Monday, October 31, 2016

Mama Wasn't Always Right

My mind has wandered into the vast lands of Joy and Blessings. Two weeks away from the move and the upcoming holidays which are my favorite times of the year. In the midst of the purging and packing I got a laugh out of how I do things. Some people would just pack and not bother to clean things first. I clean things before packing and since I don't use newsprint for the breakables I can just unpack without cleaning. Some people don't clean things either before or after. I guess they figure it was cleaned at some point and that is enough.

I will admit that all this purging and packing has been creating sore muscles and this morning there was a difficulty getting my knees to bend without complaint. It's a lot of work that I don't normally do so I expect these temporary issues. I also was comparing my endeavors to that of my Mom when she found it necessary to move when she was my age.

In 1996 my Mom's husband died and she found it necessary financially to move into a subsidized senior apartment. She asked for help which all of us provided. The problem was, she didn't do a single thing herself. She and her husband were living in a two bedroom apartment with attic space and frankly she wasn't the best of housekeepers. Things were usually just shoved into places where they were promptly forgotten and this was a smoker's home.

My uncle, his wife, their 2 kids and myself worked in this apartment daily to clean and pack for her move. Every week my Uncle would go over and cart bags of trash down a flight of stairs to the street. While all this was going on my Mom sat in the kitchen reading a book, twirling her hair around her fingers as was her habit and smoking cigarette after cigarette.

Everything we packed was marked keep or give on the boxes. We asked her to look at everything after we left to see if we had it right. Every day she would tell us it was fine. We took 10 huge boxes of clothes, after we washed them, to the Salvation Army. After we packed what she wanted to keep, we found on moving day that we had discarded 150 bags of trash. Not all in one day, but over a 5 week time frame.

Now, we worked like dogs to get her ready to move and after she moved we heard how we lost things she wanted to keep. The day of the move some things disappeared into the home of one of her step-daughter's but that wasn't our fault. They were returned when mentioned as missing with one of those oops, we took the wrong box home with us excuses. No real harm there unless she hadn't asked them to check if they had it by accident.

All the work we did and all she did was be lazy, complain about our efforts and blame us for the attempted theft. I finally lost my temper with her one day and told her that had she gotten off her lazy ass and done something she wouldn't have anything to complain about but since she chose to sit on her ass while the rest of us sweated ours off she could suck it up and shut the hell up.

This tirade on my part got me the usual "I don't understand how hard it is to suffer with so much pain" lecture. I'd find out when I got to be her age how little of the things I used to do would be something I could still do.

I am exactly the same age now as she was then. I have a hip that will need replacing eventually and a look at my spinal xrays show that I have chalk instead of that lovely healthy looking translucent appearing bone. I'm also 30 pounds heavier than she was then. I am cleaning, purging and packing all my things with no help at all and little damage beyond the soreness and stiffness of age. What a con artist she was! I've been giggling at this for 2 days now and it's making me silly.

I now know how lazy she really was since there were times that I felt sorry for her with all her pain. I have found that the more you carefully do, the less overall pain you have. And, since I do all the time instead of just when I need to in order to move, I won't have 150 bags of trash. I've managed this with only 1 extra bag of trash a week. Mostly my husband's clothes that no longer qualify as gently used.

Life really is what you make of it. When you actually do something to make your surroundings something to be enjoyed, you are moving enough to alleviate some problems that will eventually lead to more pain. And constant whining about how hard life is. Quite the opposite of Joy and Blessings I should think?


  1. A fitting word. Gratitude is the first step toward the Divine; ingratitude is the first step away from the Divine.

    1. It never occurred to me all those years ago in Blogstream that we would have enough money to buy land and then buy a newer mobile home to install on it. Plus, accomplish all of it with money we saved. All we need to do is pay the property and school taxes, no mortgage. I am beyond grateful for this.

  2. I have been away for awhile so sorry I have not been here to comment. I hope you are enjoying your new home and getting ready for the holidays. I bet it will be fun to decorate for Christmas this year :-)

    1. I love my new home. It's a joy to wake up in the morning and set about settling in. It's allowing me to ignore everything else and just get on with living.