Sunday, December 12, 2004

In the Closet, Again

I finally got back in that closet. It seems strange to have to start a major house cleaning way in the back, in the not seen room, and yet it also seems totally necessary.

I already have five bags, garbage bags, of stuff for the Haven. I have other bags with things I think will be useful to someone or the other that I know -- the woman who is pregnant at husbands' work, my best friend, my SIL, the homeschool mom who is all the time giving my girls her yard sale finds.

And still there are things I cannot part with. Two are coats, big heavy coat sweaters actually, done on some broomstick or something, very cool, very unusual. I've had them so long, worn them a lot, and felt good in them. I started to see if any of the above people wanted them and then I though, the girls might like them when they are teenagers, so I found a place to keep them.

There is this lovely outfit my mother gave me that I think my SIL will like. It had been my mother's. Just a nice sweater and silky pants but way fancier than I'm partial to, although I've kept it all this time because it was so nice. I've even worn the sweater albeit with jeans.

My mother, oh, my mother. Off in some la-la land and inaccessible to me (she is in end stages of Parkinsons). Because she chose to get remarried to a man who could only have relationships if he was dictator (and not a benevolent one) and because they belong to a church which has little value for family and a great deal of greed for money, I don't even get to see her. Haven't for years. One August she had been in the nursing home after breaking her hip and I went to see her and he'd taken her "home" and that was that. I sat there all day with my kids playing on the grass in front of the nursing home killing time waiting to go to the county fair that night which was what we had planned. Her husband made it more than clear to me on more than one occasion that I was not welcome in his house. So I don't go. He tells something else to the church people and they find the wool over their eyes to be warm and comforting in such a familiar way.

I ache for her. Sometimes I scream in frustration for her. Other times it is but a whimper. It didn't have to be like this. But our lives are the result of our choices and my mother loved things and she loved performing pirouettes for strangers and she loved both of those things more than she loved us. And she was no slacker loving us. And I love her as fiercely even if I am just as bad at figuring out what to do with it. I try only to be better with my own children.

Indicative of the central flaw that defined my mother's life is that she once had a yard sale in which she sold 27 pairs of white shorts. She sold 27 pairs of white shorts that all came out of her dresser drawers. Those weren't ALL her white shorts. What possesses a person to have 27 pairs of white shorts? More than 27 pairs of white shorts? Some belief that happiness resides in the next pair of white shorts?

I do not own a single pair of white shorts. I am not sure what the central flaw in my own life is though. Wanting to be loved and taken care of while being cussedly independent probably.

I have only the kids clothes still to sort through, and I'll probably have five more bags of things to go to the Haven after that. At least. Just clothes. We've been on a real minimalist philosophy for a long time but husband said tonight that he was wondering why we had all this stuff to get rid of and he answered himself, we've had too much money.

Perhaps I've mentioned before that we've pretty much always lived under or right at "poverty level". But we own our home, we grow our food, we do for ourselves and so that is a lot really. It wouldn't be if something went wrong, but going along, day to day, it is a lot. I'm always surprised at how people can be surrounded by wealth and be so poor only because they lack the sight to see abundance.

While I worked in the closet, husband and most kids started at the other end of the house -- the computer area and library. So everything is torn up everywhere but there is hope. I hope. Because I've said, "No tree until the house is clean!"

Of course we also did normal chores today. And I made cheese and ice cream and butter because if you don't process through the milk in a timely manner you drown in it. And bread because a fresh loaf of bread means there is always a meal. Today it was boiled dinner, which I always called roast growing up, a hunk of meat (goat shoulder today) simmered with some herbs and spices then add carrots and potatoes. Side of green beans. All off our place, except the wheat in the bread and the carrots. We also decanted some of our recent bulk orders which is taking it out of the mostly 50# sacks it comes in and putting in zip lock bags and storing in airtight/bug tight/rodent tight barrels. And put another layer of insulation in part of the attic. And second daughter lost two teeth in one day. I am not sure why I catalog these things. But they are the puzzle pieces of my life.

What I didn't do, still, is put the newsletter out for our homeschool group. Tomorrow morning I swear. And again, I meant to forward something that I didn't forward because I was so sure I'd get the newsletter out. I don't mind at all doing the newsletter but it isn't top dog. I'd rather write for this.

But not only is the monthly activity meeting coming up, but grandparents are coming in for a few days (sadly because death looms for an aunt) AND sis-in-law is coming by AND baby's birthday, all this week. It will be a great week. If I can stay calm. If I can get out of the closet.


cheeky monkey said...

You have a rich and busy life CG. I love to read about your days.
And I'm sorry about your mother and your sense of having lost her before she's "gone."
My mother is gone in body, and I ache for her so much. Miss the part of me that was and is her. It's so hard. And yet you go on.
I suspect you're pretty good at moving on with life.
Enjoy your holidays and new year.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Thanks Cheeky. Some days are busier than others but you know basically life is good. And I love my mother and you love your mother and as the lead character in that Amistad movie said, "we are the only reason our ancestors ever existed." And as Deepak Chopra says, it is the field of infinite possibilities (I got the new Deepak book for my baby's birthday! -- we all get gifts on all birthdays!) Peace and a happy Yuletide season to all men of goodwill! CG