Tag Archives: hoarders

Hoarder, Thy Name is Audrey

17 May

The Squire and I are once again playing “Let’s Pretend We’re Moving”, and decided to have one more go at the barn.  When my folks moved back to Baltimore from Roxboro, they purchased an 8 x 10 Amish shed, and loaded a moving van full of stuff into it. (Well, maybe not really that much, but it certainly seemed that way.) We eventually moved everything into the barn and donated the shed to church.

The Squire loaded about a dozen cartons of various sorts and conditions into the cart and hauled them down onto the patio. You would not believe the stuff my mum saved! I must admit I have held onto every card I have ever gotten from The Squire, and I generally save this year’s Christmas cards to address next season’s, but I do throw them out eventually. Not my mum. We found two large boxes full of cards dating back to their first home.  It wouldn’t surprise me; when my dad died in 1999 my mum moved into a retirement center and my sister and I helped her clear some of the debris. (Read, we spent our time taking turns distracting her while the other one crept out with a pile of paper.) We each brought home my parents’ income tax papers from the years we were born – 1942 and 1947 – and gave each of our children a Woman’s Day magazine from the month they were born.

My dad was a clergyman, for Heaven’s sake! Do you know how often they move? My mother could squeeze a nickel until the buffalo shit and the Indian had a headache, but she spent good money to lug paper all over the country. Yeesh!

Boxes and boxes of books, many so abused by the mice that they had to be tossed, and a pair of ceramic figurines Nana had made back in the 50s. They were carefully wrapped in what had once been a fine wool blanket, now so moth-eaten I’ll be lucky to get two pieces large enough to give to the Humane Society.  Some of the theology books will go to Operation Pass Along for other clergy, and I’ll see if I can donate the rest. It goes against the grain to dispose of printed material. Hmm. Wonder where I got that?

When The Squire moved the tractor, he found a handful of dog food under the seat.  He also found peanut shells in his boots. It’s a long way from our house to the barn.  Industrious little buggers.

The most surprising find of the day was a small garter snake, curled up in one of the boxes. Hard to tell which of us was the most startled.

At least it was only one.





Of Hard Drives and Furnaces

11 Mar

The Squire found his missing hard drives late Monday.

I was sitting on the sofa reading, and he came into the living room for a kiss. When he bent over, he discovered the cases sitting on the floor, under the end table – in more or less plain sight. Well, at least one can assume it wasn’t a place a thief would think to look.

We went to see our financial advisor yesterday (which is not quite as impressive as it sounds) and got to talking about misplacing things, and stuff piling up when you’re not paying attention. I remarked that from time to time I have to watch a rerun of Hoarders just to get motivated. Bill laughed and said his dad could have outdone them all; his father was a hoarder to end all hoarders. The house was so cluttered with stacks of papers and other junk that there were only narrow, unstable, paths to get from room to room. Many years ago, the furnace had gone up, and his dad had ordered a new one, which the men were unable to get into the basement, so they left it in the dining room.  Now old furnaces were big – maybe five or six feet long, by four feet high – and this thing sat in the dining room, taking up most of the space.

At some point, his dad was taken ill and spent some time in the hospital, so Bill and his siblings decided to clean the house. He said they actually had a celebration when they found the dining room table. (Sounds like my mom’s apartment, doesn’t it?) Imagine their astonishment when they uncovered the furnace! Here is this huge, hulking monster, so completely covered with junk nobody even knew it was there.

Bill said they were all very pleased with what they had accomplished, but their father never forgave them, and groused about it until the day he died. At least my mom was so foggy she didn’t even realize we’d cleaned up.  I wonder how long it took Bill’s dad to get the house in a mess again? My mother had her apartment “re-junked” in about a month.