Saturday, June 25, 2022

Beginning To Sort

This visit to The Ranch, I was able to do a little bit of cleaning and disposal.

It has been a rather long road to get here.

It is certainly not as if I am under the illusion that my parents will ever be able to come back here.  I am not.  Both of my parents are now at the point that they need 24 hour care:  TB The Elder cannot walk at all with assistance and my mother needs constant supervision.  This is the reality we now live with.

That said, coming up and starting to "clean things out" has been a challenge.

Part of the challenge, frankly, is that we are our schedule, not any need to clear out the home and sell it.  Part of the challenge is that they really do not have a lot of "junk" that can be easily disposed of; my father was an antique collector and thus most of the things in this house actually have value.

But the biggest part, I suspect, is simply me. 

I tend attach feelings to things. I always have.  Objects are not just inherently objects; they are imbued with the memories and associations of those that were around them.  It is true for the things that I retain in my house, and it is true of the things that are.

Many of the things in the house are things that came after we had moved - but they were here every time that we visited, so in a sense they "belong" here.  Other things - a surprising amount - are things that I remember from my own childhood as being in our house.  These are even harder to contemplate getting rid of, as they are sometimes handmade or have deep associations with my parents.

But over a year has passed now since my parents have left here.  And in small ways, I am starting to clear things out.

I was confident enough this week that I went ahead and got rid of all of the church related directories and phone books.  The directories are all old and most of the people in them have passed away; the phone books for our rural area are very small indeed.  I completely cleaned out a couple of drawers and sort of organized things for disposal.

It is not much of a start.  But in my mind, it is a start.  I have reached the point where the immediacy of my parents' presence here is gone and I can, in a somewhat clinical manner, begin to assess what can go, what should stay, and what (hopefully) I will likely have need of when we move here as well.

It still bothers me a bit, though:  I stand in the midst of 80 + years of life and living and saving and collecting and in some meaningful way, I have become the arbitrator of value.  It is not a comfortable position.


12 comments:

  1. Nylon124:56 AM

    Cleaning out my parent's home after they sold it was a looong week, they had moved in with me since he couldn't drive anymore after his stroke and Mom didn't drive. A fair amount of stuff but not the amount you've described. Since closing was at the end of that week there was.... ah.....an urgency to proceed and NOT dillydally. They were in their late 80s when this happened and it was a bit wrenching to let so much go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nylon12 - This is similar to what Uisdean Ruadh went through, although he had more time than what it sounds like you had. Fortunately - yet another blessing - we are not on any timeframe but our own - and frankly with much of what they have, as we move forward it will take some time to work out likely buyers.

      Delete
  2. I, too, have feelings and memories associated with stuff. It's kinda of magical in a way. But it sure makes it hard to release them.

    At least there isn't any time pressure like Nylon mentioned.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember that you had said that STxAR - and it is funny the associations that we can have. I am trying to separate between things I actually have memories of and things that are simply nostalgic.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous11:50 AM

    Keep anything useful or valuable for barter/gift/use for after the collapse of "the system". As I read you, your bias is that we will vote our way out of this. By August-November this year I'm fairly sure most people will be "woke" to the New Normal. The everything bubbles are already starting their slide. Keep preparing, and watch yer six. Tree Mike

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks T_M. In point of fact many things that my parents have are indeed antiques, and they have a certain value for times like a loss of power (which can actually still happen). As the timeframe that you propose is only 2-5 months away, likely I will still not be far into the process.

      Delete
  4. Reading this, perhaps you should look at New Home. The Ranch is ready and waiting for you, minus a few things you have probably already packed?

    How much of New Home do you want to move out to The Ranch when you inevitably make the move?
    Or do you just not want all the memories of The Ranch?

    Barter is always a good way to think. Any antique dealers in the area of The Ranch? They probably know who is looking for what, or where to search for such, if they know their business.

    Good luck, TB. I don't envy you this task. But I would probably just keep it all and add to it. Oops... :)

    You all be safe and God bless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda - The is similar to the question (asked a different way) that Tree Mike asked above. It has been something on my mind for a while, and your comment yesterday caused me to start working on a list of things I need to ask/plan for (I am project manager after all right now; I need to plan my project!).

      That is an open question that The Ravishing Mrs. TB will also have to be involved in, as she (obviously) does not have the same attachment I do to those things.

      There are some antique dealers, and one of the next tasks is go out there with her and specifically ask what we want to keep and what we want to sell - then find someone reputable to come up.

      Were it up to me, of course, likely I would keep it all. But we have our own set of lives and memories that I would not like to leave behind either.

      Delete
  5. Finally starting to wrap up my duties representing my deceased brother's estate, and all four of our parents passed on, we are not likely to ever be in the position again that you're in now, TB. It's a hard one. In all of our family's examples I have marveled at how differently everyone processes loss, and processes the stuff of a lifetime. It's good that you don't have an external timeline imposed on you. I hope you're able to be kind and patient with yourself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Becki! I am really grateful to my sister that she has been patient with me and the process as well. Hopefully I can begin to make some inroads or at least assess what we want to sell and keep.

      The Ravishing Mrs. TB's parents have much less of an accumulation, but I assume at some point we will have to do this again.

      Delete
  6. I’m the same way as you about things. I’m still sorting four years later but the piles are gradually getting smaller. Eventually enough time passes to allow me to make a decision that is comfortable I me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ed, I am glad I am not the only one. Part of it is because I have known these things for a long time, and in some ways I am now the only one that will remember them and what them meant.

      Delete

Your comment will be posted after review. If you could take the time to be kind and not practice profanity, it would be appreciated. Thanks for posting!