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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

No Photos

It strikes me that I should take some photos of the work I am doing on my house.  I really don't have a lot of resources to do the real work on it (new roof, new deck, deciding whether I want a deck in the back, or a paved sort of thing, or a big garden space or greenhouse: actually could do the two latter things myself).  I still have been able to release old papers (I do not need all my old handouts and crap from teaching and grad school: I've kept all my class notes and a few other things, but the rest is  all going into the mists of time.  That and old kids clothes, ewaste, etc).  There is a "little library" in front of our small-town laundromat where you can donate old books.  The patrons of that establishment could end up being very emotionally healthy, because I keep donating all my old self-help books to the little library and they disappear from the shelves as fast as I can put them there.

My place had a few trashcans worth of stuff to get out, but it was definitely not like the  hoarder home that I was privy to and horrified at, the cleaning of which fell to the grown children in the family when the woman died. I felt sad for the friend I knew who did not even want me to see that house or go inside and seemed terribly embarrassed by it when I did..I think he even apologized for it as we drove home, though none of it was his fault, or any of his siblings.  It really ended up being a beautiful home when cleaned out, but when I first saw it, it was filled with hoarded papers, among other things--I mean piles of old magazines, ancient newspapers, etc. 

The first time I saw the place, I was okay in terms of being around all that paper (I used to have severe asthma), but the second time, the paper fiber, dust, and detritus got into my lungs and damn near destroyed them, and set off a chain of health problems that I have only begun to come out of this year.  I had been in relatively good health up until that time.  You can't get a hoarder to part with much, but I still wonder why no one tried to intervene with the elderly woman who lived in all that stuff.  It wasn't dirty, just crammed to the rafters, as homes sometimes get. I did get some nice things for Thistle out of it: a chalkboard easel, a cute rocking chair which she loves, a larger rocking chair I practically lived in when she was small and first came here, and a very sweet girl's lamp, which I am going to restore. And, for me, a lamp that illuminates my writing space; one day it will live in my little house, but it is somewhat fragile and needs to be handled and moved carefully.

Anyways, my stuff is greatly reduced and I am glad to get rid of it.  I gave away seven leather jackets to Goodwill: where did they all come from?  Nobody in my family wears leather jackets.  It's  as if they multiplied in the night, like Tribbles. 

Even though my little house is run-down, the inside is starting to look nicer and I am happier for it.  I sat out on the deck as usual and just let myself be a part of the absolute quiet, and willed gratitude for the things I have.