Thursday, November 20, 2008

NaBloPoMoPhoBia: Sandwiches.

No, not the PBJ kind. This sandwich is generational. We're caring for our kids, teens and twenty-somethings that they are, and caring for our parents at the same time.

Both sets of parents are moving.

Husband's parents are moving out of their home of forty-odd years. They are life-long packrats. They've been the type to hold onto everything, stock the shelves in the basement, fill the freezer, keep their sons' toys and never, ever throw anything away. Getting them to purge the place and prepare to move into a condo has been like pulling teeth from a shark; every time we empty a room of "stuff" they seem to grow more.

Husband moved all of his personal possessions out of their home years ago, successfully purging anything without value. The mouse-eaten pup tent joined the trash can. The old broken airplane models did, too. The trains? He still plays with those, and it's okay. They're small (HO scale).

His brother ten years younger and just a tad OCD, wasn't quite as good about leaving home. His toys and games were still in the closet of his childhood bedroom. Husband filled our minivan with them and dropped them off at the brother's house for our nieces and nephew to enjoy. We hope our sister-in-law still likes us after that stunt.

To make a long and tedious story shorter and more tolerable, Husband's making a final trip (or two) to the old homestead with my minivan this weekend. Moving the remainder will be the job of the professional movers. I'm just happy that the in-laws actually agreed to hire someone to take care of this, as Father-in-Law is the ultimate DIY Guy. It's been difficult to convince him that he's not what he used to be after two back surgeries and double knee replacement. He shuffles across the room and pretends he doesn't need his cane or walker, all the while saying, "I can handle those boxes. I'll vacuum the basement."

Denial aside, they've also set aside quite a bit of trash that might be someone's treasure. We're lined up to host a rummage sale next spring or summer to sell it off. Maybe by then Father-in-Law will admit that he no longer needs his riding mower and his two behemoth snowblowers, and Mother-in-Law will have decided just how much of her birdhouse collection will fit into condominium living.

Luckily for all of us, my own mom is moving from one apartment to another. She's already downsized. Professionals will handle the furniture and the piano. We'll just provide a few boxes.

In the meantime, I'll keep reclaiming the various rooms in our home, dejunking as much as we can. I don't want my children to have to clean piles of junk out of our basement many years in the future, so I'd better start cleaning now.


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Blogger Flea said...

My mother moved from one apartment to another just this last weekend. Unfortunately, she lost everything in Hurricane Katrina several years ago. Fortunately, there's not much to move.

11/20/2008 7:24 AM  
Blogger paper napkin said...

Are your husband's parents moving into assisted living? I dread the day when my parents have to move.

11/20/2008 7:52 AM  
Blogger Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

My dad's mom downsized nicely, too. My mother's side of things will be a horror. I give you credit for rolling up your shirtsleeves and getting in there to deal with that business.

11/20/2008 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

here I go again- I'm Grumba on Plurk and just spotted you on there. Compost sounds good, so thought I'd read your blog. However no time to linger except to say I have a Plurk friend, @Maria who also has an autistic teen- her 19year-old daughter and she might like to exchange blogs with you! I used to be an autism researcher, so I understand a little of how hard life can be in that zone!

11/23/2008 4:46 PM  

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