Jane had been very helpful to Ellie when Ellie sold Loretta's condo. Well before we bought, she had frequently said, "I'd love to help you move." She has a personal interest in a non-profit that accepts donations of the type we expected to have, lives close to a Goodwill donation center, and doesn't mind asking her Toyota to share space with miscellaneous boxes. Also helpful, she relishes using her car to haul stuff.
The first time she came to help move, carrying a new purchase of ten banker's boxes, she entered the house saying, "How can I help?" When learning that our son, recently moved, had provided us with twenty to twenty-five large plastic tubs with tops she said, "When moving, there is no such thing as having too many boxes."
Helping us provided her the opportunity to scratch an old itch that was her desire to explore our admittedly stuffed den closet. The closet opens in the middle, is about three feet deep, with approximately four feet of closet space to the right and the left. Each side contains four or five shelves, and a clothes-hanging rod is in front of the shelves on the left. All shelves and the clothes rod were full. The floor immediately in front of the door was also full while a few things hung on the back wall.
Though still untrained in Wendy's sorting lesson, the two of them distinguished a large number of things we didn't want to take from everything else in the closet. "I can take that to Goodwill," Jane said.
"You sure?" Ellie asked. "There are a lot of boxes there."
"Of course; that's why I came," Jane replied. "My car is empty, I have space in my garage. If there are things you don't think you want to take, but aren't sure about, I can store them in my garage until you decide."
This kind of thing happened often ... Jane would come over, help with sorting through our stuff, say, "I can take that to Goodwill," and leave with a car full of miscellaneous boxes.
Jane also helped the day of our move. While the movers were still packing their trucks, Jane helped Ellie capture our cats, went to the new house with her and the cats, and stayed while the cats got acclimated to their new digs.
Eventually Ellie and I sold our house; this required us to remove our remaining stuff collection. The den still contained furniture our buyers had expressed possible interest in. And the basement contained lots of unsorted stuff we had not wanted moved. We had planned to put everything from the basement into the living and dining rooms in three categories, "keep," "don't keep," and "( still ) don't know."
We were putting the finishing touches on that plan when Jane, thinking we were pretty well done, drove up. "I'm here, how can I help?" ... then, seeing the furniture in the den and the stuff collection spread across the living and dining rooms, "Oh my stars and garters ... I thought you moved!"
|The stuff collection greeting Jane one of the last times she visited our old house.|
Getting close to the end, Jane again met us at our old house. Prior to this, Ellie and I, with Wendy and our sons, had moved all the "don't keep" boxes to the garage. Only "keep" material remained in the house; we again loaded our cars and drove the entire "Keep" collection home ... to keep.
Except for the "Don't keep" garage collection, thanks in no small part to Jane's help, WE WERE DONE! The items we wished to keep from the thirty- six years of accumulated stuff were in our new house, the donatable stuff was at Goodwill, most of the trash was tossed, and the remainder resided in the garage. I made a call to a trash picker-upper, made an appointment for "him" to come sweep our garage, and slept well that night knowing our final solution was at hand.
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