I’m taking a break from directly reading or posting on Social Media. In all my OCD personality, I spent hours each day on Facebook. No writing was getting done. No housemoving was getting done.
I’ve been without Facebook for a little while now and miss interacting with friends, but seem to be making progress in productivity and packing.
And have time to think and plan.
My mother hardly ever gave things away. Maybe it came from being a Depression Era child. Maybe it was from being a single mom getting no child support, and being paid a pittance as a Louisiana educator.
The fact remains she died with an attic stuffed with fifty-year-old toys, Life magazines, dance costumes, and more. I used to be the opposite. She was horrified when I scavenged the attic for our only garage sale. It was like I’d sold our ancestors’ remains to a medical school.
Living in tiny dorm rooms, efficiencies, and apartments was easy. I didn’t have enough stuff to own clutter. Then came marriage, children, family estates, and one day I became my mother’s child. I owned stuff. Stuff with emotional strings and baggage.
I open a unmarked box and find dolls from my childhood, then quickly shut it. They’re a little scary looking after fifty years in my mother’s hot attic. But “so and so” gave them to me… Sentimentality is a very sticky thing, like a spider’s web.
But now there are hard limits. We no longer have the luxury of squirreling things in our new attic. Heck, the climb way up there already petrifies service people. It’s a dang aluminum ladder attic access, with a long access pole I need a tall stepladder to grasp.
Nobody’s hauling Mamaw’s knickknacks up there. We’re too afraid of plummeting to our doom.
So there’s the motivation. Now to winnow down almost twenty years of occupation and being on the receiving end of estates.
Send wine. Lots of it.
My husband and I are different levels of introverts. I’m one of those who can be an extrovert for short amounts of time, then retreat to safety. My husband is a true introvert who’d rather put things out by the curb than price crap and put it out to sell.
I get it. In my sixty-something years There was one garage sale in New Orleans where a roommate dressed up and armed himself like the prison trustee in Cool Hand Luke. With a shotgun I didn’t know he owned. In partial jest and response to crazy shoppers.
In the pre-Katrina days of New Orleans, sharp-elbowed grandmas were frightening, on the NOPSI buses or garage sales. It was, and is, a huge multicultural city, and what passed for over the top rudeness somewhere like Iowa, was met with a sigh and eye-rolling.
Living in New Orleans prepared me for living in an even more multicultural city like Houston. In a city where Hispanic men are much nicer to me than Anglos, sometimes the niceties of good behavior and respect are lost.
Garage sales are the worst, especially for introverts trying to downsize. I get that my husband would rather take a tiny tax write off than chase off early birds, offensive hagglers, and thieves. Or accidentally opening our car garage door on community garage sale days, only to find cars stopping and people stalking down our driveway. Shudder.
I can’t even organize my garage without people trying to browse.
The worst is someone, like today, walking over and quizzing us about buying things stored in our house. Asking how much something cost. Standing there licking their lips in anticipation. Shudder.
In a time where porch thieves steal packages, furniture, and plants, it seems personal boundaries and respect for property are gone.
This is irony for me, since my free-range childhood often meant trespassing and doing ridiculously dangerous stunts. Just thinking about it makes me ashamed.
A friend of mine keeps urging me to have a big sale and make some bucks. I smile, and keep quiet, remembering Russell standing on the front porch of the Lakeview house. Mirrored aviator glasses, khaki colored clothes, cowboy hat, a smirk, and a shotgun cradled in his arms. Yeah, no garage sale without friend Russell.