Most of the family met at Mother's to try to clear out her house before settlement and we came pretty close. Most worked so hard and it was also a good family day.
The local large charity shop has stopped taking donations so quite a bit was put into charity bins. Mother's rubbish bin has been seconded by someone in the units next door. It appears in front of her house and is taken in by a kind neighbour, but then disappears until the following week when it again appears in front of Mother's house. It is just being borrowed but we need it.
The Salvation Army did take a couple of things, the delightful bright yellow perfect condition laminex kitchen table and something else I can't remember.
Her lounge suite which was her mother's went off in a horse float to be reupholstered and French polished by the person who did the same in about 1979.
Sister took quite a bit of stuff, even though she said she wanted nothing more. Bone Doctor slogged away in the junk room until it was clear. Tradie Brother and Hippie Niece made a pile on the nature strip for council collection. The size was limited to two cubic metres and that was breached but by the time it is collected, it will be reduced by people taking things from the pile. Unseen by any of us, a working microwave oven disappeared as the stack was being made.
We took a late lunch break at the local bakery cafe which was really nice.
Tradie Brother had his four day old sandwich for lunch and in our absence the couple across the road came to collect some things they wanted, a crate of old vinyl records, a roll of new linoleum and something else. I don't know what it is about my mother but everyone is so kind and caring towards her, except for her own children who only feel a strong obligation, and her various neighbours over the years have always been roped into her world.
Soon to be dowager Mother and ABI Brother appeared, Mother shaking like she had St Vitus Dance. The neighbours from across the road came back. Mother and the male neighbour embraced and cried. His wife works in aged care and no doubt has seen it all before and was a little more stoic. They stayed for a good while as we mostly paused our efforts and Mother held court. Sister told Mother we are just as sick of hearing about your hospital stay, medical problems and your moaning about your Best Friend Forever as you were with your hospital stay. Of course Mother ignored her and on she went.
Ex Sis in Law's daughter, her partner and a mate were there all day Sunday filling an eight metre skip and a four metre skip has been ordered for tomorrow for them to fill. I gave Ex Sis in Law's to be son in law my credit card details to pay for it all. I hope it is not a case of famous last words, I trust him.
Another council collection will be ordered for collection of two clothes dryers and the washing machine. R and I will make a final cleanup and that will be that.
R was concerned Mother would become emotional and she was when the neighbours came across, but she wasn't at all about the house she lived in for 55 years. Tradie Brother took her for a walk around the back garden for the final time. Hippie Niece was in the tool shed as I tried to find a tool to unbolt a bed and she was looking at some of late Step Father's budgerigar prize certificates and she burst into tears.
Bone Doctor found a ladder somewhere and looked into the ceiling space to see if that was where late Step Father put her confiscated skate board after she broke her ankle, but it was not to be found.
While I never lived there, it is a house full of memories that seems to be beyond the physical building. In three weeks, it will belong to someone else.
Once settled, Mother can repay her children for the cost of rewiring the house just three years ago and the new side fence two years ago. I told R I will buy him a new phone.
I'll try to leave you with a laugh. Ex Sis in Law's son in law to be, about 21 and quite attractive came face to face with a resident possum when he was clearing Mother's garage. He ran out of the garage with shrieks that could be heard kilometres away. I have seen him behave very girlie when he has had a drink or two.