A first Christmas in the ‘hoarding house’….

the project house, the ‘cottage’, the ‘hoarding house’, ‘Tillie’s’ (my beautiful Aunt’s name house). Our first Christmas in the house is miraculous. We are full of joy and bountiful thanks.

first xmas tree cottage

Joy abounds. Thanks beyond our wildest dreams comes forth. Small ‘but’ we are damaged and maybe forever beyond renewal. We are so banged up we cannot make an assessment that connects with the past abilities to assess and rebuild. We got blown way off course to a new world. The past markers do not seem to connect to the present reality.

first xmas cottage

We aged, we were physically damaged on top of existing ailments, and most importantly we suppressed our mental anguish while trying to complete the two hoarding house cleanups and now come out on the other end disconnected and grasping to create a new new. Life is busy. Pain and suffering have created immediacy and focus on ‘now’. We seem unable to go back to find the past and bring it forward to ‘heal’. 


I don’t write any of this to be dramatic or seeking even a response. It flows forth as it is. A trauma from hoarding woes. Not different from anyone suffering much more catastrophic damage and having to move on in a new realm.


We mounted an effort to respond to the hoards. We were situated in life with strengths and weaknesses. We moved forward to attack the hoards. But, we (our lives) were simultaneously besieged with additional assaults and challenges aside from the hoards. It all mounted together to wear us down into the present. We won the war…all the damn battles…but we are crippled.

xmas red characters

And, there is life. We survive with scars, limps, pains, traumas, mental defects as victors..as survivors of what others created and we took on. Regrets?

Not sure…so numb and discombubliated as we are now. I/we cannot understand it all. Life in all its raw reality moves on. The clock ticks. Life passes by. It seems wasteful, pointless to go back now to dissect the why’s of hoarding and the damn damage it did to two beautiful women! Damn it!!! Damn!!!

Christmas was throughout their lives the most important time of year for my Mom and Aunt. They left home, in their teens, between Thanksgiving (no thanks) and Christmas. They each moved alone cross country to escape terrible abuse. They rejoined at Christmas time. Joy! Salvation! They both attached a HUGE significance to surviving their journeys and arriving together during Christmas just before WWII.

My admiration for strong women knows no bounds! I tear up thinking how damn strong they were, how sad they were.


14 thoughts on “A first Christmas in the ‘hoarding house’….

  1. Bonnie

    Thank you for sharing your joy! If we’re honest, we all see it this way after living a certain amount of time. But, we’re taught to “sweep it under the rug”…..that “people don’t want to hear that”. Better to acknowledge it and live with it which is what you do. One day at a time. You’ve done a wonderful job in more ways than one. I’d appreciate more pictures, even just different angles if you’re so inclined. Maybe highlight some of your Aunts vintage Christmas items? Merry Christmas.

  2. annietiques

    Somehow I missed this post!! Your home looks beautiful, that woodwork still knocks my socks off……love the choices you and your beloved have chosen..those chairs in the living room are beautiful.

    Take care of each other, find a warm water pool, it will change your life…..really helps to reduce the pain of achy joints..

    Much love to you both…..

  3. Jenny Islander

    Oh, it’s gorgeous. I love, love, love that glass block detail by the front door. It lights up what is typically a dark corner of the house in climates/neighborhoods that demand heavy steel doors. Are those silver-gray upholstered chairs with the gold legs original?

    1. Thank you! No, the chairs were originally a pinkish cast fabric. Badly worn, we saved the best pieces of fabric for pillows perhaps. Then we had them recovered in the grey fabric. Now if we can just keep the cats off them! We have retained 3 original chairs/fabric for use in the den and living room. We had 3 recovered. We retained the Ritts Tropitan because of value but really have no where to display it for now. Thanks for the visit Jenny.

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