Before dementia crippled Mom’s cognitive abilities, as a housekeeper, she was beyond conscientious. The house always appeared immaculate, and she took care of its routine maintenance to the best of her ability. Still, she was either unaware of, or unable to address, some of the larger issues that beset the house over a long period of time. The place dates back to the mid-1950s, and a remarkable number of the house’s appliances, fixtures, and systems are original. Well, were, considering that Ms. B. and I have set about the updating with a vengeance.
Currently, the interior is a mess, as this overhaul is no
trivial matter. I never realized that my mom was an honest-to-god,
card-carrying pack rat, for there is virtually no corner of this outwardly
immaculate house that doesn’t conceal miles of piles of stuff. Massive
amounts of that stuff have gone to meet their maker or been set aside
for an estate sale; but after days and days and days of clearing things out,
the piles don’t appear very much smaller. Plus, we’re having all the walls dewallpapered and painted,
the kitchen and baths totally redone, and the wall-to-wall carpets removed, for there is
gorgeous hardwood hiding underneath. The plumbing was older than Noah’s ark, so we’ve
had the waterworks redone — and just in the nick of time, as some of
those old pipes were on the verge of giving up the ghost and flooding the earth.
We’ve still got a ways to go, and I can tell you, I am thoroughly exhausted. It all sort of reminds me that I might not be as young as all that anymore. On the other hand, when it comes down to it, I’m faring better than an awful lot of far younger whippersnappers, so y’all just watch yourselves, or I might hang around a while longer. You may take that to the bank.