In preparation of having my mother-in law move in with us (yes, the move appears to be back on) we first needed to perform a major clean up of her house. In addition to the gal and me, Jen’s brother-in law and two teenaged nephews also joined in the festivities.
We rented a rather large dumpster to dispose of all the excess junk that has been stored in my father-law’s shed and spacious garage. Yes, suffice to say Dad was quite the “pack rat”. Oh there were a couple of occasions when we attempted to do such a clean while he was alive. However, we could never prevent him from going into the dumpster after the thirty year old tent poles (which had no tent which to attach) or the fluorescent light bulbs which were burnt out.
Phase I: The shed. A few years ago, Dad built a shed specifically for the lawn equipment but said equipment was always kept in the garage. We never knew what he actually kept in that shed….until today. As we opened ‘er up we found such items as pots and pans, a broken sump pump, a rickety old fan and a lantern which looked as though it came over on the Mayflower. So our first accomplishment was throwing out all that useless stuff and actually making room for the lawn equipment.
Phase II: The garage. Since the garage was always one big cluttered mess, Dad would never be able to find the gas can or the quart of oil he would need. As a result, he would go out and buy new ones thinking he had lost or used up the others. So what do you suppose we discovered? About seven quarts of Valvoline motor oil and four gas cans. Also, we learned he had an affinity for saving empty Folgers coffee cans.
Phase III: The gargantuan refrigerator in the basement. My brother was kind enough to stop by and assist me and Jen’s brother-in law in getting the fridge upstairs. We merely needed to get it to the top of the stairs and then push it out to the garage where someone will come retrieve it next week. Before we could even think of doing that, we had to remove the railing to allow us more space. Then we removed the fridge doors and shelves to make it lighter. Finally after about an hour of maneuvering, we got it into the garage!
After a total of about six straight hours of taxing physical labor, we stepped out into the garage and admired our work. Everything we wanted to keep was neatly organized and everything that needed to go was in the big dumpster. We literally couldn’t have fit another article in that large receptacle. As we were basking in the fruits of our labor, my wife’s shoulders all of a sudden sagged and at the same time she said “Oh, no.” She pulled on the string attached to the ceiling which opened the door to the attic above the garage. As she climbed up the ladder, what do you suppose she uncovered? That’s right. There were boxes as far as the eye could see, containing who knows what.
I could almost hear Dad’s laugh as we talked of renting another dumpster next month.