There has been a growing collection of things, big and little, in need repair. I dust off the cobwebs and take to these items with wrench and screwdriver. Of the things which I cannot fix myself, the cost of repairs and the frustration of being taken advantage of (and knowing it) makes me hesitate to take on too much at once. Eventually, however, it all must be done. By the year 2014, I will need to either refinance my home or sell it. And in these economic times, it will be tough to get it to appraise for the price paid.
In addition to repairs, I’ve also been trying to remove the cobwebs and clutter within the hidden spaces of the house. I hit the office storage cubby and where I’d thrown a lot of Tom’s things which I’d not been ready to sift though before. Much of it, I knew I’d be discarding but I would have to sort through it in order to do so.
My emotions were volatile early in the process. I went from total frustration and tears when, once again, my kitchen filled with smoke despite perfectly cooked pork chops – and the alarm system sounded. “I hate this house,” I yelled up towards the heavens. But what I was saying was, “I hate feeling like I might lose the house which we worked so hard to buy.” I began opening the mail after placing the two pork chops I’d cooked on plates for the kids. I told myself that I wasn’t hungry. It was a lie. I just didn’t want to deal with setting off the alarm again. An assortment of bills were addressed to me, but the remaining envelopes were addressed to Tom. I felt a rush of anger envelope me as I thought about how many times I’d sent these mailings back with nice little requests to stop sending them.
Later in the night, I began reading a stack of letters he had saved. They were letters that I’d written to him (mostly from early on in our courtship). While I thought this would be the easiest to go through, I found that it wasn’t – not for the reasons that you might think. I actually read them and shook my head. Who was the woman who wrote these letters? I did not know her. I found it hard to think that I ever did and, when I reached the bottom of the page, was embarrassed to see my name. I made myself read every word on every page on every letter. Then I threw the whole pile into the trash, which is where they should have been put 24 years ago.
I wonder what else I’ll uncover in this exercise of operation clean up.