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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mimi's House

Rob and I have spent every weekend of July and August in Springville working on Rob's Mom's house.  We didn't return her to her house after she stayed with us in April and May.  As of June, Mimi is now a permanent resident at the Julie and David Ashby's home. They finished their basement into the most beautiful mother-in-law apartment you can imagine and Mimi has settled in well.

Her house, on the other hand, has been a struggle.  We were shocked and dismayed to find SO MUCH STUFF accumulated in that home.  We knew an 88-year-old was bound to have a lot of stuff, but we were unprepared for how much there actually was!
One load (of many) to the paper recycling bin.  The seats are down and it is stacked all the way to the front.
You should have seen the loads of magazines we hauled away the week before!

We hauled loads and loads of cardboard, magazines, newspaper and other paper to recycling bins at local elementary schools.  (I bet the owners of the bins are wondering what in the world has been going on the past month and a half.)  We hauled several huge loads of clothes, dishes, and other stuff to the Provo Deseret Industries before we found a place called 'Rat Packs' in Springville where we deposited the final four loads of donations.  We took several excursions to the landfill, and even held a yard sale one Saturday morning in July.  We were selling items for a quarter a piece just to get rid of it; we also encouraged shoplifting.  We figured the more we unloaded to passersby, the less we would have to haul away.  We got rid of a lot of stuff that day.  Every week we brought home a load of stuff to our house to sort through and determine a final destination for.

Two weeks ago, I gathered up the stuff I had collected to deliver to Mimi at her new place.  There were some rolls of toilet paper, new toothbrushes, lipsticks still in packaging, some soap, non-perishable food items, and other miscellaneous items which filled three boxes and a large shopping bag.  As I sat these items on the counter of her cute little kitchen, Mimi exclaimed, "Oh, my goodness!  I had no idea I still had so much stuff!"  She was absolutely shocked there was still stuff at her house?!?  I almost choked as I gasped and laughed at the same time.  Here we'd been hauling stuff away for weeks, the house still had rooms of stuff in it, our house is full of family history and other stuff we don't know what to do with, Julie's garage is full of boxes of holiday decorations, tools, cleaning supplies, etc. and we rented a storage unit for the rest of her furniture.  AND Mimi was shocked there was still so much stuff we were setting on her counter?  I guess it is a comfort to know she isn't missing anything we got rid of.

This last Friday afternoon when we arrived in Springville, I spent five hours wire brushing the wooden deck on the back of Mimi's house.  It hadn't been sealed in 10 years and was badly in need of it.  So I cleaned all afternoon on Friday, then on Saturday morning while the cleaners worked inside the house, and Rob installed a new kitchen faucet, I stained the wood of the deck.  It ended up taking six hours for me, Julie, Rob and David to complete that task.  We also stained all the wood around her windows and front door.  After outside was tidied and the inside was spotlessly cleaned by professionals plus new toilets placed in both bathrooms, new tile laid, a new oven/range delivered, new water heater installed, a broken pane of glass repaired and the torn screen door replaced, it was looking fantastic for the renters who moved in yesterday.  
Before stain--completely raw rails.
The deck after wire brushing and before the staining.

Staining in Process

The steps after one coat (I put on two).
I've suffered more than a little guilt as we've worked week after week.  I feel terrible that we waited to do these chores until after Pop passed away and after Mimi moved out.  We should have been there doing this work while they were there to enjoy results.  Oh, regret is a sour taste in my mouth!


Dean and Sheri said...

Oh my goodness girl! I'm exhausted just reading all of this. My grandfather passed away in Jan 2010 and Dean's mom passed away this past Feb. After that first hand experience dealing with their ton of 'stuff', it's my goal to die with as little as possible. Sheesh...I relived those many trips to DI, etc as I read this. It's wonderful that Mimi's settled in with family, surrounded by love and being well taken care of. We should all be so lucky and blessed in our aged years.

ps...Hope your hair has recovered!

Tina said...

Have you watched "Hoarders"? You were probably smart to do it while she was gone, or she may not have given it all up. I do understand how you feel though. Isn't it funny when you (I) start a painting job, or some home improvement, the first question asked is "are you moving"? LOL!

I agree with the comment above . . . . leave as little as you can. Can you imagine someone going through your stuff? YIKES!!!