As per my last post, which was a disastrously long time ago (just over 6 months in fact) I disappeared for a short while. What happened? As is usually the case; life happened.
Now, the original reason I created this blog was to document some of my more creative endeavours, and also as a bit of an outlet for my grief following the early departure of my longest and dearest friend and mentor.
My beautiful mother.
I'm looking at the date as I type, and it has been 12 months and 15 days since she has passed away. I cannot believe it has been that long. I can't ever remember most of the past year; it is a haze.
Sadly, we're still sorting and downsizing all of her precious belongings which have filled a four bedroom home and a double garage (as well as the single garage of my inlaws too). It's such a horrible task. I start on it some days and I just don't know what to do, or what box to open first. I'll then leave it for a long time. Other days a frenzy takes over and I'll empty 10 boxes in a single afternoon and can't rest until I've met some sort of quota for the day.
I can't say I've been consistent in the task, because it's incredibly depressing and emotionally, very draining.
I've now gotten to the point where I'm donating A LOT of items.
I'm also having to discard A LOT.
Some days, this breaks my heart. Everything meant something to mum, even items that others might regard as trash. The number of half-finished or not-even-started craft projects and broken items she had intended to fix that I'm coming across is astounding.
One saving grace has been a dear friend who is a primary school teacher as a local school. This is one of those schools that doesn't have a great deal of funding available. As is the case with most schools, when there is a reasonable amount of expendable income, it goes to the library, or to the purchasing of new equipment for the children. The arts and craft departments are not priority. I have donated about 6 boxes of items to the school so far (with more to come), filled with items ranging from coloured glues and papers to stickers, beads, sequins, pipe-cleaners, paddle-pop sticks, foam shapes, christmas ornaments to be decorated... From what I hear, the kids are almost fighting each week to make sure they're able to part-take in the now-awesome craft afternoons leading up to Christmas.
This has made me glow, and has made my task just that little bit easier :)
Mum was a very giving person, and whilst a part of her would be devastated to see her beautiful glittery and shiny "treasures" leaving the house, she was ever the spirit of generosity, and I think she would be happy to see everything being loved and appreciated by others. If a small child was admiring a trinket of hers whilst she was out and about, mum wouldn't hesitate to offer it. She did this many times, followed by my being a little bit cranky with her for constantly giving away things to people she didn't know.
But that was who my mum was :)
I've also been taken over by a new incentive. We want to downsize, and have "a home" again, not just "a sorting ground". Despite my best intentions, we never really settled into that house. It never felt like home. It never really was. The move to that place was under such depressing and unhappy circumstances - it was a move that I never really wanted, but was driven to out of sheer necessity.
We have found a very worn, but very cosy little two bedroom cottage in a semi-rural suburb near to where we are living now... And if all goes well, we will find out today if it is ours. But I can hear your concern... How does one simply move from a four bedroom home with a double garage to a two bedroom cottage?
With no garage. And no storage.
Answer: one downsizes like a mo-fo.
I feel like a possessed demon. In the horribly hot and humid weather, I can be seen downstairs from early in the morning on weekends going through more boxes, creating more piles in the kitchen: "donate" "school crafts" "disposable" "keeping (for now)".
After one week, I have completely emptied 25 boxes.
I am also donating 2 craft boxes, 3 linen boxes, 5 kitchen boxes, and several items that are still in the original box. Unopened.
That is more than 35 boxes worth of items in one week.
I have lost count of the number of bags and boxes I have filled with rubbish. Because of the volume, we're topping up our bins at the end of each week. It's slowly taking over my kitchen...
And I'm not finished. I'm going back for more tonight - my deadline is two weeks from now.
It's on like Donkey Kong!