Hoarding Woes: Smells, Momentum Lost, Regroup

With great anticipation we  marched forward to make great headway today. The previously mentioned odor became a huge obstacle. I dug into the long pile at the end of the driveway. The wind was wafting the odor toward me as I started to unravel, unstack the end of the pile. I unstacked the layers and dug deeper. As I searched for the source of the overpower stench, the smell got stronger.


In the process of digging, I also found ridiculous items long ruined by moisture beneath the tarps: soggy rugs, clothing, rusted tools, rotted bags of dirt on and on. Eventually, I did find a most enormous dead possum replete with a multitude of maggots. Gross. I shoveled it into a plastic bag and rebagged it two more times and it still permeated the air. I killed off piles of maggots and shoveled up debris. 

Now the problem, that I have faced before: my Aunt does not want any thing thrown away. It has taken the better part of a year to get her to allow me to remove actual food garbage. She insists on burying it in the back yard, to avoid garbage fees. I insisted on removing it, after an inspection by her.

So, I said dear Aunt let’s take a slow, safe walk to the back yard…we have a problem. She has declined all Winter to look at the back yard.


We moved to the back yard where pile upon pile beneath rotted layers of tarps revealed rotted boxes and stuff beneath. I pointed out that there was a lot of damaged goods. What to do? It must go and ideally into a small drop box. She pushed on buying new tarps and covering the piles. I said, no really, let’s sort the good from the ruined.  Maybe we could cover the good, but the ruined must go. Hmmm, she says. “This is too much. I might as well die”. Not the response I wanted, but should have anticipated. I had been down this depressing road with my mom. I forced my mom’s hand and regretted flexing on her. I told my aunt, in a wimpy way, don’t worry about it. So today, we bagged up bags of garbage, but had no where to take them nor permission to remove them. Although I bagged the debris, I have no doubt the bags will be searched. This is a big obstacle that must be overcome and soon. I am headed back tomorrow.

I sat with my Aunt and shmoozed her back to a relaxed state. I joked, weeded, trimmed shrubs at her direction and played upon the enormous, rotting rodent I had discovered and bagged beneath her tarp compound. In time she relaxed…

Auntie Smiling

The best investment for my aunt’s welfare has been the flowers. But, today I made sure my aunt made it to the backyard to not only see the mess but the beautiful flowers…now unattended…but surviving in a beautiful state….

The story continues…..


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