It started small.
We shuffled the contents of three bedrooms. We moved a few beds. I designated one room for "office"; the other for "daycare"; and my son created room for a desk which would house "his future" (more on that, another day).
With this shuffling of contents, came the collecting and donating of some of our excess.
All of this began because I wanted a separate computer for my work. This somehow transitioned into cleaning up our existing computer and transferring only the cleaned up files onto my new laptop. And somehow segued into my son claiming ownership of the old computer while I have sole access to my new one.
With this transfer of computer ownership, came a massive deleting and organizing of computer files.
This was an onerous task. But at least it was a clean one.
Finally, I shifted my focus onto the garage. The garage has not been my own for about five or so years. My son moved in and back out of the house during that time and he took ownership of the cleaning and culling of the garage while he was a permanent resident here.
Then he moved out.
I realized this week, that he forgot to pack up the garage when he vacated. I knew I had moved an oil pan, full of dirty oil, from one side of the garage to a corner of its own. But I didn't realize he had also left an assortment of other "stuff". I think he forgot as well. Either that, or he knew it all along and was just waiting to see how long it would take for me to finally clean up the garage and let him know what I had found.
It took eleven months. But I finally did it.
I am not done, but I am close. What a dirty, dusty, gross and disgusting job it has been.
I only found a small amount of evidence that a mouse has been in the neighborhood. But at least this time, I didn't find a corpse or anything to indicate it moved its family in with it. I think it left for greener pastures a long time ago.
Even though the garage needs one last "heave ho", to rid it of what I deem is unnecessary, I can't quite believe how much lighter I feel every time I walk into it.
I have been putting off this dirty job for forever. I have every excuse under the sun to justify why it has taken me so long. Some of them are even good ones.
Now that the job is done, I just want to keep on going. Except for one thing.
This is dirty work!
Add that to regular lawn maintenance and the fact that it is so dry and dusty outside that you need a shower every time you invest any time at all to enjoying this fine spring weather and I am rethinking the whole "Dirty Thirties" thing.
In the thick of the depression, there was also a drought. Bathing was a once-a-week event at the best of times in those days. As I have felt the need to hop into the shower on a daily basis during this dusty season of minimal work (compared to the word that was done on a regular basis during the Dirty Thirties), I can't help but wonder how I would have survived without an abundant supply of running water.
At least these days, when we do have dirty work to do, the ability to clean off the grime is as simple as turning on a tap.
And I complain about having to deal with the aftermath of washing my hair after an eternal bad haircut. What does my brother's family refer to this as??