Sunday, March 23, 2014

Slice #23- Boxes

My mom has moved from a 4000-square-foot patio home to a one bedroom apartment in assisted living. She had a lot (LOT?) of stuff, so my sisters and I spend part of every weekend cleaning and sorting and tossing. It's been an "interesting" process- one of my sisters purges everything extra from her life on a regular basis, I think everything has sentimental value and should be kept, and my youngest sister wants to keep some stuff, but has a husband who doesn't want any of it.

Last weekend, we did the books. My mom has always been an avid reader. She has mostly always been a buyer, not a borrower, so we had hundreds, maybe even a thousand books to sort through. My mom read bestsellers, e.g. GONE GIRL, but she also was prone to pick up a book every time she went to the grocery store or Target.

I had already told myself, firmly, that I was not bringing home all of her books. I have many of the best sellers (or had already borrowed them from her and returned them). I don't read the grocery store junk (unless I am at her house with nothing else to read, which has been known to happen). And I do not have ANY. MORE. ROOM. for ANY. MORE. BOOKS at my house.

And so we sorted out the books. Some were really old and dated and we threw them in the recycle bin in the garage. I kept one box of books- a few best sellers that I had not read and then some books that I thought I could give away at school. We had seven or eight boxes of books to give away. I had hoped to take the books somewhere over Spring Break (still a week away) but my brother-in-law wanted them out of the house right away, so he loaded them into the back of my car.

The Denver Public Library has a big sale every summer, and I thought I could donate them there. In the past, I have taken boxes to the library sale. You can do it any time throughout the year and all you have to do is take them to your local library and they will send them downtown. I left Colorado Springs about 2:30, intending to drop the books off at the library on my way home.

On the way I called the library to find out what time they closed. I explained what I wanted to do and they told me that they were not equipped to take such a big donation at the local branches and I would have to take the books downtown to the Central Branch. The person in charge of donations didn't work Sundays.

Even so, I called her and left a message. She called me back on Monday. I just need to give her 24 hours notice. This week was super busy, though, and I didn't have time to go down to the library when they were open.

And so the books are still in my car.

And it's been a hassle. On Tuesday, I skipped a trip to the Food Bank to pick up snacks, because I had those boxes in my car. Yesterday, I had to unload three boxes to get to the extension cord I always carry in case  I need it to teach class.

And today I have to go back to Colorado Springs.

And my sisters will get mad if I don't have an empty car to help with getting stuff out of my mom's house.

And I am really not up for dealing with my sisters' wrath today. 

I'm thinking, then, that I am going to need to unload all those boxes and leave them in my living room. Next week, when I have a little more time, I hope, I will load them back into the car and take them to the library.

In my next life, I'm going to be a lover of something lighter- maybe marshmallows or potato chips or buttons.


Michelle said...

Oh, I hope I am laughing along with you. It's like "Murphy's Law" with you! Every time you want to do one thing, something else is thrown your way. I love your positive thinking - at the end of your post - and can kind of laugh about the situation. I like your idea of button collections!

Linda B said...

Oh Carol, what a chore, but so, so nice of you to schlep those boxes around so you can donate them. Best wishes today!

Unknown said...

I can feel the burden of all those boxes and yet at the end you are able to make it feel a little lighter. I hope you get to release the burden of the boxes and that the packing some how becomes easier. I hope it starts to feel more like marshmallows.

elsie said...

Maybe you could drop off one box of books each day at the local library and save yourself the trip downtown.Purging a life of belongings is tough work. I wish you well on your endeavors.
(Check your link on TWT,because it will not lead people to your blog.)

Tara said...

A lot of books which will bring a lot of joy to a lot of the moment, though, they seem a huge bother.

Karen said...

Rather they are books or other sentimental items, this task you and your sisters are undertaking right now is a gargantuan one. Best of luck to you as you figure out which memories stay in your heart and mind, and which memories you need to hold on to physically.