Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My Mother's Attic

Like many attics, my parents' has suffered rodent infestations. When I was in high school, I remember the squirrels galumphing across the floor (my ceiling) at night. Of course, because my parents live in the country, when the squirrels were moved out, the mice moved in. And then there were the bats, the reason we had to wear masks and gloves during our cleaning. As I made the trek down three flights to the basement in my respirator, I began to breathe a little heavy. We cracked ourselves up by repeating, "Luke, I am your father."

We got through about 1/6 of the stuff up there. My mother has enough Christmas decorations to decorate four houses. She saved everything thinking she could use it in her "summer home" someday. What she did not realize was that when she could afford her summer home, she would be able to afford new sheets, towels, and furniture. The amount of stuff that has to be thrown away is mind-boggling. The amount going to the church is uplifting. The amount I have for e-bay is exciting (I spent almost as much time walking down to the computer as I did bringing trash to the basement; yes, save the Fitz & Floyd candy dish; no, recycle that old Coke bottle).

Among the "treasures":
  • Earring Magic Ken, NIB
  • my Sasha doll and a box of other souvenir dolls I collected as a child
  • all the correspondence I received, 1980-1990, including birthday and Christmas cards
  • MREs from Vietnam
  • two of those braided yarn octopuses we crafted as children
  • a quilt, cut but not pieced
  • April 1972 Cosmopolitan featuring Burt Reynolds, excellent condition
  • love letters from my dad to my mom, including a "non committal" Valentine's Day card signed with only his last name (early days)
  • a pink stork figurine planter given to my grandmother when my mother was born (1944) and then to my mother when I was born
  • technically, this was not in the attic, but I have an album signed by Johnny, Joey, DeeDee and Tommy Ramone. The ones I've seen on e-bay are going for $650 and they don't have DeeDee. Whee!

My sister and I are planning to go back in May. My mom needs help, and we have to find the Blythe dolls (e-bay $750-1000) that we know are up there.


Cheryl in DC said...

I'm as big of a pack rat as anyone in my family, I'll admit, but why is it that what we want to save is so wildly different? My parents will save every last scrap of cloth and wood; keep the jar of nails; and so on, but won't hesitate a moment to throw out family memorabilia. Plus, my mom's idea of what someone might buy is ... scary.

Michelle said...

Sounds like you had an adventure up there. You definitely should show pics of some of the unique items on your list!

Redwitch said...

Sounds like a treasure trove, glad you'll get some reward for your hard work, cleaning out an attic can't be that much fun in a mask!

Chelle said...

Sounds like fun to me, respirator and all! (The "Luke" thing gave me a giggle.) I agree with Michelle, pictures would be lovely.

Barbara said...

I suddenly wish my mom had an attic.

jo said...

yarn octopi! Oh my! I haven't thought of those in what - 37 years or so?!?

I know my sister and I had a similiar adventure last year when we cleaned out my Gram's place.