Showing posts with label dejunking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dejunking. Show all posts

Monday, August 28, 2017

Keeping Things in the Neighborhood

          Shortly after we had moved in, a neighbor from across the street introduced himself to me.  He told me if we ever needed anything we could call him.  I think he was genuine in his heart, but his poor body was not in great shape.  He needed a ramp to get in and out of the house and was in no condition to climb our hill to inspect the house.  He had asked what changes had been done.  Because I had never seen the house before it went on the market, there was really no way to compare it but I don't know that he could visualize what I had tried to explain.
         I could see that he was in pain as he hobbled out to the mailbox and back to the house.  I don't remember seeing him after that.  I think his children must have taken turns moving in for a while as I would see others go out to retrieve the mail or be out in the yard or what have you.  They would come and stay for a while and then there would be a new set of people.  He eventually passed away, though I don't know how long ago.  It appears to have been fairly recently though.

          His house and garage contained items - lots of items that the family didn't want.  Some items had never even been used before. The family held a garage sale on Saturday.  From 8-4.  Their intent was to get rid of EVERYTHING - even if they had to give it away - which I believe for the most part they did.

          If there is a Yard Sale sign in our driving path, Jenna and Roland are drawn to it - like the yard sale has some gigantic magnetic force that pulls them in.  Roland did not have that much in cash - though Jenna did.  They must have spent 30 - 35 between them.  I'm certain that we ended up with over 200 dollars worth of stuff.  Actually, I KNOW we did.  We have missed our extra fridge and are in great need of defrosting our freezer right now.  There was a fridge on the back porch which cost 5 dollars.  It works.  Currently it is on our back porch though it is not hooked up. 

          Getting it across the street was the hardest part - from his back porch to ours.  But there were others who had stopped to make purchases who helped Roland with the task.  I think that is awesome.  Jenna said she heard they were from Eugene.  Wow!  That is a long ways to go for a yard sale.

          We have needed a wheel barrow since we moved in and purchased a small rusty one - I don't know the price.  The woman who took the money just gave Roland an entire bag of unopened soil.

Office supplies for 10 dollar included a shredder.  You want the shredder?  Not unless you're willing to take it all. 

We don't want anything left.  Come into the kitchen.  We'll give you every item on every counter for just 7 dollars.  Take it all.

          There have been times in the past when Roland and I have noticed an item at an auction that we think we might bid for and by the time it comes up for bid, it has been toward the end of the auction when other bidders have been drained of money, or else the auctioneers are tired, or something. "I have two boxes - no three for the same price."  We've actually found "treasures" that we have used more than what we had initially bid for.  For example, there was a crock pot among the boxes of stuff we had bid for - though the crock pot wasn't our intent.  We use it more than anything.

          Jenna purchased a boatload of hats and a really nice backpack designed for hiking  - quite brand new.  Roland purchased a box of western themed books. 

More dishes than we will ever need, but most he initially purchased with the intent of giving to neighbors when he is on one of his baking kicks.  "Here, take this plate full of goodies, give it to the neighbors next door, tell them to keep the plate."

          I don't know how many trips Roland made to purchase more stuff.  He said he saw a wooden ladder and purchased a mirror, brought them back and returned again for a painting. 

I know he was thinking of me when he purchased it because I love how the fog rolls over the hills, and this reminded us both of that misty smog.  And I do love seascapes. 

It is now hanging over our bed.  And the mirror in our front room makes the room seem a little bit bigger. 

          Jenna picked through her hats and we ran about a third of them through the dishwasher.  She and Roland hung them on the line as they didn't completely dry in the dishwasher - but still have their shape - so that is good.

They've been removed from the line and added to her wall.

           There had been a piece of furniture I was interested in but had no idea where I'd put it.  But it had been sold already.  The neighbors had evidently reached their goal by 2:30.  I had looked out the window just before 3:00 and noticed the sign and all the cars gone and the house looked deserted.
           We still haven't gone through all of our pictures, nor will I be taking any more pictures, but here are some other free items that we walked away with:

          We had started the morning going to another neighbors to pick apples.  They also gave us cherry tomatoes, onions, cherry jam and apple butter.  

Roland topped the night off by making apple pie.  He is not happy with it however.   

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Unexpected

            Have you ever made plans to do something only to have your plans fall through so whatever you had planned falls into the cracks and ends up not being done at all - but in the long run it turns out to be for the better?  Let me give you an example:  After our backyard neighbor had passed away, his wife has been getting rid of tons of stuff.  I don't know if she's sold anything or if she has just given it away.  In our case it has been given.

            Roland and I had built a hot house (here) and used concrete bricks to line our beds (both donated by the neighbor) Roland started cantaloupe seeds in the greenhouse before moving them to this bed.  They seem to be doing well. 

