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Front Page - Friday, April 29, 2016

Are We There, Yet?

Jay Edwards

We are planning on selling the old homestead soon, which has got KM on a purging mission. I think she feels the Spirit moving her, like Elwood, she seems to be “on a mission from God.” And right in the eye of this storm is yours truly.

When I sit back in the comfort of my garage chair, with a Dos Equis and perhaps a Marlboro close by, and fantasize I’m the most interesting man in the world, the spell is quickly broken by KM, doing her best Aunt Bee imitation, snapping her fingers and saying, “Get to it!” Remember that episode? Poor Gomer.

Looking at moving, especially when you’ve been somewhere over a decade, like we have, can quickly curl you into the fetal position, or at least make you drink a little faster. The big picture is, well it can be big, daunting and overwhelming. “We’ll take it one room at a time,” Aunt KM keeps telling me. “We’ll get there.” 

But I’m not so sure. Besides all the painting she thinks we need to do, there is the cleaning out and (sorry mom) throwing away. 

We have two attics. Most of the stuff that ends up in them are holiday decorations, kids mementos dating back to the mid to late 80’s, lots of old golf clubs, framed photos and a table or two, etc. I went into the attic above our second story on Sunday afternoon and was pleased to find only a box of old tax returns, a plastic playhouse, a baby doll crib and two old large white down comforters, which aren’t that white anymore because during the great squirrel invasion of a few years back, they camped in them awhile. There was also a life size cardboard cut out of Marilyn Monroe in a bathing suit. “That can go in the trash,” I heard Aunt KM say from the bottom of the stairs (I pretended to agree and found MM a safe hiding place for now). 

The other attic, the one over the garage, is a different story; it’s where all the aforementioned holiday items tend to spend the off-season. Then of course are the closets, with the clothing that won’t ever be worn again, due to lost styles or gained pounds (not in KM’s case though, her forgotten inventory is due to lost pounds, seriously, I’m not just saying that to stay out of trouble).

So you get some idea now of why I just plop into the garage chair and daydream about sandy beaches and a trailer with a good icemaker.

“Get to it,” snaps Aunt KM, bringing me reluctantly back to the harsh light of day, and the mass of honey-dos that wait.

Besides the purging, we have the painting, which for me are four ceilings, maybe even five. Two are complete. The first one I did was the garage, which I was certain I could get by with just painting over the patchwork spot. The problem with that was the old paint on the ceiling wasn’t white. So I turned on the Neil Young station on Pandora and, “Got to it.” Two weekends later I was done. The weekend after that I’d knocked out the kitchen, which leaves two bedrooms and a hallway. But before I begin all that I’ll need some more time in my garage chair, with a beer and a smoke, so I can reflect on the meaning of it all, at least before KM catches me and reminds me that, as overwhelming as it still seems at times, we really are getting there.

Jay Edwards is editor-in-chief of the Hamilton County Herald and an award-winning columnist. Contact him at jedwards@dailydata.com.