Last week, on January 7, my parents and sister, Adi moved into my house. It is a rental in the same exact neighborhood two long blocks away.
Last July 2017, we purchased my parents’ house at market value with the intent to build a second story for them. They can begin to grow their nest eggs, which they kept dipping into, and ENJOY LIFE.
Packing and clearing out their house and moving took 2 very long, very rainy days, followed by 2 easier days without rain. The rain made it REALLY awful for us. Packing and moving sucks to begin with. I’m sure you never related moving out with the word “fun” either. But imagine doing it while it is pouring rain outside, hands cold, feet wet, all the stuff getting wet. Heck, my sister’s underwear was wet! Now ya feel me.
We planned to clear the house before demo began but the storage container that we ordered to store my parents’ “keep” items in the driveway, did not arrive until Monday at 2:30 pm. It killed our moving weekend. Grrr. Nonetheless, we were gracious to Brett, the container delivery guy. I didn’t want to spread anymore rotten cheer – it’s been a helluva week. Here it is taking up half our driveway space.
I was cranky the majority of the time during the move because my parents took so long and dragged their feet with packing. Let’s just say NOTHING was packed. Their breakfast – eggs and salmon – were left out on the kitchen counter as if they were going to return later that evening. They were cooking breakfast and dinner the day before demo day! Arrghh. We were left to scramble on sorting, throwing and moving their belongings. Plus, I was cleaning out two bedrooms in my own house at the same time, getting it ready for them and my baby sister to move into.
My mama bought multiples of everything. We found 7 fans – one was still in the box with a receipt dated “February 2007” taped to it, in a plastic bag ready to be returned, a years supply of Mentos and Ice Breakers, and 5 jars of Folgers coffee, to give you an idea of their lifestyle and the work we went through. Their 5 x 2 pantry was a mini-mart. You should see her master bedroom closet. On top of that, she kept really old things. Rusty, falling apart, inoperable things that she was planning to donate (if only you can see my face). My papa on the other hand, he had a garage full of wires, old flip phones, chargers that don’t match to anything, a million screws and nails, random weird things, and more random weird things. My papa is a technician so it is in his nature to “save things just in case”. My sisters and I joke that after he retires, he will build a robot. It isn’t too far fetched given he currently builds the machines that cook all the chips and nuts for Frito-Lays you all so dearly love and he had worked for Lawrence Livermore Lab, engineering and developing tracking devices for birds. Or was it coyotes? I can’t remember. I will find out.
My sister Portia said she really pushed my mom out of her comfort zone and encouraged her to get rid of some things. She told her gently that she didn’t need 5 frying pans and 5 saute pans. My mom cried when my sister insisted she give away a cheap dented-in- multiple-places saute pan. My mom said, “But that’s where I cook my eggs!” while shedding tears, in tired disbelief that she was being put through this decluttering misery, while her kitchen cabinets were being torn down.
It’s hard. I get it. But they knew this was coming, 6 months ago when we bought the house. The only sad thing about getting rid of things in this event, is that my parents gave away a very beautiful sturdy, classically designed, solid wood bed. I was shocked to hear about it when they said they gave it away for free to the construction people. Of all the things to give away, they gave away an heirloom! WTH. The ONE thing they owned that Portia and I thought was worth holding on to. Gone.
After all, it’s just a bed frame, classically designed and sturdily made of wood. Very sturdy, solid wood. Handmade. Let it go, Elaine.
I know it was very hard for my parents to move out of their home and to sort through their junk, ahem – wealth, and PURGE. But hopefully, by emptying their house of old, sometimes rotten, things and not accumulating so much stuff, will help declutter their minds. My mom is turning 60 in a month and she already has the mindset of an 85 year old. She needs to focus on her physical health. I see her pronounced gray roots and arthritic hands and she just looks older than she should. I need her to focus on getting stronger. I’m going to help change her attitude this year. I myself need help, I have to admit. I need to go to confession for my very negative attitude the past few days.
In any case, my family pulled together and we survived! We got all of my parents’ stuff sorted, we hauled a bunch of things to the dumpster and donated useful stuff to St. Vincent De Paul. Thanks adrenaline! Sending a special shout-out to my two younger sisters, Portia and Adi, for their perseverance and a keen eye for what’s trash and what’s for keeps.
We also got them moved in! The kids are sleeping in the living room on a blow up mattress. They are excited about it. I love their innocence and simplicity of their lives. They have a jumpy house and a bedroom with a TV, all-in-one. They will be there until June. They are happy.
Next up is DEMOLITION! I will do a feature blog about a WHOLE HOUSE RENOVATION on my site. Ack! I can’t believe those words just rolled off my tongue.
Also, our trip to Spain and Italy for my mom’s 60th birthday is right around the corner in 2 weeks. I need to buy a new luggage because I believe our hotel in Rome does not have an elevator. Better bust out the weights while I’m at it.
Today’s Silver Lining: An brandnew, unopened flashlight I can use. And one big family under my small roof. Joy 🙂