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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Adventures In Downsizing

I've been in Minnesota the past couple of weeks. The idea was to help my parents clean out their house because they're supposed to move to Georgia, too, but they haven't gotten very far. Keep in mind, it's been three years since I started working in Atlanta and almost two years since I moved all my worldly goods to my new home. This is also despite phone calls where my parents would give me updates on how much work they're getting done.

Um, yeah, not so much. This isn't the first time I've returned home and expected more progress than I've seen, but I actually thought that they were serious now and would actually get going. I was wrong.

When I traveled up to Minnesota to clean out the junk in my house, especially the heavy accumulation in the basement, we'd work 12 hours or more every day. My parents would come over and help me. I also went up with a plan on what we'd tackle to get the most accomplished in the shortest amount of time.

I expected this same thing from my parents last October and didn't get it, so I suggested a month ahead of time that they come up with a plan to use my time up north this April to the best advantage. Do you think they did this? No.

In fact, we hardly spent any time cleaning out the house at all. Let's talk about a typical day.

I will take my share of the blame for the morning dawdling. I'm bad about this and I know it. I like to sip my coffee and take my time, but once I get ready, I'm good to go. My parents? Not so much. They dawdle in the morning, too. Breakfast and the newspaper take forever. Okay, until around 11ish, but this is longer than it takes me.

Are we ready to get started at 11am? Of course not. Now my dad has to go to the grocery store, and of course, we can't do anything without him. He gets home around 12:45, but we can't begin working now because it's lunch time. My parents dawdle through another meal.

I make the huge mistake of saying, "The mailman's here."

Instead of leaving the mail there until later, my dad runs out to get it. This wastes another hour as they read their junk mail. Who the hell opens their junk mail and reads it?

The clock is now saying it's after 3pm and we've yet to do anything. At long last, we head for the basement. My mom won't get rid of anything. Anything!

The sequin kits she bought in the 1970s as a project to add bling to clothes? She's can't donate those because she's going to use them. Never mind that sequins on clothes isn't exactly a fashion do right now. Never mind that she's  had them sitting for forty years already. Never mind that she didn't even remember buying them. Never mind that she's never been that into crafts. Those kits must not leave her possession because she's suddenly decided that she'll use them.

Same thing with the Santa craft kit and the material she's going to sew and the yarn and the rug kits. Well, you get the idea. All the crafts that she's never done in decades are now things she's going to work on once she moves to Atlanta.

Sure she will.

After about 90 minutes of arguing over everything with my mom, my dad announces we should go upstairs and start working on dinner.

That's right. It's time for yet another meal. Of course, we don't go back down after dinner to do any additional work. Why would we possibly want to do that? Variations on this theme happened every single day. Some days we didn't get more than an hour of time in. I'm still not sure how this is possible, but it explains why my parents have accomplished exactly nothing.
I have a couple more stories, so stay tuned for more fun in helping my parents downsize.