Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Where are you going to put that?"

I just finished watching a marathon run of "Buried Alive". To refresh your memory or give you some insight it is a program on A & E discussing and witnessing hoarders. I've seen this program on occasion for the past year or so...always being critical of the people that live the life of a hoarder.

It is easy to be critical but in my case it was more a case of 'for the grace of God, there go I". I think I know exactly when it started. I became the sole heir of my aunt's, mother's and father's 'stuff'. It was in very rapid sucession, I didn't have time to grieve, so I hung on to everything in hopes of a later garage sale.

The garage sale never materialized. In fact I moved across the country at a huge expense to keep all of the 'stuff'. A huge barn was built....just to shelter that 'stuff'. The storage units here were prohibitive since I needed several.

The initial moving in of the 'stuff' was exhilerating. I loved it, it reminded me of Christmas. "OH look, remember this?" And on and on. The barn is packed to the gills. I thought I would test the waters of the Eastern Shore and see how things progressed here.

I thought of a shop....consignment and used items. Most of our little downtown is vacant with more than enough space for this venture. But I was told early on....do not attempt to operate a business here....they won't come.

More than a few such attempts were made these past ten years but that advice still holds true....all failed for one reason or another...most important ....they did not come.

I also found out that Memorial Day and Labor Day are big garage sale days here. In some instances a whole village gets together and they run a sale block after block. Not my town.

The second year I tried to sort things out in the barn, I was making headway and ran across a snake. That was it for me. My fear is unreasonable but debilitating. We do have copperheads and I was not about to reach into a box with a nest of coppers nope not me.

While I still lived in Arizona I bought things....like the hoarders....to put into a shop in my new hometown. That only added to the mountain of junk. If my life depended upon it I couldn't tell you ten years later what is all in that barn.

My health deteriorated as well over the years. I traded my arthritic hip for fibromyalgia....what a bargain. This is tricky at best....when you feel grand what to do first. If the weather isn't co-operating your choice is made for you.

Now to get back to the hoarders....I sometimes feel their pain in letting go. What an awful feeling, after all it is just "stuff". I am the woman who on more than one occasion said the next time I move....it will be one suitcase and me walking down the driveway. Ha.

It is spring....memorial day is approaching faster and faster. I really want to get a set of dishes out of the barn to use in my house. I know this is ridiculous but I just can't make myself go into that place. Why oh why didn't I use these past ten years to overcome my fear of snakes, probably there is no such person here to help in that area.

Seriously....I think it has been too cold up until now for snake activity....maybe I'll chance it......or maybe I won't. Be careful out there....lots of stuff..RD


Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

I can understand the snake thing. I would think that banging away on the boxes would scare them to the quieter corners, but I don't know snakes that well.

And there is taking a box totally outside the barn to be sorted through in the sunshine a box at a time.

The 10 days I was in Moab my friend who was staying here cleaned my house. I don't so much horde as loose total track of what I do own. She unearthed some forgotten items like on an archeological dig.

I am known to buy a second or third of something because I forgot buying the first. This proved helpful when fitting out the vacation let. But living far from reasonable shopping I do find I want to horde things. Especially after that snow storm in 2007 that closed all avenues out of the valley for a week. I could live on canned goods for a couple weeks since.

BTW the fibro gets better. It hardly floors me any more. Just as long as I take my guai and don't stress myself to the max and exercise routinely.

Bee's Blog said...

I watched some of the programmes too and was horrified. My daughter watched one with me and said that it was a scam and that people didn't really live like that! She then disappeared into her room and for hours I could hear noises - she was clearing out! I always used to say she 'nested' and I think she went into a cold sweat thinking that maybe she could be classified to the same degree - she was nowhere near that stage!

It is hard to throw some things away. If as happened to us, you lose everything - everything - and there wasn't a choice, then the tendency is to hang onto possessions. Now I don't allow myself to hanker after the possessions I lost because if I did, I would lose my sanity.

These days I try to throw away things I no longer use telling myself that it will not come in handy as opposed to keeping it because it may come in handy in the distant future!

Hanging on, storing, hoarding are all security blankets.

I know just how you feel about the snakes - you wouldn't get me within a mile of the barn if I didn't really, really want something from it. Then I would talk myself into it. Talk yourself into it girl friend - you won't regret it. And maybe then you'll have some insentive to clear the whole barn bit by bit. Imagine the sense of freedom!