05 October 2007

What A Week It's Been

I went over Friday and signed all the paperwork to list my mom's house. The only thing we didn't do is set the date we'd begin. My realtor, Jane, who used to be my neighbor, came by the house on Saturday and agreed with me that it wasn't ready yet.

On Monday we cleared out the master bedroom and both bathrooms completely. The bedroom set (queen bed, dresser, nightstands) is still in there, which Jane says is OK because it'll show people how big the bedroom is. Apparently, people have trouble estimating the size of empty rooms. I think this set is going to go to one of the sisters who clean my house in Palm Desert.

We got kind of a late start because we had to go by the bank and get my signature medallion certified so I could cash in one of my mom's IRAs, since I was the beneficiary. The medallion certification guarantees that I'm really who I say I am and promises that the bank will cover any losses if it turns out I'm not, so they don't just hand these out at random. We'd had a raging hassle over this Friday, but I figured out what the bank really wanted and it just sailed through.

Then Tuesday my friend and I finished clearing out the guest room. It's still got a daybed, a dresser, and my mom's cedar chest in it, but the dresser and chest are empty. We also packed up the last of the kitchen stuff and made a run to the thrift store. We had about ten boxes of stuff for them. They were getting ready for their fall sale the next day, so we just put everything in the conex out back. My friend and I both noticed that some of the stuff they were taking into the shop for the sale was stuff we'd brought over earlier.

Wednesday my husband and I went over to the dentist. We both had crowns to have cemented and I had two fillings. It wasn't particularly painful for either of us, but we were there for almost three hours. It might have gone faster if my crown hadn't been such a perfect fit. The cementing process starts with a trial fitting and bite checking. Well, my crown wouldn't come off. It was made to fit my tooth and fit it did. My dentist ended up doing the adjustments in place and then tried for at least five minutes, maybe more, to get it out. When it did finally pop off, it bounced off the tip of my tongue toward the back of my mouth. I wasn't in any real danger of swallowing it, fortunately. Needless to say, we didn't do any more trial fittings; the next time it was in my mouth it had cement on it. It's perfect.

Thursday our new van was supposed to be delivered, but there was a problem with getting the running boards. They were damaged in shipping, with a deep scratch through the gel coat, and there was no way they could be used. So they've been re-ordered and we're just waiting on them arriving and getting painted. My friend went over to the house and moved all the cartons of books for the Friends of the Library out to the garage. She also moved about three-fourths of the cartons of stuff we're taking to our Palm Desert house (mostly kitchen stuff and books) out there too. Meanwhile, I started organizing stuff here to go to Palm Desert, mostly books. I'm ignoring the yarn for now.

She got a call from her husband, at about 1730, that his car wouldn't start and would she please come down and get him. He works near Burbank Airport. She put their dinner into the fridge and went down and got him. He went down with a co-worker this morning and figured out what the problem is. Tomorrow they're going to get a hitch for her pickup and go down and get the car. Not that she needed any more excitement in her life, because she's on the board for the public parks in the unincorporated area west of town and they're having a book sale tomorrow. Apparently the county employees can't actually sell the books and take the money, so the board members have to do that, something it would have been helpful to know before Thursday.

Today, Friday, was a very successful day. We started by loading the books for the Friends into my van. Then two guys from the thrift store showed up and took away the two filing cabinets, microwave oven, microwave stand, and two vacuum cleaners. To save them making a second trip and, more importantly, to save them from having to lift the heavy console TV into a Suburban-type van, we ended up moving all the boxes of books into my friend's pick-up and putting the TV in my van. The ramp really helped with that. I followed them over to the shop and they unloaded the TV and I visited with the workers for a bit and then went home. I was so pleased to get these big things out of the house and garage and over to the shop. My friend and I would have really struggled with them.

Next one of the afternoon volunteer workers, who had been a very good friend of my mom's, came by on her way to the shop and picked up the five boxes of things for the homeless shelter (my mom had been collecting this, like towels too worn to sell but still good enough to use, from the donations to the thrift shop). We also had a big black garbage bag full of large RubberMaid, Tupperware, and other storage containers for her daughter-in-law, who is a serious baker and can use these large containers for flour, etc. I also had a few little things for her, mementos of my mother. Between all these visitors we managed to finish clearing up the office. There's a few pieces of furniture in there, which we'll move on Monday.

My friend has graciously agreed to take the daybed, the drop-leaf table, the end table, two living-room lamps, the rock-maple hutch, and two paintings by my father's youngest sister. She has also taken a number of other things. She knew and liked my parents and will remember them both when she uses these things. Her daughter, her only child, also knew my parents and also will remember them fondly. I just can't say how much it means to me that she's taking these things.

Anyway, we finished up the day by taking fourteen cartons of books over to the library, where we were met by the president of the Friends. He and one of the library guards unloaded the cartons onto carts and whisked them away. The librarians will go through the boxes and take any books they want for the collection and then the Friends will take the rest to sell, either in the bookshop they've named after my mom or at their semi-annual sales. My husband and I buy books on science and other non-fictional topics that we don't always keep. We pack these books, frequently the newest books on the subject, in a marked box and they, I'm told, always get added to the collection. I think this says something rather sad about the funding for our county library system, that they have to rely on donated books in such important areas.

It is just amazing how much progress we've made. For so long it seemed as if we weren't making any progress at all, no matter how hard we worked and how much we took away or packed up. Now all at once it's almost empty. We have another day, at the most, and then I'll get the cleaners in. Following that, the entire interior has to be painted, except (maybe) the kitchen. Then it goes on the market, probably in about a week. And there it will probably sit for ages, until some investor buys it and turns it into 8A housing, like what happened after the last real estate bust we had in the Antelope Valley.

I decided to send some people, mostly family, photos of my parents. They had a great portrait done by a very talented local photographer about ten years ago and I was able to get her to make prints for me. I kind of underestimated my list and had to call her this afternoon and order a few more prints. They'll be ready in about two weeks. I bought a box of those stiff photo mailers and I've been tracking down mailing addresses. I'll start mailing them once I get them all.

I'm still knitting away on my Bigfoot Shawl. I'll get a photo over the weekend.

No comments: