Saturday, July 31, 2010

I turned 29 again

My epic birthday present was a clean garage. I didn't do too much of the actual cleaning, but without me it couldn't possibly have happened.
Okay, it would have happened, but it wouldn't have been done MY WAY which is the ONLY way, right? It would never have been accomplished correctly without me to stand and point (or sit and point) where everything was going to go.

I spent Thursday through Sunday being pampered and spoiled by my dear Hubby, who kept asking every 45 minutes "Isn't there something you want to buy for your birthday instead?"
It's not so much that he was trying to shirk the whole cleaning the heinous garage chore. In fact, he worked harder and longer on it than all the childern combined.It's just that he couldn't fathom why I would want that for my birthday present. It's a long story, that involves my dear mother-in-law and all her earthly belongings.

We were worried  we would lose her at first -- five surgeries and extended hospitalization. Followed by a lengthy rehabilitation where she regained some skills - walking and talking again. Me, I was taking care of a very worried and high maintenance father-in-law, maintaining two households: cooking and cleaning and laundry. After a few months, when it came time for her to go home, we decided that a six bedroom home on two levels was beyond her capablities, and assisted living would be better for everyone. She still gets an independent space of her own, food service for her special diet at her fingertips, nursing care and medication management to give everyone peace of mind. And help for taking care of a very high-maintenance grandpa.

Now if only we knew what to do with all the stuff she acquired over the last sixty-odd years that's in that enormous six bedroom house.....

We had tons of help from family -- they all took something -- my sister got some much needed bookcases, the cousins needed beds and misc. kid stuff. Uncle Dale found a home for SO MANY things that I would have had no idea where the need was. A family in our neighborhood desperately needed a new fridge to replace a broken one. Another friend took some couches off our hands. We made a dozen trips to DI with much of it. These items were a blessing to so many.

But there was still a ton left. Here are some scissors.

 If I counted correctly, about 32. This was less than half of what I found. I think the final number was in the 80's somewhere, when we lost track and stopped counting.

Photographs, paintings, Christmas heirlooms, personal papers. Enough to make and encyclopedia set of scrapbooks. Twelve encyclopedia sets of scrapbooks. And then there was the costumes and fabric (my MIL is a very talented seamstress and has costumed tons of plays -- even though I am hers only by marriage, any abilities I have in this regard came from her) and tuxedos. Many ....interesting.... tuxedos.

The funky 70's lime green tuxedo was claimed by my... interesting... neice. Yes, she wears it. She's dramatic like that. Many of the others have found homes with the many performing arts kids that are friends of my kids. I gave them where the need (once again) was great, and they were appreciated.

Much of the fabric was claimed by cousins, the rest is in my garage. With the tuxes. And the photos. And papers, decor, furniture and STUFFFFFFFFF!!!!!! The garage was sooooo full, you couldn't walk from the front to the back.

This is why I wanted a clean garage for my birthday. Hopefully it will be done soon. We are SOOOOO close! Just a few more hours of sorting and tossing.

Here is the before photo so you might begin to appreciate the task at hand. Unfortunately this doesn't show the whole mess, some of it had been moved into the driveway in order for Screamapillar to be standing there:

What you can't see is worse. Behind that bookcase on the right is the back door to the garage. Things are piled to the ceiling back there, and the door is completely inaccessible.

When the "after" is ready, I will post for you to see our wonderful progress. Makes you want to go clean out your garage, doesn't it?

Or go hide under your bed.

If you need me, I'll be under mine. Bed, not garage. Just making that clear.

1 comment:

Ellie said...

Wow, that's a lot of work! I think having it cleaned out is the best birthday present ever!