Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This would be so much easier on Facebook - Part II

I also found a few treasures as we were going through things.  Like this original photograph of JFK.

Injury #1

Um. No.

Actually, after I posted this, some friends of Mom's brought some more folks by and they bought another $200 worth of furniture and stuff out of the garage.  Total was nearly $1,000 for the day.

This time, I took a wedge out of my forehead.  Ow.


The sale went really well and Mom got rid of practically everything.  It was a huge load off her mind and spirit.  

This left us free to finish up my visit by doing little odd jobs, fixing this and that on the  house and reliving all the great memories.  For instance:

With only the threat of a major delay, my flights home were largely without incident.

Also - Newark Airport is a pit, if you haven't been there.  Ugh.

It's good to be home.

UPDATE:  As of last evening, Mom finally had an offer on her house.  She's countered and is waiting to hear, so fingers crossed!  My last trip to Nebraska to drive her back could happen sometime soon.  Yay!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

This would be so much easier on Facebook

But what the hell.

I spent 9 days in Nebraska helping my mother sort through all of my father and brother's things and helped her get ready for a massive yard sale - something she's never done in her 71 years of existence.  As a somewhat prim lady, she was extremely dubious about mingling with people she didn't know who might be handling our stuff.  And of course, I was extremely too radical for her.

Mom:  "What's this 'free bin'?"

Me:  "That's where people pick up and take home crap that is broken or doesn't work or just plain awful and you don't have to throw it out.  It's also a fun way to shame people publicly who are rude or cheap - you say 'obviously, our items are too refined for your tastes - let me direct you to the free bin'."

Mom:  "That's just mean."

Me:  "Did you forget who you were talking to?"

Thanks to my iPhone, I chronicled the time there on Facebook.  It ended up being a lot of fun with Mom finally achieving a great, relaxed place and banking a little cash.

To be continued....

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Inching towards normal - part one.

Can somebody tell me what happened to the month of May?  I missed it somehow.  I try to recall and it’s just a big old blur.

In actuality, I wish I didn’t have to remember some of it.  The memory of the chain of events from this past month sticks with me like one of those god-awful big-ass bugs that hit your windshield and explode into a vision-blocking gore fest.  And all the wiper fluid in the world won’t wash it away.

I mean, really. It’s not like I didn’t have enough going on with trying to keep my mother sane by long distance after my stupid brother’s latest escapade.  His poor deserted wife in the Philippines phoning and emailing us incessantly, asking for money for her and the boys.

Then one day our housekeeper falls apart.  I inquire after what is wrong and, through the magic of my pigeon Spanish and Estella’s artistry in mime, I was able to dope out that the children she had left behind in Mexico were being beaten AND tortured by her apparently recently insane mother.  Her husband would not help her and, basically, said you’re on your own.  So just with a little assistance and – we discovered - the money she had been working so hard to earn and hiding it from her lovely spouse, she left us and returned to her tin sheeting and cardboard home with dirt floor in Oaxaca. 

And she was so much more than our housekeeper – she was a friend and a beautiful human being.  We’ve heard from her and about her from her sister, who lives locally.  She’s fine and she has ‘me babies’, as she calls them.  And that’s all that matters, bless her.

Then a week before Mother’s Day – one of the two high holy days each year for a florist – Brian’s business partner falls down her stairs at home, shattering her right leg and destroying her artificial knee.  And when I say shatter – they had nothing to work with.  So instead of a femur, she now has a titanium rod connecting her new knee to the rest of her.  Not a quick recovery for this, no sir.

So, yours truly – in the week preceding my planned departure to help Mom sort through and purge a lifetime of stuff - spent evenings doing funeral pieces, corsages and boutonnieres, running deliveries during my lunch hour – and all while packing and keeping things running at home.

Also – with Mom’s relocation and arrival expected in the near term, I gave Brian permission to gut and redo the guest room – something he’s been bugging me about for years.

Now keep in mind – that’s been our catch all for all the stuff we don’t want to deal with ‘right now’.  This is the reason that the guest room and its walk-in closet contains no less than two high Art Deco dressers, one 1920s chifforobe, an early American writing desk, a queen bed, nightstands, chairs – and God knows what else.  Add to this books, mountains of fabric, winter clothes, rugs, knick knacks without a home – and it’s a lot of stuff.  In order to clear the decks for the renovation, this insanity was then spread throughout the upstairs, leaving us looking like we are about one dead cat and a backed-up toilet away from becoming an episode of Hoarders.

And no housekeeper.  And I’m leaving town.  And Brian is running things solo AND having to feed himself (never a good thing).

Next stop – Nebraska.

(To be continued)

Monday, June 04, 2012

Longer post coming, I promise

Here's the teaser:
  • Work tragedy
  • Turn house into episode of Hoarders
  • Trip to Omaha
  • Purge family home
  • Damage face profusely
  • Make Mom lots of money
  • Fly home
  • FML
See you soon

It has to be said