Goin’ Through Stuff

Due to getting married, my Dad has sold his house, and the possession date is this Friday. Of course there is no minute like the last one for cleaning up and moving things out, so as of last week I was helping him list a bunch of stuff online. I’ve also taken a few things for myself that he no longer needs, including a full set of dishes & cups, to replace our own. Also my mom’s accordion, under the condition that I learn to play a song. She apparently used to play it before I was born. I think I saw her get it out maybe twice in my lifetime. It’s in beautiful condition, but the straps are a little to small for me, so I need to find replacements I guess?

I also found a hidden cache of my old stuff in the back of a storage closet, which I cleaned out this morning. Lots of stuff ended up in the garbage, some things are coming home with me, and a few things got recycled, too. One oddity is a bottle of “Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale” that looks to be about 17 years old, given to me as a gift in a time when I didn’t drink beer (but was a Monty Python fan). I’m assuming it will poison me if I try to drink it now, so I guess I’ll put it on a shelf somewhere. Or pour it out at some point.

After that, I took a few moments to quietly go around the house and say goodbye. It was good, and sad, and I surprised myself by calling up memories of times I haven’t though of in ages, and room arrangements that haven’t existed for almost twenty years. I spent my formative years there, I guess, moving when I was 12 and living there off and on until I was like, 26. Even after getting my own place I was there every day for years while the Jelcan offices were in my old room. So I felt like it was important to take a moment and sit with that, and not try to force any particular reaction but to feel whatever came up. I thought about taking pictures, but a lot of it has been cleaned out, and I already have pictures from the old times. I want those, not the empty ones.

I also said a little prayer of thanks for the times I got to have there, and to ask that the next people get to have good times there, too. Okay, I did take one picture of questionable goodness:

The entrance, with ridiculously tall Dieffenbachia plant that we have always had around in one form or another. Not that one specifically, but you know, that kind.

Probably a few years from now I will creep past it and something will be visibly different, which will rankle me for no good reason. Or it will look the same but feel different anyway.

Thing I Saw: An ancient, empty bottle of “Orbitz” sitting in the same bottle collection that the unopened ale bottle was hiding. It was the first and last bottle of that stuff that I ever had. Hashtag only nineties kids will remember

Thing I Learned: Two things, just now! First, I knew that the tall plant from my youth was called a “Dieffenbachia” but always assumed it was a Low German pronunciation/corruption of “Dieffenbaker”, which, maybe you had to grow up around the Low German dialect to judge how plausible that theory was. But no, it turns out that is its real name. Also, they’re poisonous, which I was dimly aware of, but the specific harm they cause makes them also known as “dumbcane” because they can remove your ability to speak. Fun!

I’m Grateful For: The places I’ve called “home”.

Play this while walking around your old house. I didn’t, but it seems fitting