Now that we are leaving in a week, we have a list of things to do. We’ve been away from work so long, it’s hard to get anything done as our brains have just about dried up. There are a lot of things I’ve wanted to do for my mom, but most of them she needs to do for herself. For example, the barn is full of stuff that needs to be reconciled (thrown out, sold, donated, or stored). It’s hard to work through this when you’re grieving, and it’s probably too much for my mom to deal with now.
But yesterday I took a crack at it, and created a path in the barn. The barn is three stories high: it could be an incredible living space, shop, or work area. Instead, it’s a holding area for things such as John’s wheelchair, a piano, antiques, computer monitors, fax machines, portable heating units, art, medieval farming implements, and more. I spent a lot of time poking around, hopeful I would find something valuable or unusual, but all I got was a new Leki hat, made out of polyester, in China.
There’s even a rope in there with a pulley that we think was used to haul dry goods between the three stories. I climbed the ladder up to the second story, and found a sign there reading “Diskoteque,” with some plastic prayer flags hung around it. There was another area with old straw, suggesting livestock lived there at one time.
I created enough space on the first floor to get my mom’s lawn furniture inside for the winter, and this enabled me to rake the leaves from the driveway. My mom then got the idea to move a pantry unit out of the house, to the laundry room, and move a different set of shelves inside, from the barn. This pantry has a variety of dry goods in it, such as grains, bottles of oil and vinegar, and more. Unfortunately, the light fixture in the house by the pantry is fried, and so you can’t see what’s inside the pantry without a flashlight. And so the dry goods have mostly gone afoul, during the moth season, and no one has dealt with it yet.
Instead of removing the dry goods before moving the pantry, I tipped the pantry on its side in hopes I could fit it through the doorway to the laundry room, but this didn’t work, and all the food inside tipped over, then fell out of the pantry door once we abandoned the project. A bottle of white vinegar broke on the floor.
I got the leaves raked up, and tidied the barn – my mom cleaned up the glass and the vinegar, and we may get to the pantry today.