Monday, April 26, 2010

Going Home

The Road Home
I am bone tired. 

This morning I finished cleaning out my Mother's back bedroom.  This was the bedroom she used for storage.  I cleaned it out once before about five years ago.  I didn't think I would be cleaning it out again but since my Mother is not returning to her long time home from where she lives now with my brother John in South Carolina, my brothers and I thought it best to start cleaning out her house.

John and Isaac cleaned out her bedroom and our Pop's bedroom last week.  They started to cleanout the Back Bedroom (as my Mother always called it), but once John pryed the door open, he just didn't want to tackle that hoarder's dream room.

Mom's Home - don't be deceived by the neatness of the outside, inside is another story

Since Friday I've been cleaning out that room.  This morning I pushed myself to the limit to get the room done before my Isaac returns from visiting Mom in South Carolina.  He and his son (who is driving) should be here about 4 this afternoon.  It is an 11 hour drive from Greenville, South Carolina to Downingtown, PA.  Isaac and Ikey (my brother is a Jr. and his son is a III) left Greenville in the early morning hours.  I called him on my cell phone about 10 o'clock.  He and Ikey were in North Carolina.  I know he's anxious to get home.  I'm anxious to get to my home in Delaware.  Bill tells me his misses me (sure, I bet.)  No, he said he really does.

After taking another large black trash bag out the garage, I got in my Subaru and drove down to the post office.  I found a box throw blanket that my Mother never used so I thought I would mail it to her.  I put in some of her initialed stationery too because she has said she can't get out to buy any note paper to send people notes. 

My next stop after the post office was to Wegmans.  I had to stock up on their delicious whole wheat pita bread.  This is the kind of exclusive grocery sore products I don't see in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. I stuff that pita bread with my homemade chicken salad and I have the best lunch money can buy.   I also picked up some items for my upcoming family reunion on May 16th.  I'll leave those items here since I'm coming back in a few weeks.

Now it is time for my first nap since I've got here last Wednesday.  I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror this morning and I do not look pretty due to my lack of sleep.  I have one of those faces that when I'm tired, it shows.  In fact I look terrible when I am tired.

By the time I awaken around 4 this afternoon, Ike should be back.  Maybe we will go to Hosses' for dinner (I haven't had a good chargrilled hamburger and fries for weeks!) and discuss his trip.  He told me on the phone this morning that Mom tried to come back with him and Ikey.  We can't let her do that, she's too weak.  She would never survive the trip.  It's a shame she can't go back to her longtime home but she is being taken care of very well where she is not.  My brother John is the care pastor of his church so taking care of an elderly person, in this case his mother, is something for which he has almost thirty years of experience.

Time for my nap now.  When I get home I will have loads of pictures to share.  For now I'm showing my Mom's house and the road home for me tomorrow.  I can go either way out of my Mother's driveway.  Right of left, they both take me home. Then I tackle the real job, my hoard.
This road gets me home too


  1. All that beautiful greenery in those photos sure makes me miss my home where I grew up with that same type of landscape.

    I can smell the pines; see the fresh rain on the pavement and driveway at your mom's home - so sorry you have this 'task at hand' that surely can't be a happy one when you realize she can't return to her home.

    Have a safe trip back to Delaware.

  2. Ron,

    This is similar to when Lo's dad died. We went in to clean out the house. What a mess. It looked nice on the outside, he kept that up for appearances, but inside was a tangle of junk and old papers.

    The dining room was wall to wall with tools, a lawnmower and old trash. Every bureau drawer was stuffed with decades of receipts and old bank books. The living rooms and the three bedrooms were buried in electronic equipment, pieces and bits of stuff, old TVs. Clothes strewn everywhere. The place was dirty and needed painting and fixing up. (Which took me a lot of time and work to do and then right after I finished that upstairs pipe broke and destroyed everything.)

    We found several thousand dollars taped beneath the drawers on his dresser. You might want to do that, pull out drawers and check beneath and behind them.

    Yeah, I don't want to leave our kids such a mess. Lo and I want to start getting rid of a lot of stuff now. Too much tucked away we never use. I gave away about 1,000 books the other year to a local library. Hard for me to part with books. I still have several thousand and I really ought to get rid of them. Not likely I will re-read them all between now and my own departure.

    Odd thing is I have gotten rid of a lot in the past, but it seems to breed and fill up all the spare space again.

    I also am thinking the day is going to come sooner than later that I will have to do the same at my parents. My dad's not so much the hoarder type, but my mom is a collector of bric-a-brac and such.

    They keep the place pretty neat though, so far.


  3. Lar,

    Yes, now I remember you telling me about cleaning out your father-in-law's home. What a job.

    I'm like you in that I don't want to leave a lot of stuff for my executor to clean out. What I do leave will be well organized. I won't leave a hoarder's pile of trash in the middle of a room. What I found at my Mother's was valuable pictures (you know me, I love the old pictures) in with the trash. I had to sift through everything. For instance I found some old grade school pictures of my brothers in their portrait folder. One photo was of my brother Isaac in the second grade. I had never seen that picture before. I tried to see if I could slide it out of the folder so I could scan it (he wants the picture back) and guess what? A third grade picture of me was behind that picture! I have a wallet sized copy of that picture but not a 5 X 7 which was the size of this picture that I found.

    I have gotten rid of a lot since I move here to Delaware but I still have a lot of stuff. You're right though, that empty space seems to fill back up again. Like you I plan to get rid of a lot more but there is a lot I'm keeping just because it gives me comfort to have these things. At least when I leave my things will be organized so there won't be much sifting needed. I think that is the hardest part, the sifting.

    You won't have much of a problem with your parents. Your Mom is organized and your Dad never struck me as the hoarder type. Still it is an emotionally draining experience to make the final clean out of so much of your former life.

    I'm going back to PA to pick up more boxes of stuff that my brother John had packed when he was up there a couple of weeks ago. Bill wants to see the old property too so he'll go along with me.

    I'm always looking forward to my life getting back to "normal" but I don't think there is such a thing as "normal" any more.


  4. Diane,

    You are right, it is beautiful in Pennsylvania this time of year. I do miss the winding roads, the hills and the old wood trees and greenery. In fact, I'm going back today for one day and taking Bill with me so he can visit the old property. He misses it so much as I do. I love Delaware though! The topography is totally different down here on the Delmarva peninsula but I love the flat land, big sky, salty sea air and the wide open spaces!



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