            She'd also given a doll house kit to Jenna.  Now Jenna is not nor ever has been into dolls - she didn't care about the doll house itself, but we both viewed it as a summer project like putting a puzzle together.  The theme for the Summer reading program this year is

 and we thought: "Hey, build our house alongside our activities and watch progress of "build" - and since Jenna had no desire for keeping the finished product we thought we could offer it as a prize to whoever read the most books, or maybe as a raffle fund raiser for the library.  And just as the creator or business where this originated, our project of putting it together is now a thing of the past.

            I had posted this picture to facebook inviting her friends who love puzzles and crafts and such to "come on down . . . err . . .  up" but there were no takers (at least that I know of) We had gone out of town before the final day of school.  After our return and several loads of laundry, Roland called the insurance adjuster to get an estimate on a leak in the floor - or above the wash - or wherever.  A team was contacted to demolish our floor to a catwalk and made holes in the wall connecting to Jenna's room (see here) the washing machine and dryer ended up on the back porch.  That is where I had planned on setting up shop for the doll house.

            I don't know how long it's been in our living room.  Jenna certainly didn't have room to put it in her bedroom or else it would have been packed up sitting in a storage somewhere in Winston. 

            Jenna enjoys yard sales and is always asking if we can do one but I really don't believe we're in the greatest location of traffic flow.  Guess I was proved wrong as we have seen more traffic on our street in the last two days than we have in the entire time we've lived here.  Our neighbors to the west of us were having a yard sale.  We took the box of house pieces and directions over and asked if we could leave it there.  She asked for how much.  I said she could just give it away for free for all I cared, and if she thought she could make anything, she was willing to keep it for herself.

            Jenna and I were getting ready to go to my water aerobics class and had just pulled out of the driveway when my neighbor approached us and told me to stop by her house on our return as her mom was purchasing the dollhouse.  I don't think it was in her yard for an entire minute.  Wow.

            Now I suppose the house/kit may be considered an antique and could possibly be build and sold for more money.  But Jenna is ecstatic with the twenty dollars she received for someone else's "junk".  It's true that one man's junk is another man's treasure.  Wow.  Good luck to the buyer whatever her intentions are.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I’ve Been Forced to say Good-bye

          Saying good-bye is not always a bad thing.  Especially when it only invites clutter and chaos. In 1985 I was on my mission.  It was my second Christmas in the mission field and my family decided to send me a tape and king size card with greetings from various friends and neighbors from my home ward. 

          A 22X25 poster paper was purchased and folded in half.  My family decorated the front with pictures which represented my personality – a picture of Baloo and Mowgli from Jungle Book (I love Disney’s animated version of that show) Ziggy, a picture of ceramic nativity set, trees and flower in bloom, dance shoes, real mountains (Utah mountains,   not the hills of Virginia where I served) the Salt Lake Temple, dolls, golden plates, scripture  paintings  , and musical icons. 

          In addition to all the magazine cut-outs were two actual photographs.  One was of me with my missionary name tag and the other was a recent family gathering that I would guess Corey had taken (as he was not in it) which included my dad’s mother, brother, sister and their families – or parts of them anyway (my uncle’s oldest two are also missing from the photo)

My 11X14 card contained signatures from so many – it was an honor that my family had gone around with the tape recorder to so many of my ward family.  I think they must have gotten all of them with one devise or the other.  Some would sign my card from self and spouse – and then I would find spouses signature elsewhere on the card.  Some would just sign names without a greeting.  Most were just typical Christmas greetings – but there were some that added personal comments.  Surprisingly, I still remember everybody who had signed the card.

Corey had placed on the back:  “When you care enough to send something better than a Hallmark” and “the Best Homemade Card Company around” – it still makes me smile – and really, it doesn’t take up that much room.  But it’s been bent, torn in places, and some of the pictures have faded.  I don’t really NEED it.  Time to say good-bye.

I don’t know where the tape is.  I have several shoe boxes full of cassette tapes.  Most I will end up throwing away – or use them for recording things I would like right now. I think most tapes contain something that I want – but certainly not all of it.

I remember a couple of people singing Christmas songs on the tape that my family had sent along with the enormous card. One visitor said that she wasn’t aware that I was even on a mission.  It was nice to hear so many voices that had been familiar to me. My family obviously put a lot of thought into my gift and thus I cherished it.  Still do – just not in a tangible way.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Losing Home, Discarding Memories & Wearing Out My Scanner

It will be a while before my next post – as I have TONS of photos and scrapbooking to go through.  I just simply don’t have the room for storing them – at least not the hard bound books (and there are many) but do have room on some drives to insert in the computer.

Blessed are they who can discard without sentimental attachment – for they don’t have to dejunk later on.  Their lives are made easier because they don’t save every little item.  They don’t have decades of clutter.

