A mixed-feelings sort of day

It’s the crack of dawn (9.15 am) and I’ve been up since 8. I’ve been awake since 7.00 but I kept hoping sleep would reclaim me. We’re having a garage sale. I’ve discovered that there are an inordinate amount of people who are loud and cheerful, very early in the morning. They are an alien species to me.

The Old Boy’s parents have both moved into a nursing home/aged care facility and our living areas have been chokkas with their furniture, contents of their bookcases and other bits and pieces. We’ve managed to sell some of it for them by advertising in the paper. Now, today, we’re hoping (praying) we’ll unload the rest. We’re also taking advantage of the moment and have stripped our bookcases back to single rows of books on the shelves. We’ve also put out the lovely nick-nacky stuff that people have given me over the years and I’ve never had the display areas to show them off. I also forgot to dust them. Some bits I’ve never really liked but I love the people who gave them to me, so I haven’t had the nerve to get rid of them. Today’s the day.

Having a garage sale is hard work. You actually have to clean up your yard. You have to pack up stuff and then, after you’ve figured out where you’re going to put it, you have to unpack it. Good friends of ours came by last night to help us set up and they were back here at the crack of dawn (being cheerful) to help put out the signs and to help us sell stuff. I consider that going above and beyond the call of duty.

It’s interesting seeing the Old Boy in his element. Going to garage sales is his favourite thing to do. Having one himself is the next best thing. He’s so friendly and chatty to everyone. He’s never that outgoing when it’s just the two of us. Hmmm… Maybe I ought to haggle a bit over dinner. That’d put a smile on his dial.

It’s a bit sad seeing the parents’ stuff being sold. It’s the end of an era. All those things that were precious to them and decorated their home are now just baggage to get rid off. Their lives are now reduced to one small room. It will happen to most of us, eventually, (well, to those who can afford to get into one of those facilities) and it’s not an appealing future. Somehow it just doesn’t feel right.

It’s also my son’s birthday today and he’s in Ireland visiting his in-laws. It’s nice for him but it, also, doesn’t feel right. It’s a bit of a mixed-feelings sort of day. But, perhaps it’ll improve once I actually wake up.


  1. Ken Rolph
    Jun 4, 2014

    Preparing your goods for your own departure is the key task of later life. My mother has just passed on to me a box of family history documents and photos, all neatly tagged and catalogued. In my own case I have been sorting out books which I might no longer want to read or consult and finding good homes for them. Perhaps in the future this will be just recyclable paper.

    We are also throwing out odd bits of crockery and other household items. Then a little list of suggestions for disposal. I noted that my tools might be offered to a local woodturners club if the children don’t want them. And stuff like that.

    You need to see your life as a whole project, not just an open ended ride of accumulation.

    • Wendy Noble
      Jun 7, 2014

      I think this sort of wisdom only comes in the more “senior” years of life. When we’re young we live under the illusion we have years and years of time to enjoy and accumulate before we need to give decluttering a thought. The only trouble is, time waxes and wanes. The older one gets, the faster the years go by. One minute you’re thirty and the next you’re sixty saying, “How did I get here?”

  2. Peter Noble
    May 24, 2014

    It’s strange being so far away from the family on my birthday too Mum, but love knows no distance, right?

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