Friday, January 28, 2011

LONG TIME NO SEE... or even THINK about hoarding.

It's obviously been quite some time since my last post. I'm not exactly sorry, but do wish to be somewhat apologetic. Let me clarify, I am NOT sorry that I've been ignoring my Mother's hoarding. I am sorry that I haven't been keeping a detailed journal to look back at.

Now let's get on with the reason I am back... it's fascinating.

Christmas day this year brought much joy into the lives of all in our family, and not all in the ways you are probably thinking. My kids got a Wii and they are happy. My husband got a big screen TV and he is happy. Are you wondering what made me SO happy?

My parents had a kitchen fire at their home on Christmas day... A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE.

Here's the story in a nutshell. Mom was cooking a turkey on the stovetop (boiling it down for soup, I think). My sis dropped by and mentioned she was on her way to my place. A last minute decision was made and Mom hopped in the car to join her, forgetting the stove was on. Several hours later, my parents returned to a house FILLED with smoke and a burned up pot on the stove. By the way, it was REALLY STINKY smoke (something to do with the proteins in the meat?).

Now for the fun, or not so fun, part of the story - depending on your point of view.

At first, Mom thought she could just air out the house for a day or two and all would be well. She then decided to wash all the walls and ceilings with vinegar (don't you know that vinegar cures everything?) This little plan did NOT work out. After a visit to the house and a phone call to the local Disaster Cleanup Services, we let Mom in on the "terrible" news. The smell is not going anywhere. The cleanup is going to be time consuming (the DCS people told us this without even knowing that Mom was a first class hoarder) and costly. They mentioned a lot of things specifically, but I'd like to just point out the one that made me the happiest.

In a fire of this nature, it turns out that plastic items are now considered toxic and must be thrown out. It isn't exactly flattering of myself to admit, but I really enjoyed telling Mom that part. "It looks like your hundreds of empty plastic yogurt containers/peanut butter jars/cool whip containers/lids/useless empty pill bottles/crap/crap/and more crap are all going to have to be thrown out. Along with all those filled with food and herbs that you are hoarding for that "emergency" someday... sniff". (The sniff is me trying to cover my extreme desire to jump up and down with joy with some sign of remorse)

I then made one more phone call and the time for laughing was officially over...

More tomorrow.