As Corey had mentioned in a previous post  Ellen and Nate have decided to throw out a bunch of mom’s junk.  And granted, it does look nicer than I think it has ever looked – and seems inviting.  But at the exact same time, it’s not
          I haven’t lived in mom’s house for over 11 years  but had always felt at home there.  I paid for the microwave that is in the kitchen.  I paid for the over-the-toilet cabinet downstairs.  Most of the pots and pans (that mostlikey don’t even get used anymore) are mine.  But we just don’t have room for them in our tiny house or ever tinier kitchen.  The house itself seemed to welcome me – but not anymore.  It hasn’t seemed to for the last year or so. 

Mom’s not the same.  And the house certainly isn’t.  I can’t just walk freely about the house as I had at one time.  The basement is now off limits – at least in my mind.  I feel like an unwanted guest so much of the time.  I don’t think Nate thinks very highly of me – not that his opinion of me matters.  But it’s hard enough visiting my mom as it is – and then to have the sane one act as though you don’t belong.  That he may be better than you. Here’s a salt shaker – why not just pour the salt into my wounds.
          And perhaps I’m just reading him wrong. I like things orderly and tidy too – though it doesn’t appear that way.  I’ve married into a family of slobs – except for Randy – who shows no sentimental attachment either and has no problem discarding ANYTHING.  And then there’s Tony and Jenna who are worse than I am about saving and hoarding.  And too often the sentiment is lost.
          I’m actually finding that right now with the things I have saved throughout the years.  I have embarrassed myself.  Why did I save this?  Why on earth did I save that?  What does this even mean?

          Last night I pulled pages out from two photo albums (the ones produced in the 70’s and 80’s; the ones with the magnetic pages that have tons of acid which eat away at the photos) and scanned a few memories;  pulled out the postcards for Jenna to send to her friends,  and ended up throwing away three scrapbooks this morning.  There’s really no purpose for me to hang onto it – especially because of the lack of space.

When we lost our first house, mom said I could store my memorabilia at her house.  She’s got tons of room.  She’d be in that house forever.  It would always be a part of us.  There was no reality for me three years ago when we moved.  Her memory was starting to go – but NOTHING like it is now.  The reality is that we may be selling mom’s house long before Roland and I can ever move from the one we are currently in.  Probably we’ll die here – and then our children will have to go through.  And Randy will be the only one who can throw it all away.  So I’m trying to help ease that burden now.  I am trying to consolidate and keep things simple.  Trying.  I just added to the overwhelmness pile.

The first album I went through included missionary photos – now nearly 30 years old.  There is very little sentimental (if any) left with that area or those I served.  I tried keeping in touch with those that I served with.  It made it hard when I was doing all the letter writing with very little (if any) correspondence on the other end.  And unlike Corey with a strong connection to many of those that he served, I lost track.  I don’t know these people.  And because the majority of them have faded and lost their color – it was easier to throw away. If worse comes to worse, I do still have the negatives  But is the technology for developing disc negatives still around? 

I actually did take this picture at Virginia Beach - I took it with
 my disc camera.  I was always impressed with the outcome

The second album started out with a week of summer activity.  Mom and Dad had gone with Corey on an excursion to  New York.  Kayla and I spent less money in the entire week than they did in just one day.  I removed those pages.

The remaining pages were of Patrick’s family.  Thus I will take it back to mom’s with a note for Sunny if she wishes to keep it or discard it will be her choice.  I am resigning myself from the position of family historian.

I have tried dejunking before.  Rationalizing that those who lived during Hitler’s reign were not able to hang onto their possessions.  With all the natural disasters that have taken place (floods, fires, Katrina, Sandy) so much is lost.  Why hang onto it?  What’s the point?
          I’ve made some scrapbook pages that I’m really quite proud of.  I would like to save those and pass them on.  I would like to save written words – they are so much more meaningful than what is typed into the computer – even if it does seem illegible.  I still have one more pile of scrapbooks.  And then the journals.  My pathetic journals.  Perhaps I’ll just throw those away.  I would like Jenna to have something.  But not so much that it will be overwhelming.

                                                          this would be an embarrassing page  

          Right now she’s fascinated with stuff from my childhood – asking questions.  Some I am able to answer.  Others I have no clue.  And I’m trying to teach her that if you can’t remember the reasons you were hanging onto something in the first place, perhaps they’re just not really worth hanging onto anymore.

          I did bring home a box she had made for the Reflections contest when she was in kindergarten.  There was an award ceremony that took place shortly after we moved.  I kept the box at mom’s house so that it wouldn’t get lost in the shuffle, and had actually forgotten about it.  Jenna enthusiastically retrieved it.  She thinks she’s going to keep it forever.  And maybe she will.  Maybe when she’s fifty she’ll decide she really doesn’t NEED it after all.

          And may my scanner last for many years and not break down in the middle of my “dejunking”  How grateful I am for modern technology which allows me to compact my memories.  I hope what I do save will prove to be useful for generations to come.