Things that Had to Get Done

Instead of writing, the past few days. I’ve been too tired to write plenty of times, but too often in the last three days I’ve been too tired to even read. As someone who will read the back of cereal boxes and nutrition labels when there’s nothing else handy, this was disconcerting. But that’s what happens when you put in 13+ hour days cleaning, moving, sorting, transporting, etc. Augh.

Warning, from here on in it gets ranty.

Two people to clear through the detritus of over 25 years of someone else’s accumulated stuff is just not fair. We’ve been working on it constantly – and I do mean constantly, every day, every spare minute, for hours a day – since the last week of October.

(Yes, I did NaNo while working full days at this. I’m a writer, we’re all insane. But that’s probably why I still need to figure out at least another 20-odd K of the draft.)

So. In the past 3 days alone, I have cleaned. Cleared everything we do not actively use from the kitchen drawers and cupboards, including some pretty but heavy handcrafted ceramic bowls and way too many carving knives. At least I think that’s what they were. They were long, sharp, pointy, and never used. Cleared out some cast iron including a muffin pan and tiny cauldron. Located, put together, and cleared out bits of jewelry no one was ever allowed to wear. Helped pack up all that, some other stuff, and a Hoosier cabinet and transport it to an auctioneer. With luck that may bring in some needed household cash.

At least as much time and energy these past days was put into safely disposing of stuff we couldn’t sell, such as old wool dyes, assorted stuff used for the dyeing, and over 75 cubic feet of wool and other fibers.

…No. Not joking. 27 bins of this stuff, each at least 24″ by 17″ by 12″, and several larger than that. 75 cubic-frigging-feet of it.

(I suspect Genjyo Sanzo would approve of my language these past 72 hours. I suspect that means the vast majority of polite society would not. Ah well.)

But after over 3 months of tracking people down, “We’ll call you back later”s, and so on, we finally found spinners to take it, and I delivered the last 9 bins yesterday afternoon. Thank God.

If I sound bitter – well, yes. That wool has been sitting around for years, in most cases decades, barely used. But it had to be cleaned, stored, worked around… in short, it got better care and tending than the rest of the family.

When you treat things better than people, something is not right with your world.

But it’s gone now, hopefully where someone else can use it. Or fight over it. Right now, I’m too tired and sore to care which. Important thing is that the wool being gone means there’s finally enough room to unearth the floor looms that haven’t been used since 1995, take pictures, and hopefully auction them off as well.

…Yes. Floor looms. Plural. Augh.

We need to get this place totally cleared out so we can list it with a realtor. Hopefully by March. That may be too ambitious, but we’re going to try. We’ve already been at this three months, while simultaneously juggling every emergency call from hospice care, and… the two of us actually doing this are very, very tired.

(There’s two other siblings who should be involved, but each has said they “have their own problems”. They’re planning on just sitting back and swooping in for the final inheritance. *Wry* Boy, are they going to be surprised. Ain’t gonna be none. Not with the needed medical care.)

So. Yeah. Tired. A bit bitter, knowing all I can do is clean and sell what I can so the survivors don’t end up completely broke in the aftermath.

But the wool is gone. Someone might use it, and be happy. I’ll take what I can get.

28 thoughts on “Things that Had to Get Done

    1. Agreed. Having had similar problems but on a lesser scale and been reduced to frothing at the mouth rage, this looks perfectly reasonable and restrained to me. Me, I’d be on the verge of a total nervous breakdown after something like that.

      Hopefully things well get better from here!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We’ve at least cleared enough of the ungodly mess that it looks like we can get it done… with a few more months work. Argh.

        Vacuumed the looms today, and tomorrow we should have wood cleaners so we can do them up proper for pictures.

        Liked by 5 people

  1. It certainly sounded like you really needed to get that off your chest. I can only hope that being able to vent into the relatively anonymous spaces of the internet brings some relief, that at least someone heard/read what you had to say, and didn’t just brush it off.

    My own family is facing and dealing with the inevitability of a family member’s degradation as stroke exacerbated dementia plus physical infirmity makes even simple daily hygiene for them (and others) a chore. Thankfully, finances shouldn’t be a problem, but the time is soon approaching that they won’t be able cared for at home, and its much to large for the other partner alone…


    1. To quote Ciaphas Cain, they wouldn’t get the hint if you gift-wrapped it and tied a label “HINT” around its neck.

      Sad thing is I am not being at all vindictive. There simply won’t be anything left. Sib and I are putting in the work – unpaid work – because it’s the right thing to do and there’s no one else who’ll do it.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. That’s why I initially suggested The Little Red Hen, rather than The Woodsman’s Reward. The second is closer in results, but adds the vindictiveness to it. The first, depending on version, is _merely “you didn’t earn it”.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Yeah, a lot of this sounds familiar. My family is dealing with clearing out my grandmother’s home after her passing; it’s been in my family since my mom was a little girl, so . . . something like 50 years. Selling that house is going to be heartbreaking on its own. Mainly I’m glad that I took the time to travel out and see her shortly before she passed. I also ended up with all of my grandmother’s knitting supplies. She was the one to first teach me how to knit.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am dreading what happens when my mom finally passes or has to go to home care. It’s not quite that bad(Though yes, my mom is a hoarder, and we still have a ton of stuff from my grandmother as well) That and I have one sister who would be happy to sell stuff! For about a dollar apiece, just so it would be fast and she gets her share(Though goodness forbid she actually comes down and helps while she’s alive)

      So, really hoping that it goes well for you, you’ll need it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Faced this a few years back. Since I am main support for special needs person, my sister got a lot of the ‘clean out the (60+ years of inhabitation) house’ duties, although I tried to help. I did the daily visiting, and interface with medical types, as the one who speaks medical.

