Those old sayings, always so true – “Time flies…”
I spent the weekend with my husband and our friend, working on our new “outhouse”. Having a second person who knows what they’re doing is incredible – things happen fast! It took my husband a couple of weeks to lay the foundation. First he built retaining walls to keep the dirt solid underneath, then set the cement piers in the ground. Now all the sudden there’s a 10 x 12 shack standing on top of them.
The old outhouse is only about 8 x 5, if that, and it’s too far from the septic tank, the pipe freezes quick when the temps drop. And, there’s a rocky, bumpy stretch of path between our sleeping shack and the old outhouse, pretty sketchy when you have to make that trip (ha, ha, “trip”) in the wee dark hours of the morning.
The new outhouse will also have room for our kitchen stuff, so we won’t have to rearrange the furniture every time we want to make a meal inside. We’ll be able to have some food storage – right now, our pantry is an 18″ shelf.
So I watched in fascination as my “retirement” plans unfolded before my eyes. We might really do this!
I shouldn’t be so surprised, when my husband says he’s going to do something, he’s going to do it.
I’ve known all along, I’m going to have to simplify and downsize, and that means getting rid of, okay, I’ll say it – JUNK! Turning in my chair my eyes fall upon my “zoological” collection – about a dozen old canning jars full of dead insects, dried flowers, acorns, bits of bird’s nests, paper wasp nests, even a mud dauber nest. I have what I call “vacations in jars” – sea shells and other beach trash from our long-ago trips to Fort Bragg with the kids.
And then there’s my rock collection, which starts fist-size in window sills around the house and ends up all over the yard with gutbusters as big as a small tv.
I tried to move one of my big rocks the other day, with a furniture dolly, and I just about threw out my back.
And, OMG! The garage, and an entire shelf unit in my husband’s shop, are filled with “heirlooms” from two families. From fancy dishes to prune boxes, we got it all.
My son and his girlfriend moved out of our rental when we sold it, and only had about a week to move their entire hoard out of the old shop. They started early by moving a lot of their stuff here. It’s funny how you forget stuff when it’s not right in front of you – now when they come over and look at that pile, they feel overwhelmed. They pick at it here and there – they’ve taken all of their garden stuff out of the driveway, thank goodness – but my son’s comic book collection? His childhood art projects and toys? That kind of stuff sits in an improvised shelf unit in the middle of my garage, keeping me from being able to open my car door completely.
I started realizing we need to get rid of stuff a couple of years ago, I’ve tried to make it a priority, but it’s been hit and miss. I actually sold an old trunk on Craigslist, and I was happy with that. I learned a trick from Pawn Stars – ask more than you want, then people feel like they got a deal. I thought $85 was a good price so I asked $100. I tried not to smile when the man asked, “will you take $85?”
We had an old fireplace insert we’d received in lieu of rent from one of our tenants. We thought we had use for it, but the old fireplace chimney wasn’t safe, so the insert sat in our shop for about 15 years, until we recently sold that house. We’d forgotten about it, really. It had never been used, and the newer models are selling for over $2500, so I dusted it off and hauled out the paperwork and took some pictures. I posted it on Craigslist in last July or early August, and I reposted it and reposted it for over a month.
Never give up.
As soon as the temperatures dipped a couple of weeks ago, we got three responses in one morning. The first man wanted to drive down from Quincy that day, and had no problem with the price of $350. He and his wife were in our driveway by noon, and off they went with the insert. I couldn’t believe it – staring at the empty space it left in our garage was very gratifying, and we needed the dough to pay our kid’s rent at college.
Every little bit, ya know what I mean? So today I’ll be poking around in my garage, looking for some old crap to put on Craigslist. One bright point is I found the record player my kids bought me and my husband hooked it up down there so I can listen to my Beach Boys records while I’m digging.