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throwing things away



I was saddened today to read Ann's post on the passing of Will Furia, our hostwill, another good soul who put his spare time into helping others on here. I remember having a chat with Will one night and he said he had a soft spot for Australia as one of his distant ancestors was Captain James Cook who on one of his journeys mapped the east coast of Australia and is credited as the "discoverer". Of course we are moving away from being discovered now, our aboriginal Australians had been here 40,000 years by the time the good Captain got here. Hostwill was a good man, kind, caring and committed to helping others, that made him pretty special and I am glad I got to know him.


Life goes on here. Last week for me was mostly about clearing things out, with helping my daughter-in-law Pam with the garden on Monday, church activities on Tuesday and last Wednesday till Monday cleaning up under the house and cabin and filling the 3 cubic metre skip I hired for a week. I must say when it first came I was worried and wondered what I had don but although It was expensive to hire today when I saw it leave, filled to the brim I realised it was worth all the aches and pains and heartache to know I had finally made a start on the cleanup. If I am to sell this house there is much more of a similar nature to be done.


I was fortunate to have the help of some "scrappies", people who salvage metal.Unfortunately every piece of wood, every strip of metal,every "saved" item that I threw out reminded me of Ray and how he had brought home all these treasured pieces. He was so sure they would all come in handy one day. And so they would have if he had not had the stroke in 1990, if he had not had the two major strokes in 1999, if he had not lost the use of his left side, left leg, left hand etc .It was heart-breaking, throwing away piece by piece what would have been parts of sets of drawers, book shelves and doll's houses for the girls all lovingly hand crafted by Ray's skillful hands. I think of all our grandkids missed out on because of the strokes - knowing the pre-stroke Pa Ray is the major one.


I know we probably threw out a lot of stuff that could have been recycled or I could have sold but I need the space in the garage so I can move the boxes from the cabin and sort them out.This is so the ceiling can be replaced in the cabin after the roof has been fixed. I could not have done it alone and the scrap metal men with their sorting skills were needed to keep me on track. I had to look away when one of Ray's many treasures was thrown in the skip and keep my thoughts to myself. I did have a few restless nights while we were doing this, it is not easy to throw away a thirty year accumulation of one's loved one's trash and treasure but it had to be done. I know Ray would have hated it.


Of course there are at least two more skip loads to be done before the accumulation is gone. I do have someone coming from the local Men's Shed to look at some of the plywood (they are making possum boxes to house possums on one of the Wildlife Reserves) and there are some things I will keep in the hope that Trevor will come back and get them but at least it is a start. There is also still some of Mum and Dad's stuff stored up in the cabin so it is decision time, what will I keep, what will I have to get rid of...sigh. There will be some room for some keepsakes in the house but I really do need to "let go" of a lot of what was once family every day use items. How many saucepans, plates, mugs, glasses etc do you really need when there is just one of you?


The boxes in the cabin mostly contain excess household items, and of course boxes and boxes of books but a lot of that will be recycled through our church Op Shop and other charities. The charities here are supporting the poor as they will do for a long time with money so tight. I love all the little old ladies who look after our church's charity shop... they are cheerful, diligent, wise old heads and with time on their hands after nursing husbands, mothers etc like me they are born volunteers and enjoy the day in the shop. Like so many others they live alone and enjoy the socializing as well as the feel-good sensation that you get from helping others. Volunteers, worth their weight in gold.


It was Lions Youth of the Year dinner last night, hosted by our Lions Club. I always see one of my daughter's teachers at those combined dinners and an old friend of Ray's. Both asked how I was coping and I put on my social face and said: "Just fine." but of course we all know that isn't so. Like everyone else I have my ups and downs. Today the sun is shining and the birds are singing and I AM fine. Last week the rain was falling and I was doing what felt like getting rid of Ray one piece at a time...not so fine. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?


There have been a lot of changes in my life recently. The moving of Trevor and his family to Broken Hill at the end of January was hard and yesterday my son Steven and his new partner moved to Adelaide. That leaves Pamela and her three children and me on this part of the coast. It is unsettling to me not to have the boys close by. It has always been a reassurance as I knew I had help if it was needed. Now I have to rely on help from friends who are not as reliable and not obliged to help. I know a lot of others are in the same situation so I am not alone in this. But it does give me a kind of helpless feeling.


As we all know the only person we can rely on in the end is ourselves. We sometimes get help from friends but mostly we have to pay for work to be done. I am now at that stage, plan out a job, figure out how much it will cost and if I can afford it, get it done. Apart from that I just have to get used to being on my own and being self-reliant.


I know this is a safe place to vent, whine, complain, reflect and occasionally share my good times. People here understand what I am going through. I guess it makes me appreciate my friends at Strokenet even more.


* I rewrote a blog I did yesterday into this new blog. Somehow what happened yesterday did not seem as important today.


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Guest lwisman


Hi Sue,


Glad to hear things are going on and on at your house.


Congrats on the cleaning. That is a hard job. You will probably throw out stuff that could be recycled, throw or recycle stuff you later wish you had kept. Your decisions are the right ones. Life goes on. In one sense, it is a good feeling to throw stuff away and get on with it.


Take care.



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We've been weeding out our possessions, both good and bad, since Ray came home from the hospital. Everything from the Corvette, to our old work clothes. Out with the old, in with the new! It's as much psychological as practical.

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Sue :


I so enjoy your blogs you write from your heart. with your feelings in the blogs are so universal it feels like as if I am doing the work you are doing. I know its so hard to part away with your old life which you shared with Ray. But unless you part with old there is no room for new things to enter in life. I know first hand change is very difficult to get used to. but once we understand change is not good or bad just different life can be so less stressful. trust in higher power that whatever is happening in your life is for your good even though it seems so difficult right now, but something better is going to come out of this trial. Sharing what worked for me.



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