ‘touch’ everything and assign the disposition (keep, yard sale, church rummage sale, trash).  We quit early today because she stopped talking…

Progress:  The two-car garage has been completely excavated, and BJ is putting insulation/drywall on the exterior wall.  Amazing.  i haven’t seen the floor of that garage in 30 years.  There is hope.

Treasures:  Dad’s notes for his memoirs.  Found them.  Had a chance to look through them and there are some new items, and a few surprises.  Unfortunately his handwriting was bad, so it may take awhile to decipher them…  And most amazingly?  His tenor sax.  FOUND.  It was buried under boxes of trash in the garage.  Major victory in the excavations.  i take back all most of the nasty things i suspected about my niece’s first husband…

Estrogen:  My car was at the back of the driveway when BJ needed to make a run to the gas station for cigarettes.  Rather than play ‘drive-way hokey pokey’ and move the two cars blocking in his truck, i just tossed him the keys.  Returning, he handed the key back and said “What is that CD you had in?  Indigo Girls?”  A little embarrassed, i said “no, just some mellow chick stuff i was listening to – to keep me calm on the drive down”.  He said “Well, it made me want to go buy a gallon of ice cream and watch ‘The Notebook'”.  Not only is he functional, he’s funny as shit…

Need to go pour something medicinal in my eyes.  i think it was the mouse poo dust that got me today.  Or the mold spores.  Or the cat dander – from two cats ago.  Or…

Let the excavations begin…

February 19th, 1988. Receipt – 19′ U-Haul Truck.  $34.79

Just me and the ex-husband*, taking a day off – leaving our 2 year old daughter at day care in the morning so we weren’t tripping over a toddler while moving furniture.  We didn’t ask friends.  We didn’t hire help.  We just did it.

Not that there was much to move.  Our first house was a smallish three bedroom home, barely a third of the size of the newly purchased home.  After just two trips with the truck, we finished up, moving small items in the car.  Bruised, battered and completely exhausted, it still took us less than 6 hours.  And there was a lot of empty space in the new house when we were done…

Fast forward a little over 20 years.  i have absolutely no idea where all this shit came from…  but it’s gotta go.  Both children are away at college, with their own scavenged furniture.  My new place is about the same size as this one, but only three bedrooms.  It’s not that i couldn’t put all this crap into the new crib, it’s just the wrong stuff.  Clean slate… that’s what’s needed.  “Simplify” is my battle cry! 

So, out it goes.  And since i’ve committed to a “yard sale”** in two weeks, i need to push hard on the excavations.  Tonight?  A start…

i braved the shed, where the lawnmowers sleep in varying states disrepair and loneliness… only the spiders and husks of their spider ancestors to keep them company.  It wasn’t nearly as bad as i’d remembered.  it’s been over a year since i’d opened this thing – it’s a 20′ x 10′ barn, with a storage loft.  Even found the “Pig Farm” from our guinea pig ranch era… and my sailboat…

Which led to the second round of excavations – if i’m going to sell the Sunfish (the sailboat i retained from the divorce), i need the registration info and title to the trailer.  Ummm…. right… Two teeny tiny pieces of paper lost in the haystack of my desk-al region. 

Never fear, i’ve got a fabulous filing system!  When we moved in, i was so organized!  Set up drawers, labeled folders, sub-folders… and everything is up to date.  Through about 1989.  Yep.  Maintained it for about a year before i gave up and just started throwing stuff in folders near where they should go…. 

Tonight, i spent about 2 hours wading through receipts for long-gone storm doors, random report cards for my elementary school-aged children, traffic tickets***, auto accident reports accumulated over 20 years…  all of that life-shrapnel you hang onto thinking you’ll need some day.

After rooting through the places i thought they might be, such as the “car titles/registration folder”, “purchases”, “warranty information”, i eventually stumbled on the proper location.  Buried in a bottom file drawer, i found a folder, cleverly labeled “Sailboats”. [smacks forehead]

Whew!  Success!  Well, sort of…  i also discovered that i still have the title for the other sailboat and trailer – the one my former husband kept.  Happy to have located both necessary treasures, it was only as i was putting his title in the “go” stack that i noticed it was titled in my name.  And, invariably, the trailer that has been collecting bugs under my back deck for the past 10 years?  Titled in his name… 

One more thing on the “to do” list.  Which is buried on my desk somewhere…

* Still hate the term “ex-husband” in regard to the man i was married to for 25 years or so….  In my family, the connotations include ex-spouses with attempted murder charges, crack-whores, transvestite bank robbers, suicide, incest (sorry, still haven’t gotten to that one, folks), and a kindly, but deeply confused Palestinian taxi driver, who was briefly married to my bi-polar lesbian sister.   I usually call my former spouse “baby daddy”, although  i saw the phrase “was-band” somewhere and kinda liked it…

**  A friend will help organize and execute the sale, with her three indentured servants children.  In return, she gets half the proceeds.  I’m also keeping the kids overnight so she can go on date with her adorable hubby.  Something for everyone!  My motivation – i work best on the clock.  Since the advert is out, i am committed to the sale, and must move merchandise.  Forcing functions rock!

*** LOTS of traffic tickets.  There are 88 counties in my state.  i realized tonight that i’m well on my way to getting a ticket in every one of them!  Woo hoo!  Gotta be good at something, right?