There was a spider in my parents bathtub this morning. A big, ugly black spider. My dad killed it, and I’m trying not to think about the fact that it could have climbed into bed with me last night instead of crawling across the hall to the bathroom. Ugh! This is one of the many reasons my parents need to get rid of the clutter and clean up the hoard. There are so many hiding places for spiders in their house, and they’ve started having such a problem that they set out those little glue cards that bugs stick to. So you’ll be sorting through a stack of papers and then all of a sudden come across this glue card that has little spiders and maybe a small roach stuck to it.
I had two days that I could go home, but I spent most of my time visiting with my grandmother. As badly as I want to clear the hoard at my parents, Grandmother is more important. When I did arrive home last night, I first checked out the kitchen to see what damage had been done to my hard work on previous visits. It looked pretty good, but Mom said she cleaned it up some two nights ago. I encouraged my parents to help me clean off the countertops before we ate supper, and pretty soon it looked the way I had left it a couple of months ago. Then my dad had a movie for us to watch (he certainly knows how to distract me from my mission – I love movies). Mom and I worked on paper stacks during and after the movie. There are piles and piles of books and papers in front of the fireplace, and I realized three things. First, we need a longer stretch of time than a day to go through this massive pile. Second, that I didn’t want to stir up any spiders just then. Third, my mom is going to have to be at the house to clean the living room. So much of it is her stuff. I asked her if she wanted me to take any of her books to the used bookstore, and she said she would have to go through them first (even though at some point she put them in bags to take them). I think maybe that’s the problem with the living room. She gets a bag of trash or recycling together but just leaves it sitting there instead of taking it outside, then she forgets what she’s gone through and has to do it all over again. She feels that she must go through every magazine and newspaper before she recycles it. I asked her what she’s afraid she’s going to get rid of – I mean, the only wedding announcement she should really want to keep is mine, and she has a copy of mine already. Grandmother always kept wedding announcements and obituaries for every family member, and I think she’s just mimicking that behavior. She did decide to get rid of her typewriter. It’s in my trunk, ready to take somewhere. After watching episodes of Hoarders, though, I can’t complain about my parents’ living room. It’s a lot better than the living rooms I see on the show. At least there’s a pathway.
After breakfast this morning, Dad and I cleaned out a drawer in the kitchen. We filled three grocery store bags with stuff for the trash: old baby barrettes, proof of purchases for toys such as Barbie and the Rockers and a Carebear car, lots of ribbon, shoe inserts, and stickers. We were under orders to keep all buttons, which we did. Dad found an old McDonald’s toothbrush with the hamburger character on it that he said he has to see is worth anything. So I didn’t accomplish a whole lot, but Mom is going to take off a few days from work in a few weeks and I’ll go help her. She’s very motivated to start on the living room so that she can paint.