Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Cleaning out the in-law's house, Part 2

As I began cleaning out Honey Bunny's house I was having flashbacks to the movie Amelie where the title character, in the spirit of the recently deceased Princess Diana, vows to do good. It felt good finding sections of the floor and giving homes to Honey Bunny's treasures.

Ashley's elementary and middle school art teacher Brenda loved the 12 bags of beads. Twelve bags of beads are way too many even for a Catholic school teacher with no budget, so she shared them with a friend of hers.

She came back for a second load

RuthAnn, an artist friend of mine, has returned for truckloads of supplies she and her artist friends might be able to incorporate into sculptures. Even better she connected me with another Ruthann, this one from HomeFront, who gratefully took 160 boxes of yarn samples. She also connected me with someone at another non-profit who brought strapping young men to help clean out the basement, unfortunately they also cleaned my camera out of my purse. The theft has discouraged me from wanting to go on with the project.

The Ewing Historical Society has received some treasures -- they want anything related to Ewing history, including General Motors, Ewing Presbyterian Church, and the schools. Elly is excited every time I stop by with something new.

We had some fun dropping off WWII era bandages at the annual WWII air show.

Stacy a WWII reenactor and friend took home a 48 star flag and some other items of interest, such as kitchen items to replace ones she has but are in worse shape.

There are have been lots of posts on my FB page, and the local one, for porch pick ups of gardening supplies, seashells, magazines, etc. I try to make these "winner take all," but not everyone plays by the rules which means I still have to get rid of what they don't want.

Mom took a pile of mid-century household items to donate to a local museum -- kitchen appliances that were wedding gifts, a Hoover vacuum cleaner, and more. I hope they want them or else I don't know where they will go.

I sent Uncle Tom back to Ohio with some historical stuff, such as a wallet someone in Don's family carried with them 200 years ago when they settled Ohio. I'm not even sure what else I handed to him. As a history buff, I know he'll appreciate the treasures.

Up in Boston we gave Cousin Martin some things from his grandfather (who is also Don's grandfather) including a commendation from President John F. Kennedy for his having served in WWI.  I also gave him a painting by Don's other grandfather of one of Martin's favorite spots, even though Martin is not related to him. Plus a photo album of pictures Don's mom had from Martin and Franca's wedding. I gave her some of the pictures, others I didn't recognize.

My college friend Debbi has a knack for finding homes for things. Early on she took at least 200 puzzles, well over 100 bags of yarn (there were 304 boxes of puzzles and 160 bags of yarn) and distributed them to people she knew or knew of in Allentown, NJ. She also took a minivan full of finished art projects (needlepoint, textiles, bead stuff) and gave them to the Allentown Methodist Church for their annual Christmas Bazaar. They have enough for at least one sale if not more than that. It felt good to keep her artwork out of the dumpster.

So far she has come several times
Piles of blankets and towels have been donated to EASEL, an animal shelter, along with pet related supplies. Honey Bunny's cat is living with us. Last week we tried to drop off records to Princeton Record Exchange, but they didn't want most of them, so the next day they went to Red, White, and Blue Thrift. The few train stuff he had went to a local train shop -- it was only a couple of cars not the gold bullion worth other people have.

A real God-moment came when a woman casually mentioned she would do a local bike ride next year after she buys an adult tricycle. Wait! We have one of those to part with! The experience has been filled with many such God-moments when I've matched someone up with something they have wanted but could not afford, or could not find.

I have learned a lot about my in-laws by going through their stuff at this level. I have found many clipped articles and biblical references about not worrying. These have been mixed in with 160+ bags of yarn, 300+ puzzles, every receipt for every item they have purchased, every take out container ever acquired, every everything ever acquired, every brochure scooped up for free from a rack, every postcard purchased, two trunk loads of painting supplies, 12 grocery bags filled with beads, a trunk full of fabric, four shoe boxes of patterns, projects never begun or barely begun. The notes, though, remind me this is an illness. Her mother also stressed about worrying about possessions (I found the list of items she gave to her daughter when she moved from Ohio to NJ -- they are the same items I am trying to find homes for now). My husband and daughter also stress. It is a disease. It is a cycle I want to end.

At this point I feel I have a normal house. There are still well over 2,000 books to box and bring to the library, and I need to bundle up stuff so the Veterans can come over to pick up a large donation. Plus more blankets to go the the animal shelter. 

One issue is it is summer and I am Mom Taxi, not leaving much time during the day to go through things. I also feel as if I've been dumped on. The closest sibling is moving out of state and busy with that (he is also handling all of the financial stuff, and handles medical issues). The one to the south after collecting things I put aside, drove up took the items of interest and is done. The one to the north wants to come back, but is busy with work and other parts of life. Oh, they want the house on the market by the fall. My freelance work is picking up, but The House is draining my energy.

Another issue is the dresser drawers and filled with papers that need to be sorted. And some of what I have found is not appropriate for all eyes.

Looking at the pictures I am encouraged by the progress I have made, but I'm really not in the mood to continue.

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