Friday, May 25, 2007

Hours in the Attic

Justin and I went to Phoenix last weekend. After a beautiful, relaxing trip, we decided to clean out the attic.

This was like going on vacation to heaven and on the way back swinging by Hell for the weekend. You know, just for the hell of it.

You see, our attic is filled wall to wall. This is because we treat it like a bottomless pit. Just drop off bag after bag of forgotten toys, old paperwork and miscilaneous fragile things--porcelein birds and what not--with which I will cover every flat surface in the house as soon as the kids move out. Justin can't wait.

When it comes down to it, I wish all of this would just disappear.

Instead, I ran an ad in the paper asking people to haul our junk away. And get this...I'm making them pay us.

Yes, we're having a garage sale. How could we not after the resounding success of our last one, when we raked in $22.40?

This time will be different. I bought price stickers, advertising, the whole thing. It will be in our front yard on Sunday and Monday.

Theoretically, we could just have an attic sale and sell every last thing up there.

But there are some treasures. Sorting through the baby clothes, I found each item that I folded into Johnny's dresser drawer before he was born. A yellow t-shirt and shorts. A onsie with a fish design and another with a little chicken on it. A blue nightgown with a matching hat and a green one with matching socks. All of these items will go to the grave with me.

All of the boys have clothes with sentimental value. For Richie, it is his blue coat with horses on it, which he was very proud of as a toddler. Wearing it, he always walked a little taller. Which is cute to see when it's a two year old just a few feet tall.

For J.J. it is his first walking mocasins, which he wore until his toes peeked out of holes. You know you're playing hard when you wear out your shoes before you grow out of them as a kid.

Then there are the sweaters my Nana handknitted and outfits that the boys received as gifts in Boston and wore right away.

I've read that many mothers can't part with baby clothes. The solution: Buy a windowbox frame and arrange a favorite outfit and shoes along with a photo. Good idea. Except that my window box would have to be the size of...well, our attic.

Typically, it takes as long to undue something as it took to do it. For instance, doctors say that since it takes nine months to put on baby weight, you should allow nine months to lose it.

Likewise, if it took three years to fill our attic, it should take three years to clean it out.

I figured it wouldn't matter much if I substituted "years" for "hours." That caused me to feel slightly overwhelmed. I suggested to Justin that if we really wanted to make a dent, we would need to have a garage sale everyday for the rest of our lives.

He said I was exaggerating. However, he said this while watching T.V., not helping me rummage through 19 bags of clothes, one of which included seven mustard colored thermal shirts, and eight pairs of green corderoys.

Justin's participation, so far, has been on a consultation basis. For one thing, he suggested that, since he hauled the bags up there in the first place, he shouldn't have to carry them back down.

He also mentioned that on Saturday--the day we are cleaning out the large items in the attic and setting up for the sale, he might go to work for a few hours.

And he wondered why I let all the clutter build up instead of dealing with it a little at a time.

I suggested that he donate his comments and questions to the Salvation Army, along with the stuff we don't sell at the garage sale.

He looked at me like I was going insane. And I looked at him like he was driving me there.

It's going to be a weekend of bonding, I can tell already.


Anonymous mom said...

Wish I could come! Will Johnny have a noodle stand?

6:32 PM  

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