        Once the pure junk was out someone told us about people who’ll come in and clean out a house, sell what they can & take a cut, and give you the rest. We decided it was worth it to hire them. We were exhausted.

        This past year we’ve been cleaning out the detritus from our own place. Including, yes, yarn. We do have a little wool, because the special needs person spins when physically capable. I take your lesson: don’t let it accumulate! We’ve sent cubic yards of stuff to the junk dealer. I feel for you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I wish we’d had the funds to do that. It’s 25 years of accumulation here, plus a lot of stuff moved from another place. (Looms, augh, why.)

        If we’d had a choice, we wouldn’t have let things get anywhere near this bad. But… wasn’t our house, then.

        On the bright side, Pledge apparently works on wooden looms, so they look much improved.


  3. I feel you. We had to do a relatively easy clean-up in comparison, as Gram was a miser rather than a horder.It still took us a month to get all our stuff set up , with hired movers. Fortunately minimal cleaning required!(Although the Executor is an A-hole )

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ll note that – while my parents remain hale and look to remain so for a couple more decades – I’m told that with a bit of planning ahead it’s possible to do cruises for the cost of an old folks’ home, with far better standards of care.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. ATM we’re picturing the day when we finally have the place cleared, can turn it over to a realtor, and leave with the dog and the catfish.

      …Seldom Seen is over 20 years old. We don’t know what species of catfish he is – something in the “squeaker catfishes” group – but it still amazes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Apparently one of the biggest things that kills catfish in tanks is stress from being too visible. We’ve always been careful to have hiding places for Seldom. (Hence the “Seldom Seen”.) It seems to have worked, he’s a quiet, happy fish. Although he is very specific about what kind of shrimp pellets he likes. I have to make a trip across town for the right ones. 😉

        (And yes, “he” is accurate. Squeaker catfishes, the males have barbs on the fins, and Seldom does.)


  5. Oh yes, this does sound familliar! I don’t know how your food allergies handle alchohol, but I’ve found half a shot (a tablespoon or so) of Ammaretto or Irish Cream in your drink of preference can make people a lot more tolerable if done in moderation.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Agree with others saying that the frustration is justified.

    It can be hard not to sympathise when one of grandparent took nearly 6 years to pack their house up so they could move since they just dithered over everything (and ended up having to have my mum head up and spend several weeks there to do most of the work/get things kick started).

    That plus having been press ganged into helping a family friend move their stuff from one storage location to another (10-15 vanloads full) and I’ve really been thinking more about what I’m keeping hold of at this point.

    Good luck with getting it done, and hope things pick up a bit.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Oh, we’re going through that at the moment… Well, my mom is, since I’m living way too far to be of any help. A messy inheritance business that ended with my mom and her sister not talking, a family home with lots of memory sold due to the tax we had to pay for inheriting it (my aunt didn’t want us to participate financially so as to keep it in the family, so she sold it pretty much without caring what others thought. I get where she came from, the memories were unbearable for her, but for others they were precious… Hard to tell which was more important right?). Thing is, the aunt in question didn’t have the space to take all my grandma’s stuff, so my mom ended up taking it all, and she was left with sorting through it all on her own since both sisters live too far apart. After a few years and she still hasn’t finished on account of the emotional drain caused by going through all the memories. Lots of photos, lots of writing (which we have to read very carefully because some are important, others not so much…)
    Yeah… I think everyone has such a story to tell. I don’t think it will ever stop being messy and exhausting, even if the deceased/sick person isn’t the type to hoard. And going by your post, there was a lot of hoarding going on.
    Good luck with all that, I hope you’ll be finished with this as soon as possible so you can take some well deserved rest (maybe a vacation? How about it? After seeing so much dust maybe a mountain landscape or sandy beaches?)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Being too tired to read sounds horrible! As a bookaholic myself, I can only imagine just how tired you are, to not be able/want to read. T_T The craftsperson in me is seeing Looms and wool and going: “NEAT!” (Because I have always wanted to learn spinning and weaving) but having to clean and get rid of that much… yikes! I’m so sorry siblings are bailing, unfortunately I have family that is like that and it really isn’t fair. Part of me tried to insist that they do have problems they are dealing with, but most of me is like: “I do too, they can spare a little time, get off their rear ends and HELP!” And it is even worse when they expect something later, when they did nothing. Sigh. And yes, I totally agree with the insane writer, you have to do SOMETHING that you like or you are going to explode! I hope the next few months go very quickly and you do get some help. You are awesome, and we love you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you want to bid at Miss Donna’s Southern Belle Auctions in February, the looms will be there. I’m told she does online sales and phone bids, too. Warning, they’ll probably need several metal parts replaced, coastal air was not kind to those.

      And, heh. Those two are consistent, at least. All their lives, “Oh, just let us know what we can do to help!”
      “Okay, if you could do X….”
      “Oh I’m busy that day – week – month – but call me if you need anything!”
      me (Tries not to break the phone against the wall….)

      Thanks! Trying to get back into writing now that the looms have been cleaned. *Knocks on freshly polished wood.*

      Liked by 1 person

      1. *sympathy*

        Yeah, I’m familiar with that.

        “Gosh, you’re too stressed. How about you take up something that will take five times as much time? Oh, me, help? Nah, ask me for anything, but not actually helping! I give good advice!”

        Liked by 1 person

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