• entries
  • comments
  • views

cold, wet and very funny



Sometimes I pray for a miracle and what I get is something like one of those old black and white comedy movies with strange characters doing strange things. For the last two days a local "scrappie" (metal collector) and his mate has been helping me clean up under the house and cabin and fill a 3 cubic metre skip (bin) which is parked outside my house. Drop off was this Wednesday, pick-up next Wednesday.


When the bin came I was appalled at what I had done. There sat the bin, huge empty and rusty, I had to fill it up but how? I knew when it was collected it would only contain what I had been able to put in myself. And under the house and cabin was heaven only knows what, valuable, valueless, wood, iron, steel, aluminium and plastic, all of Ray's "bits that will come in useful one day" collection. Plus old doors, windows, screen doors etc, a huge pile of junk on three different parts of the block. It gave me goosebumps to just contemplate the job ahead. So where to start? Anywhere would do I guess.


Along came a metal collector. He saw the collection of old aluminium frames I had laid by the bin and asked if I had any more. This was a one woman operation on Wednesday so I said I was transferring it all from up the back. He asked to come up and see and collected some more metal stripping that Ray had for who knows what reason, saw the weights and asked if he could have those for his son, saw an old motor from a washing machine, could he have that too. Gladly I said, as long as it all goes out of the yard.


This time last week I had high expectations of the cabin roof being fixed at last. The roofer Mark was to have the materials here on Wednesday and by Friday it would all be done! Alas from Monday this week we have had rain every day.It has not rained all day every day but a couple of days it did rain all day and it was definitely cold as well as wet.


Thursday morning I did my first Scripture class at one of the local schools. I had lots of fun with the children, came home, had coffee and changed. Back to the piles of rubbish again. I was just wondering what to do next when in came a light truck, Another scrappie. He looked at the bin, looked at me and asked: "Mind if I help?' Wow, could have knocked me down with a feather. He was a largish man, said he had been a security guard, said he thought he had met one of my sons, vaguely remembered picking up stuff here once before. Well, he did know what was what, asked if he could have all the copper, brass and aluminium and anything that he thought was okay that I did not want. We worked side by side for three hours before the rain came down heavily and I decided enough.


Today he brought a mate who wanted some old decking I had under the back of the house and said he would help in exchange for taking it. So three of us, working for three hours put quite a dent in the piles. Even when we have filled up the bin there will be a lot left behind but I do have a couple more people coming. The local Men's shed people are making possum boxes for the local Wildlife Sanctuary out of plywood and I have lots of that so hopefully they will take some of that away for me. There is another friend who wants some too but he is away this week so can't shift it till next week.


It was strange working alongside two men I hardly know but they were kind, courteous and quite funny as they exchanged jokes and worked out what some of the strange objects were in Ray's old toolboxes. I am keeping tools, boxes of spanners, some of the old saws, shovels and other gardening tools. I am only keeping things I can use or what I still want for the boys and Shirley. Some of them were my Dad's moved here when Mum's house was sold. Of course I will have to have another down-size later, this is just the start.


It has been sad in a way seeing things Ray prized as they really are now, old, rusty, way past their useful life BUT some of it will be recycled by the young men and their families benefit from the extra pocket money Dad had earned on his days off. I do care about what is happening, I realise that if Ray had not had the strokes life would have been very different and a lot of what has been thrown out as useless would have been made into toys, boxes, sets of drawers, doll's houses for the girls etc as he had planned when he stored all of these materials. It was fate that intervened.


I can no longer live in the "if only" state, I have to be practical and cut my losses. One day I will want to move and that means all of this will have to be cleared out. So at least I have made a start now. And thanks to the suggestions of the girls in chat quite a few people found a bargain at the side of the road.


Recommended Comments

Sue, I was lucky that I got Gary to take a pickup truck full of stuff to the dump when we moved from our first home of 28 years. He kept storing "good stuff" as he called it under the crawlspace, but we were moving into a home with a full basement and 2 car garage, and I wasn't about to let that stuff clutter it up. After his stroke in 2004, I started to gradually empty out the garage of his collection of work stuff when I knew there was no way he would ever work again. I kept a few smaller items, just in case I needed them, but emptied half the garage. When we moved to AZ in 2012, I managed to have it all down to what we could fit in the largest size POD I could rent and our minivan with three adults and two dogs crammed full to the brim. lol We are having a parkwide rummage sale in mid-March, and I still have alot I can dispose of, so I'm still downsizing, but life goes on without all that stuff. Pictures and memories last forever, the rest is just "stuff." Sarah

Link to comment

Sue, I am happy to read you had help with your "clearing out" project. Too much for you to do alone. I know those things you gave away will be put to good use. Our thrift shop also takes in metal things for recycling. You will be happy to see it all cleared out so you can move someday into another home. After 38 years in our last home, I had to sell, throw out or give away "stuff," and I'm happy I did. If your kids are like mine, they will be happy you are "clearing out" too.


Take care,



Link to comment

In 2009 - we did a major farm cleanup - dan and i the kids we hauled so much stuff off it was crazy, so thankful we did or i would have been stuck with it when moving... the things we have had to do -alone- to keep our lives moving... cause although we cleaned a lot off the farm my house was a disaster ( when dan had the stroke) with all the "stuff" and like you, cut my losses and just got rid of it... big bin X2 -- thankful god me the energy.. and i havent missed one single thing... ( except of course for the prestroke Dan) but hey that hill has been climbed.... and like sarah - i have the pictures ( mostly) and memories...nancyl

Link to comment

Sue, sound like what Lesley did this past trip to NZ. Her mum's house had an attic full of "stuff" that is now gone. With mum being 91 and starting to show her age for the first time in her life, it seemed to be the thing to do.

Link to comment

What a heartwarming gift-thank you for that post.


We were fortunate in that Bruce was able to clear out his own treasures, prestroke. All those things he kept for future projects. I was left, post-stroke, with what I call "parts is parts". So much less stressful and painful than what you are dealing with.


But how about that response and the help? I do have a metal recycling area right now in the basement and I am still deciding if I will load the truck and take it myself (I could handle doing that) or just bringing it to the curb during Spring cleanup. I am hoping the local neighbor who regularly checks out the piles offers to help.


It isn't what Ray wanted for the piece. And I have to believe he might have gotten to the "let it go" mindset, like Bruce did, if he had to choose. But just to know all those hopes are not going into a bin to the bottom of the ocean. There are brand new dreams for them.


So pleased you got some good help.

Link to comment
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.