Friday, June 10, 2011


DAY TWO OF THE TELLING. Which, as you know, Dear Reader (if you've actually been reading my blog) refers to Day Two of the CLEANING OUT. It's cleaning out of a dwelling of which I speak! It's the house that my father built when I was six years old, and it had been sitting forlornly stuffed with the paraphernalia of daily living--but no loving inhabitants--ever since my parents died, several years ago.

It's true, my siblings and I had already spent a day soon after our mother died divvying up the furniture and other large items; but there were still cupboards, closets, bookshelves, attic and basement filled with accoutrements and memorabilia with which we had yet to deal. And that's why we called for the enormous dumpster, and had both brothers' trucks at the ready for hauling what some might call junk (referred to as treasure by others, of course) to a thrift shop.

By Day Two, we had things well on the way to their various destinies. The dumpster was accruing cast-offs at a rapid rate, and likewise the 'things for donation' truck. According to the usual family dynamics--which were put into place by fate many years ago--two of the siblings called most of the shots, while the other two acquiesced. (The missing sis would have kowtowed as well, had she been able to be there.) And that's how we worked together through the sultry heat, my sister and I pulling open storage space filled with clothing and linens, papers (many, many papers) and photographs, photo albums and slides and old home movies, games and toys, medications and toiletries, decorative items, and...(aaagh...I'll have to admit, I can't enumerate it all); and meanwhile, my brothers and my yard man were feverishly emptying the basement.

The time flew by, and by Wednesday evening we'd filled the dumpster to the brim, sorted out and carted away most things of value (other than the kitchen accessories, wall of books on the living room bookshelves, and a few other small pockets of accumulation [we simply ran out of time]).

I'd have to say, in spite of my angst heading into this endeavor, I felt a sense of satisfaction upon locking the doors (last to leave) and heading home. Most folks would now call the house empty*.

*(My siblings and I, we thought of the house as "empty"
on the day my mother died.)


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