Saturday, January 25, 2014

2013 - AWESOME!

Ruby shopping at Home Depot

2013- Awesome!

Awesome. Adjective.  Definition- extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension or fear.  Synonyms: breathtaking, awe-inspiring, wonderful, amazing, stunning, staggering, imposing, stirring, impressive. Informal definition - extremely good; excellent.

Awesome.  Most overused word of 2013. I'm guilty of it myself. It's a habit, but we can do better. Give some of the other words a chance. As far as being an apt descriptor for my 2013, not so much. A friend observed that all the good things that happened to me last year actually happened to my children. She's right, but for the puppy. The puppy is awesome.

2014 - Moving On

Preparing the house for sale has been an ongoing process. Sorting, packing and jettisoning thirty years of belongings has triggered emotions ranging from liberating to excruciating. I have literally touched everything I own. Lana, Allie and I spent a whole day unearthing the contents of one closet. Allie dug deep. She's a saver. She has collections going back to early childhood. She pitched and tossed with abandon.

Every time we came across a stuffed animal, Ruby snatched it and ran. We came across a lot of stuffed animals. Dozens of Barbies, many of them headless, baby dolls, baby clothes, Beanie babies, schoolwork, artwork, videos, books, games, puzzles and photos, photos and more photos.

We filled the car for Goodwill. We filled the car again for the dump. We filled the car for Goodwill again. We filled the car for the dump again. Going to the dump is cathartic. As soon as you throw your junk over the side a bulldozer comes along and scrapes it into a huge pile. Even though we’d decided to toss one of Lucy’s paintings from high school, I still felt a pang when it ended up with all the other trash on the heap.  

Lucy's painting at the dump. 
It’s hard to know what to save. I asked Lucy about the Easter baskets. She said I should ditch them. Then she thought it over and said it might be nice for her child to have her Easter basket, but she admitted that she wouldn't want to store them. She went on to state that clutter makes her anxious. I think it makes me anxious, too.

A week before Christmas I was bereft about leaving the house. Everything seemed like an ending and the future impossible to visualize without knowing where we’ll be. I explained to Lucy (age 31) that leaving the house felt like an end to their childhoods. She countered that there would be new babies in a couple years and that their childhoods had already ended. What?!? When the hell did that happen?

I got really sad when Lana left with Rich on Christmas Day to be with his family. Then again when Lucy left for Boston to be with Greg's family. Finally, Allie was off to New York for New Years and then would go back to LA. We had dinner with Eric and I was getting teary at the table, which is so unlike me. I was saying that I wished we could just rip the Band-Aid off and be gone.

Allie likened it to grieving someone who has cancer as opposed to them being in an accident. With cancer you know it really hurts and will get worse, but you have no idea how much worse. It wasn't even about the house after a while, more melancholy and loss for times gone by.

Going through all the childhood items gave me a strange reaction.  It made me excited about becoming a grandmother. I found the little dollhouse my brother made for Lucy when she was a toddler. I gave it a remodel with black shutters and gray exterior paint matching our current house. New wallpaper, too. While we fix up this house to leave I am fixing up that house to bring along.

The Dollhouse
Doing the repairs and upgrades has been fun for me. I love projects. One plumber, two handymen and one tile guy thus far. Numerous trips to hardware stores, which I really enjoy.  A LOT has been done. Some details were never finished when we added on twenty years ago. Our bedroom had an empty spot in the bay window where there was supposed to be a window seat. Now there is a beautiful window seat with storage. I was showing my sister, Laura, some of the improvements and she said, "So that's what happens when you give someone money to work on your house!" It's like magic.

New refrigerator, faucets, doorknobs, pulls, bathroom floors and light fixtures. I hardly recognize the place. Next week we get landscaping and in two weeks all the hardwood floors will be done. It's satisfying to put the house to rights. It's a happy ending. Now we'll see how the rest of the story ends...