What needs to be said? As with most things in the hoarding house, one is fine, two is good planning and thirty is most satisfying. “All hands on deck!” Soon Team. Buying more tables (13 additional tables, 4 more today) and folding bookcases. Pricing continues. Momentum (barring health, graduations, birthdays, unforeseen disasters) has been gained!!! Oh, of course, this is not the only bag of gloves.
A pronounced penchant for my Mom and my Aunt was the retention of old bills and notations from long ago. Rubber banded and boxed or stuffed in drawers or locked away in attaché cases for some reason.
Bag upon bag of such old mail is accumulated and when one looks at the dates (60′s, 70′s), it would be easy enough to toss it along the way. Only the concern for some important, rarely found, document looms in the back of the head.
Yesterday, my wife being dutiful and taking a break, sat and sorted through bags of old mail and made a great discovery (at least in my humble estimation). Amongst many bundles of old envelopes was a bundle of old greeting cards my Aunt had received long ago. How long ago?
Well, there tucked into an old greeting card was a birth announcement: MY BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT! From my Mom to her sister in 1948. How cool is that?! Ok, I’m a bit sentimental.
You never know what treasure you might find hey?! I was a little guy it appears. Also, there are those earlier mentioned attaché/brief cases. Always locked, often heavy. What might this one contain? A cool 100K embezzled long ago? Just joking.
My Auntie was very proud of her home. At one time, it was truly a show piece, inside and out. I recall the yard being particularly spectacular with splashes of color and crispness.
Now, with the hoarding woes that have swirled through our minds for the last several years, we become consumed with the messes before us…the layer upon layer of stuff that hide remnants of style…remnants of pride.
Yesterday, my wife felt inspired to take photographs of barely visible signs of what was long ago (30 some years). Here is a compilation of scenes from the back yard……….
Spending much more time researching values of the more special items…several hundred such items. Each search takes a fair amount of tedious time even on eBay.
Developing the Plan: Have noted our Goals and Action Steps to move toward completing those Goals. The Team is stirring. Vintage Clothes & Shoes out the door by the end of this month.
We didn’t have a particularly harsh Winter here…rarely do…but the Geraniums usually don’t come back if left unattended. This year several of the Geraniums we planted for my Aunt have re-emerged into Spring. A prompt…hey I am grasping at all manner of spiritual prompts for positive influence…to keep pushing.
No, we still have much to do…and we have not maintained any degree of momentum. Yes, I have written about that and the need to renew our efforts.
But, little has happened and the hoarding mess remains…albeit on a massively smaller scale than a year ago.
Medical issues, employment, life have continued to conspire to short circuit our momentum toward completing the cleanup…but we must some how regain our ooomph. So close, but so far, until we get moving with our plan.
Early in my Mom’s and Aunt’s adult life they moved out of an abusive environment (in Wisconsin) and headed for Southern California. They spent time there in the early 40′s and it had a lasting influence (interior design/clothing) for decades to come.
My Mom never had the wherewithal to acquire the bedrock trappings of the Mid Century Era (although she ultimately spent enough money on stuff to have had it). However, my Aunt had the wherewithal to build a significant interior design of Mid Century Modern that was ultimately buried in all the many varieties of stuff.
Recently, we had an opportunity to visit the Palm Springs, California area. In the course of that visit, we saw the prominent influence of Mid Century Modern in many historical (40′s/50′s) hotels. It was immediately apparent that my dear Aunt had long ago dialed into a style that was so cool and hip in the day….and still is elsewhere. Somehow she buried it with her hoarding mania in the six decades that followed. Now it is ever more visible. And, it is evident my Aunt was one classy gal in the day, and even in the end.
Making things, crafts, yard art, projects, collecting…all potential vehicles to a mess. Or, to the creative one, just a display of artistic talents? We came across this display in the middle of no where above Yucca Valley, California. Probably just a ‘fun’ display of an ‘artistic’ statement of some sort. I do recognize the three Eames Era Mid Century chairs my hoarding Aunt had several of.
Oh my. Up to our noses in procrastination and inertia. Seemingly stuck. Medical this and that is mind stalling. Can’t work as a diversion or distraction. I see ever more what my Mom and Auntie went through with health problems and a sense of insurmountable odds.
But, I know that sooner or later, either with our own backs and hands or hired help, we have the desire and need to fix this mess. The final effort is so attainable, so in view. Just life right now is in front of us along with the Hoarding House.
This is exactly what everyone else deals with. There is comfort in this. Knowing that others stare into this same morass gives a degree of strength.
The hoarding yard is exploding right now with new growth…good growth and not so good growth (weeds and grass). The yard being spruced up a bit makes the messes easier to deal with. Soon enough, the back yard will become a staging area for cardboard boxes and recycling. No vacuum goes unfilled for long.
Yes, this is a lot of positive self talk in the face of an ongoing slow down. It works…just not yet.
I have noted before that this blog was started more for my expression of emotions way back when my Mom had passed away and left us with a massive, hoarding mess. It has evolved along the way through that cleanup and into my Auntie’s hoard, illness, dementia, hospice and death.
Along the way, we have pushed hard and occasionally stuttered and sputtered. It is good for us to look back and see what we have done. Many of you have reminded us of that time and again, but life confuses and distracts and then obscures our clarity. The above pictures were a year ago. A very disheartening time when we had to empty a large storage locker, of my Aunts, and move all the contents to the hoarding house.
It was a set back in our mind, at the time. But, of course, it all worked out. Now we are faced with more set backs of a medical nature. We had just reinvigorated our minds to charge forth, but health concerns now derail that momentum.
You know the routine: symptoms, tests, more tests, waiting for results, inconclusive, symptoms, more tests……………….waiting……………you know the routine.
Plan B? In this type of effort, you have to think through the many options (sometimes it doesn’t seem like you have any) and plan for the what if’s. What if this or that happens. Some of that involves money. Some of it is muscle. Some of it is time management. When all three are reduced then the mind comes to a halt. This is very troubling to the Team that wants to scratch out success after success. Looking at the pictures above, I know we can do it again. We just have to develop alternative plans of action.
As you probably know by now the American Psychiatric Association has added hoarding to the DSM-V. This new diagnosis addition to the DSM-V goes into effect this May 2013. If I Were A Hoarder further explains the addition and how it may influence the response to hoarders.
It may give clout to treatment options, given the legitimization of the malady in the psychiatric loadstone. It may also generate more interest in others pursuing this avenue of treatment in their career path as therapists.
For those of us that have been dealing with hoarding, the DSM-V is little solace or help in the ongoing battles, negotiations and tantrums. But perhaps someday there will be a better understanding of how to cajole, manipulate, finesse the hoarder toward safety and health.