odd life

family room

The rooms are echoing around here. I’m sort of getting used to my living room being empty – though I still walk around the chair that isn’t there. My young helper friend consistently puts her keys and phone down on the table that isn’t there. I steer my walker around the boxes that aren’t there and occasionally try to sit in a chair that isn’t there. Upstairs is even worse. At least I have my office and bedroom furniture down here. Upstairs there is nothing.

Which is possibly why the creepy people last weekend thought the house was vacant. I’m guessing that they saw the sign and pulled into the upper drive, looked in the windows and saw nothing there. My neighbor told one set that the house was not vacant and my car was in the lower drive, but they still thought it was acceptable to creep all around the house peering in the windows. If she hadn’t called me to tell me there were people wandering around, they would have scared the hell out of me. In what world is this okay? I’m now keeping the house locked. Typically I don’t lock up when I’m only out running around town – but now? Oh no, I don’t trust the creepy people.

I don’t know what to do about this. Calling the police is pointless. We don’t exactly have local police, they would take at least a half hour to get here. Probably longer. Would a “No Trespassing” sign be tacky? I’m considering making a sign with the realtors’ numbers and making it clear the house is not vacant. Maybe take-away signs. I really don’t want strangers creeping around the house and scaring me.

The cats are getting used to the empty rooms. Charlie spends a lot of time in his chair – it’s the only chair left down here. Zoe, for no known reason, is enjoying hanging out under the shelf in the living room. Of course, she spends a lot of time stretched out on the bed, too. Not sure how she got under the pillow – she’s never done that before. She’s also become fixated with getting upstairs. Someone didn’t close the door completely and she managed to rattle it open. I thought she’d get her thrill looking around the empty rooms and be done with it, but ever since she spends time working at and rattling the door. I don’t want them upstairs. There are lots of cleaners in use and I also don’t need random piles of cat-gak on the floors when legitimate house hunters come touring. But, oooohh. The lure of the locked door.

charlies chair

zoe pillow

And my last bit of oddity. I’ve noticed that during the day when the sun is shining and it’s so much hotter outside, the air conditioner runs more often. And I get cold. So I turn the thermostat up a couple degrees. When the sun sets and the outside is not so hot, the air runs less often and I get hot. So I turn the thermostat down a couple degrees. It’s the same actual temperature in here. In fact, it’s warmer during the day because I feel cold and raise the temp. And it’s a little colder at night when I feel hot and turn the air down. But the same overall temperature makes me cold during the day and hot at night. That just seems weird. I’m sure it must have something to do with the frequency of the cold air and the subjective feeling but…… it’s the same temperature.

bzzzzzzzzzt!

Wow. It’s been a month. Hard to maintain any readers when you don’t post, eh?

We’ve been on a full court press here. The house is listed but it really wasn’t ready to show. In the past month we got the rest of the stuff sorted and packed and sent to auction or donations. Well, there’s one more load for donations because they ran out of room in their truck. They very kindly hauled off the trash furniture for me so currently, I have a bed, chair, a couple small bookshelves and my computer desk. Not a lot left to pack for me when it comes time for me to move. And no, I have not yet found a house that I like, can afford and is in a location I can deal with. Something will come up.

But, we’re pretty much done with the house here. It’s only been shown a couple of times. The upstairs carpet is so dreadful that the realtor thinks it might be better to tear it out and show the house without carpet. I don’t know. As a buyer I’d rather see the bad carpet I have to replace. I think.

The blog has obviously taken a back seat. And I can’t come back and start posting about these silly little things without at least acknowledging the horrible things happening around us. This isn’t a political blog and the world is a complicated and frightening place. I don’t have the words, I really don’t. I would like to share with you this prayer/poem that has touched me and expresses my hopes far better than I could. It’s up to you whether you follow the link.“We are a brave, decent people.”

So, one of the interesting things about wrapping up the sorting, etc., is finding things after you thought everything was packed.

little brown jug

Like this small brown jug. Remember my other brown jug? This one is a bit smaller in scale. How small?

little brown jug with battery

It was kind of hard for me to send some old lamps to auction. The lamp bases were toy-sized iron stoves. I used to be in charge of dusting them and spent most of my dusting chore playing with the pots and pans that went with the little stoves. I was certainly sentimental about the lamps, yet I didn’t really want them either. So I sent them off to auction.

lamp

Later, while we were moving other things, I found a coal scuttle. So I still have a piece of those lamps.

coal scuttle

I had a dream that night that when we moved the other sofa we found the rest of the pots and pans that seemed to have gone missing from the other lamp. We didn’t, but I sure thought we might.

Yesterday we found a few other items.

found items

A little wooden pear that came from a bowl of wooden fruit I gave my mom when I was a teenager. Zoe thought it was a great toy and stole it from the bowl. The rest are packed up and off to auction.

A monk’s head. I thought we found all those and packed them off. I guess I have one left. Mom always put them out with Christmas stuff so I guess I have an extra monk for my Christmas items.

A small bear. His mom and brothers were packed up long ago in this process. I’m not sure how he escaped but I’m willing to bet Zoe was involved.

The other oar to my little wooden canoe. That canoe is going to go on my moose wreath when I re-work it. And now I have both oars. At least if I don’t lose it again.

Oh, and Santa’s head in the form of a planter. Now that seems a little large to find overlooked in an empty room, doesn’t it?

head planter

Oh, and about the title of this piece. Last Friday I was taking a shower when a thunderstorm rolled in. When we were kids, they used to warn us about taking a shower during a storm – but all houses are grounded now, right? I’ve been in the shower during storms, no big deal.

Until this time. I was holding the hand-held shower sprayer when lightning struck apparently a little too close. I went bzzzzzzzzzt! I’ve been shocked before – a short in a lamp, an electric fence… Nothing compares to lightning shooting through your water pipes. I thought I was going to be found naked and dead in the shower.

So, take it from me. Don’t shower during a thunderstorm.

first load

The first load went out for auction yesterday. It feels a little weird. I decided against keeping furniture other than the corner shelf and a little bench. But then, the auction didn’t want the upstairs living room furniture so, since I don’t want it either, it gets donated. I’d take it, I guess, if Charlie wouldn’t just destroy it.

upperstairs boxes 1

This picture of the upstairs pile of boxes doesn’t seem to me to really show the real volume. The 8 x 16 trailer was completely filled with the boxes and bedroom and dining room furniture. There’s still more for them to pick up upstairs – and of course downstairs.

upperstairs boxes 2

There’s just something strange about people hauling away the iron stove lamps (they have little pans and stuff) that I played with as a little girl. I thought about keeping them but couldn’t imagine a space where I would want to have them. But now someone else will have them. And that feels weird.

Still, we need to clean the upstairs, finish a few things and get the trash furniture hauled away. And I’m going to have the carpet in the bathroom (who does that?) replaced with vinyl or something. It smells so bad that I if I were looking at the house I would walk right out. But it’s about time to list it. I hate living in a house that is on the market but that’s the way it goes.

It’s hard for me to express, it just feels weird. Maybe because of the finality. I mean, when I started cleaning out the upstairs – and the downstairs for that matter – after Dad went into the nursing home, I didn’t throw away some things on the slight chance that Dad might come home again. I suppose that the furniture and stuff leaving the house kind of means that they aren’t ever coming home.

And that it’s not my home anymore, either.

post mother’s day thoughts

mom young 2

I grieved for Mom, for myself, for our losses when she first entered the nursing home. It was months before I could visit her without sitting out in the parking lot after crying. It was a hard decision and a hard adjustment for all of us.

She didn’t understand. So much of our visits were centered around how she worried her parents were upset at her. She worried about eating dinner because she didn’t have money to pay for it. It was hard. God it was hard and I grieved.

I grieved for Mom before she had to go to the nursing home. I grieved with her as she lost more and more of herself. She understood what was happening and it terrified her. We talked through panic attacks and tears and she slowly disappeared. And I grieved.

I grieved, briefly, when she died. It was, in the end, sudden. It was hard to let go but I truly believe that she is better off. Alzheimer’s sucks. It steals everything from you. By the time she died, she wasn’t Mom anymore. Sometimes, it was even hard to recognize her, she didn’t look like Mom. I accepted that. I think it’s why they call Alzheimer’s the living death. I thought I was doing okay.

And now, almost a year and a half after she died, I’m grieving. Maybe it is going through all these pictures and sorting through all this stuff, letting go of things – things that really don’t matter to me. Holding on to things that really don’t matter to me either. I’m doing a kind of second sort of some of the things I thought I needed to keep and letting go, and that’s okay. It’s just suddenly I’m crying and I hardly cried at all. I stayed away from FB this past weekend.

Maybe it’s a good thing. Maybe it will be cleansing.