Monday, January 17, 2011

Beginning: Operation Clean Sweep

Apologies to The Sisterhood for the picture I selected for this post. It's crass and chauvanistic and the reptile in me likes it very much.

No, I'm not cleaning and I'm not sweeping. But I am using my weekend days at the old house to make a systematic sweep through the place, room by room, packing everything that I need and everything that I want. The move was delayed so many times that I already had a start on this. With the furniture cleared out, it's going faster and Operation Clean Sweep is showing signs of progress.

I've divided the house into halves: front and back. I'm done with the front upstairs and well along with the downstairs. Then I'll start upstairs again and sweep backward through the hall with all its closets and drawers, the guest bedroom, the attic (I really dread that!) and down the back stairs.

Then it's the basement, and the workshop, and finally the barns. It sounds like a tall order, and it is, but remember I'm not doing anything with the things I don't want. I'm hoping that four full days out there will do the trick, plus evening trips in the two or three weeks coming.

Then it will be time for the auction house to come in one last time and take away everything that remains.

Will I clean the place and sweep it then, or leave that task for the new owners? Depends on what kind of a mood I'm in when the time comes.

I got through yesterday without tears, again. It is getting easier, because I'm not tearing down home anymore; that place is history. This has more the curiosity factor of an archeological dig. I'm finding things that I haven't seen in years, things that had significance once, significance that has in most cases faded away. In my closet I found my wooden toy fort from when I was just four or five years old (did I keep that? Hell, yes!); I found old drawings and stories from my teen years (did I keep them? Hell, no!); in the linen cupboard I found Christmas decorations that hadn't seen the light of day in years; I found leopard-patten sheets that used to go on my bed back when we lived at Turkey Hill Farm in Cape Elizabeth.

For years after we lived there, I pined for Turkey Hill Farm and Cliff House both. The latter especially. They became places in memory. The house in Albion is taking on the same dimension. The house that I see when I go out there now is not he house that I remember.

The last good-bye is finally on the horizon.

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